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- January 10, 2016 at 8:10 pm #4593818
It seems to me from reading your post, that it is not Step 2 with which you have issues — it is organized religion.
The 12 Steps are about having a Spiritual experience, not a religious one. (Now, clearly some people do find religion to be conducive to their spirituality, but it appears that you are not going to be one of them — at least not at this time in your life.) From what you’ve written, it feels to me like you pretty much understand, intellectually, that there is a difference between the 2, but that in your heart and soul, because of your early negative experiences with organized religion, you are still equating the 2 and finding yourself with some resistance to and confusion about spirituality because of that.
I guess, how I see it is that religion is pretty much a group thing and spirituality is very, very much an individual thing. And there are clearly pros and cons with both. I mean, if a certain religious dogma and practice works for you, then that’s great because you pretty much have a ready-made way to fulfill at least some of your spiritual needs. But that same “ready made way” can also become a crutch and/or an excuse not to stay present and current and vital in your relationship with HP — because, as long as you follow the rules of whatever religion it is you are “practicing,” you can look just fine spiritually to others and even to yourself if that kind of denial is what you want to do.
On the other hand, if you decide to “go it alone” (Well, not totally alone, because you will find plenty of support for this in the rooms, but what you won’t find is anyone to tell you exactly and specifically what to do.) and put together a spiritual practice that works for you, then that is clearly going to be, upfront, a lot more work….but it is also going to be something that you know is right for you and that you are totally free to modify so that it grows and changes and develops as you do.
I myself have been one of the go-it-aloners in this regard, and it took me awhile to put together a spiritual practice that works for me. And, of course, that work is on-going because my relationship with HP is on-going. But it has been very much worth the work, because it is definitely the foundation of my recovery.
Anyway, before this becomes a book, here are a couple of links that might be helpful. The first one is my Step 2 story and the second is to a really good thread from last year that discussed HP and spirituality in general:
Good luck with this — It really is worth the work!
freyaJanuary 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm #4593821
First and foremost, RomeosMama…, welcome to 12 Step National Meetings! :ghug3
As for the 2nd step it was difficult for me to swallow too because of the religious influences from my childhood: my mother was raised baptist but switched to catholicism and then to methodist after she married my father; my [maternal] grandmother was baptist. Needless to say there was a lot of “you’re going to be punished” for being bad, etc. as a result. Also I was religiously “confused”… I was baptised catholic & confirmed methodist. I now know that that confusion was pure spiritual bankruptcy!
There were two things that helped me move beyond that God of my childhood… (1) “a power greater than myself” and (2) my home group. My home group which was actually members from all the other meetings I attended because there was one meeting nightly in the towns surrounding where I lived — that was it! So we all basically travelled around to get our daily “medicine” or meeting in and as a result it wasn’t uncommon for the oldtimers to know where newcomers were at in their recovery. They often told us newcomers that that power greater than ourselves could be the group for the time being while they would point us to the chapter, “We Agnostics,” and for this hopeless alcoholic that worked!
Over time that “power greater than myself” has evolved and appears to do so continuously. My understanding of that Power is far more than my home group. Although that Power does speak to me through my home group along with other people in and out of the program. Its a Power that, yes, I chose to call God along with HP and Spirit but it is not the God of my childhood. Its a God founded in spirituality, not religion, for they are two completely different things.
As a matter of fact, around here for those that struggle with a Power founded in religion versus one founded in spirituality, we say: religion is for those who think they know hell, spirituality is for those who have been to hell and back!
**Quotes & paraphrases from Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st Edition.January 11, 2016 at 9:31 pm #4593819
@RomeosMama 2482343 wrote:
I am beginning to believe there has to be some sort of higher power somewhere.
There is step 2, from your own words…Step 2 doesn’t ask anyone to believe anything specific. It also asks that you don’t be deterred by spiritual terms and be honest in what they mean to you (not to your parents or a church).
Lastly, it states that this power can only be found in one place…which I found to be true as well.
Step 2 is not “We believe” it’s “Came to believe”…
If you are beginning to think there might be something powerful enough to overcome your alcoholism (which at Step 1 you admitted could not be overcome)…then you have a foundation and meet the requirment for step 2.
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