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- April 19, 2016 at 5:46 am #3730464
I just started working the steps with a sponsee and am wondering how to approach Step 2.
He was raised Catholic, in the church and in Catholic schools, his mom is very active in the Church and is one of these women who would take in a homeless person if they knocked on the door but is very critical of her own son. Lots of God-talk but not much God-walk in her own life, IMO. (But what do I know? LOL).
He believes in God, I know he does, that’s not the issue as it is with a lot of people who approach this step. But he has a ton of wreckage from his relapse (legal, financial, relationship, kids) and seems to believe that God has forsaken him in some way.
I suggest prayer to him often, but I’m not sure he’s feeling the conscious contact — having a hard time setting aside self-pity, I think.
I know some people work 1-2-3 quickly (I did) and get on to Step 4, but in his case I am trying to make sure the foundation is well set. I am suggesting some discussion and writing for Step 1 about powerlessness, and am looking for similar advice about Step 2. I am having trouble with someone who believes in God but that God might not love him back.
Thanks in advance, love this Forum.April 19, 2016 at 1:12 pm #4656020
Sounds like me, and like the 12×12 says about this fellow full of faith and alcohol, problem was in the quality of faith not the quantity.
Childish, co-dependent attitude towards God who is just supposed to solve all his problems and let him coast through life on his own terms. Never grew up, Spirituality like a kid who thinks life is like permanent summer vacation with a big Parent in the sky to handle all the real responsibility and bandage things up when he comes home with scraped knees.
The world doesn’t work like that, people don’t work like that, and God doesn’t work like that. And until he rightly relates himself to God he will find it impossible to rightly relate himself to people and the world around him, will continue to get hurt, and will continue to wallow in self pity and despair. A fellow like this will continue to get drunk like a kid throws a temper tantrum when life doesn’t treat him ‘fair’.
Might be a serious mature fellow on the outside who would be offended at what I described, but deep inside, that’s a rough description of the drunken faithful.April 19, 2016 at 2:15 pm #4656016
I’ve worked with quite a few guys in that boat. A superficial ‘belief’, but zero connection and faith. It can be difficult for someone to make that transition.
I try to go with a real simple approach. Set Aside Prayer for everything they think they know about the Steps and about god so that they can have a new experience with that power. That seems vital in my experience. Then we look at the formal directions for Step 2. Do you know believe that there exists a power greater than yourself, and go no further with their conception of God. Just stop right there with belief in something and be open to the experience.
They have to be sincere about the requirement to lay aside prejudice. From what I’ve seen, it helps to give up any pre-existing notions of what God is or how that power works, and start fresh with the bare minimum requirements.
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