I'm not religious? | 12 Step Meetings and Anonymous Groups - Part 3

I’m not religious?

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    This is how it was presented to me:

    My sponsor had me do these huge packets with lots of questions. The last question to step 1 was “whats your definitioin of insanit?”

    we decided that its “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result”

    She said “aren’t you doing something different this time to stay clean?”

    I said “yes I’m in the program”

    She said “didn’t that take a power greater than yourself?”

    I said “dont give me the god sh*t”

    She said “no, cant you and I beat up more people that you by yourself? Aren’t we more powerful together?”

    That was all the faith it took. If you ask 100 different addicts about the god thing, your going to get 10000 different answers. We just use the word god so we all know what we’re talking about when refering to something that has more power than ourself alone.



    In the SWG (on Step Two) it states:

    “The Second Step does not say, ‘We came to believe in a Power greater than ourselves.’ It says, ‘We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.’ The emphasis is not on who or what this Power is, but on what this Power can do for us.”

    Prior to that excerpt, it states:

    “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the NA program that requires a member to be religious. The idea that ‘anyone may join us, regardless of…religion or lack of religion’ is fiercely defended by our fellowship….We are encouraged to choose a Power that is loving, caring, and – most importantly – able to restore us to sanity.”

    Many folks who haven’t worked through the steps with an NA sponsor (or have little to no experience with the 12 Steps) have a preconceived notion about what Step Two means. You can tell them a million times that the program isn’t religious, or that the term “Higher Power” can be understood non-religiously…but they often refuse to get past it.




    The 12 steps are a process. We didn’t become addicts in one day, so easy does it.

    step two reads “We CAME to believe…” We don’t have to immediately believe, nor do we have to understand and swallow whole the entire meaning and depth of the step in one sitting. If it takes time, it takes time. By continuing to attend meetings with an open mind, by reading the literature, by communicating with other recovering addicts who use the 12 steps as a guide to recovery, and by doing all these things with an open mind, you may indeed COME to believe. You don’t have to believe yet. That is you practicing honesty.

    Thinking you know what the future is, and that you will never believe is a sign of unwillingness, and lack of that open mind you think you have. As others and the literature have explained HP does not equal “god”.

    I do not offer this post in a chastizing manner. Step 2 was my major stumbling block in my early days of clean recovery. I just KNEW I couldn’t go there. And my last relapse occured when I abandoned my belief, took back my will and closed my mind again to the possibility of being restored to sanity. Basically when I shut down my practicing step 2 my program fell apart.

    So I am back at it, which brought me to this particular section of the forum in the middle of the night. Thing is this time I KNOW it works, I am making sure I have a thorough understanding of the step this time, and making the time and effort to reconnect with my understanding of a HP.

    I haven’t used again, the obsession is lifting, humility is bubbling to the surface, sanity is creeping in, and when I start to panic something is nudging me and reminding me to look at things using the principles I’ve learned in NA and calming me down again.

    Right now that “something” IS my willingness to return to the steps, and apply the principles. Nothing very mystical about that. What is important is that it works. Clearly doing that is a HP because when I do it, I am restored to sanity, and when I don’t I find myself back in active addiction.

    Will the sense of something mystical every creep in? I have no idea. I don’t have to know. I don’t have to project. I find applying “Just for Today” to be a real freedom right now. When I stop that, I start panicking. I don’t know what tomorrow’s concept of a HP will be, but today’s is working and that is what matters, that it works.

    Willingness will take you a long way.

    My best to you, the fact that you posted here, shows a measure of willigness.

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