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    Anonymous

    This is an online Step Study. Each of the 12 steps will have its own thread, so you can participate at whatever level you are comfortable and discuss your own experience with concepts in each step. It’s a combination and compilation of step studies – some from Al Anon, some from Nar Anon and some from CODA.

    Sources include Paths To Recovery, Al-Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts ©1997and How Al Anon Works for Families and Friends of Alcoholics ©1995, along with some readings from Courage to Change, One Day at a Time in Al Anon II ©1992.

    Each of us works the steps in our time, and in our own manner. Most often, step work is done by those who attend face-to-face meetings and have a sponsor. That doesn’t mean that you MUST, it’s just a suggestion. Please don’t feel as though you must rush thru these steps… it took some of us a few years in the program before we began, and we found ourselves stuck on at least one of the steps for a year or more. The questions and postings here will be an outline, a framework from which you can begin your journey. If nothing else, the questions will provoke some thought and self-reflection, and some great discussions and dialogue.

    Others who have worked the steps before may find that they wish to do the steps again. Many people who work one step per month every year – 12 steps for 12 months. The more you learn about yourself, the more you know, and the more you wish to learn!

    Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

    The basic spiritual principle introduced in Step Two suggests that there is a Power greater than we are that provides hope for sanity, whether we are living with active alcoholism or not. Step Two reaffirms that we may be powerless, but we are NOT helpless, and we are not alone. For many of us, the introduction of a Power greater than ourselves is difficult to understand. Some initially believe we are speaking of a religious entity. We are not. We are speaking of a loving, caring, nurturing Power that provides us with guidance in dealing with the effects of the disease of alcoholism.

    …. Acceptance of Step Two is paramount to working the rest of the Al Anon steps. Tripping over Step Two and skipping to other Steps indicates a lack of acceptance of Step One. Many members have difficulty beginning to work this Step for their personal recovery……. The wisdom of members who have worked these steps before us is essential to understanding fully the spiritual answers and guidance we are about to experience. Trusting our group and trusting a sponsor are only stepping stones to accepting a Power greater than ourselves.

    … Some of us reject religion of any kind and call ourselves either agnostics or atheists. It is important to hear that, whether we practice a particular religion or not, all of us are welcome in Al-Anon. Yet, when we approach Step Two, we may suspect that a group ideology will be revealed, and we will be forced to conform or leave. Instead the group’s members turn us toward defining our own idea of a Higher Power and we come to believe that such a Power could exist and might help us.

    In beginning to understand Step Two, we learn that we have choices…. If we struggle with the concept of a Higher Power in any way, we can begin by acting “as if”. By reflecting on more serene or peaceful times in our lives, we begin to appreciate today. The slogan “One Day at a Time” takes on a new meaning as we commit ourselves to reading a page each day in our (daily readers).

    … Sanity can be defined in many ways. Many share that they no longer purchase alcohol for the alcoholic. Other speaks of removing themselves from tumultuous situations. Some share of defusing arguments by merely stating, “You might be right.” Taking a bubble bath or going skiing for a day can offer new perspectives on the situation. Gradually and gratefully we develop a faith in a Higher Power. We begin to recognize that the old behavior, if it returns, doesn’t have to return for the same duration.

    ~~ From Paths to Recovery. Al Anon’s Steps, Traditions and Concepts. 1997 pp 18-21.

    =====
    The alcoholic cannot heal our wounds; neither can our will-power, quick wittedness, or perseverance. Turning to these sources again and again is no more useful – or sane – than going to a car lot to buy groceries. Having continually failed to resolve our difficulties ourselves, most of us finally realize we must look for help in a more promising place. What we seek is something greater, beyond our own abilities, a source of help, comfort, guidance, and strength unrestricted by our human limitations. Our need for such assistance has become obvious, but so many of our needs have gone unsatisfied in the past that we hardly dare to hope that we might find the help we need. In the process of taking Step Two, we open our hearts and minds to the possibility that such a power could actually exist in our lives.

    From How Al Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics p 47.

    Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

    What is my concept of a Higher Power at this time?

    What would it take to allow my concept of my Higher Power to change?

    Have past experiences affected my concept of a Higher Power? If so, how?

    What do I hope to gain from accepting the concept of a Power greater than myself?

    Do I sense spiritual guidance in my life? How?

    How do I describe the Higher Power I found in Al-Anon?

    What does “Let Go and Let God” mean to me?

    What does faith mean to me?

    With whom and in what circumstances am I comfortable discussing my spiritual experiences?

    What might I gain from believing I could be supported and loved by a Power greater than myself?

    What does “came to believe” mean to me?

    What does sanity mean to me?

    How has the alcoholic situation affected my sanity? My life?

    Have I allowed the alcoholic situation to become my Higher Power? How?

    How has my thinking become distorted trying to handle the alcoholic behavior?

    How have I turned to a Power greater than myself in times of great need? Did I call another Al-Anon member? My sponsor? Did I read Al Anon Conference Approved Literature (CAL)? Did I go to a meeting? If not, why not?

    In working this Step, can I describe a Step Two experience to my sponsor or my group? In a written sharing?

    When have I done the same things over and over, yet expected different results?



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