Post by Susannah on Dec 29, 2019 14:05:30 GMT -8
STEP TWO: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
In Step One we practiced the spiritual principle of honesty, with ourselves and others; beginning the process of identifying and accepting who we are, and what has worked in our lives and what has been destructive to ourselves and others.
We embraced the spiritual principle of humility (we are not perfect, we are not the all-knowing power); our lives had become unmanageable and we accepted powerlessness. We surrendered to accepting that we need help for learning a new way of life in peace and sanity, appreciating ourselves and others.
Acceptance of our powerlessness leads us to Step Two. By this time, we have begun to see the results of our past beliefs. “Came to believe” implies a former non-belief, or living life with other beliefs. The result of this lifestyle is our powerlessness and unmanageability. For some of us, belief in our self-will was all we had. Until we took Step One and admitted our powerlessness and unmanageability, we were operating on self-will alone. We simply did not entertain the idea of a Higher Power. As we begin to accept the notion of a Power greater than ourselves, we start to function in a healthier way. We begin to feel a sense of peace and serenity that we never felt before. We recognize that we are human beings who are struggling to survive with certain limitations.
The Spiritual Principle - HOPE
Step Two is referred to as the Hope Step. It is the springboard from which we begin the journey towards spiritual awakening. Step Two gives us new hope as we begin to see that there is help available if we simply come to believe in a caring Power greater than ourselves. We no longer need to struggle alone. It is our choice to end our old patterns of behavior and emerge into a new lifestyle. Our deep desire is to become the person we were meant to be, precious and free. Step Two provides us with the foundation for the spiritual growth we seek in order to achieve our fulfilment.
Q. What do you have hope about today?
Q. What are some of your fears that block your acceptance of a Higher Power?
Q. What is your past experience with spirituality, religion, believing in a Power greater
Newcomers often find two major problems with this Step. The first is a belief in a Power
greater than ourselves. If doubt persists, we may be denying the idea of a Higher Power’s
healing presence. We might find it impossible to imagine that even a Higher Power could
heal our obsessions and compulsions.
Q. What is your interpretation of a Higher Power at this point? Describe the qualities of that Power which you wish to have working in your life?
Q. How and where do you believe that you can connect to a Higher Power?
The Spiritual Principle - WILLINGNESS
Our willingness to believe and to ask to have our faith strengthened marks the beginning of our spiritual development. This is the foundation of the Love Addiction Twelve Step Program.
We get prepared to surrender and have faith that a caring Power greater than ourselves will restore us to a sane (peaceful, respectful, shared and self-respecting) way of life. We become open to learning and practicing a new way of being present in the world, in relationships, alone with ourselves, and in our acceptance of who we are and of the freedom from love addiction we seek.
Q. What do you hope to gain from accepting the concept of a Power greater than yourself?
Step Two does not mean that we must immediately come to believe in a Higher Power. In fact, our belief in a Higher Power may come only as a result of seeing this Power at work in our lives; all that is required is a willingness to believe there is a Power greater than ourselves. This Power can be whatever we choose it to be.
Practicing the principle of willingness, may begin simply. At first we go to meetings and listen to other recovering love addicts share about their experience with this step.
Q. Describe your willingness to believe in a Higher Power
Q. List blockage you experience that keeps you from believing
Q. Explain the God of your choice. How do you interact with this God?
Q. What does ‘came to believe’ mean to me?
The Spiritual Principle - OPEN MINDEDNESS
Another challenge presented to us in Step Two is the implication of insanity. Having recognized that our lives are unmanageable, we must come to terms with the fact that we need a new direction. These are powerful issues and, at first, can be frightening. For many of us, they are definite contradictions of our old beliefs and lifestyle.
The dictionary defines insanity as an “inability to manage one’s own affairs and perform one’s social duties” and “without recognition of one’s own illness”. If this is our first exposure to the 12 Steps, we may not be totally aware of the extent of our illness. We may still be blaming outside circumstances for our condition rather than admitting responsibility for our own behavior.
Q. What behaviors did I practice that could be called insane?
We endured the early phases of withdrawal, sometimes achingly putting one twenty-four hour stretch together after another. As this continued, we faced a real dilemma concerning our personal identity. While actively involved in love, romance, relationship and fantasy addiction, we had found it impossible to assess just how great an investment we had been making in our addiction throughout the course of it. We began to recognize that our disease had molded our personalities in ways that would maximize our ability to get the addictive returns.
Initially, the way we went about our careers or other activities, many of the traits we thought of as our identifying trademarks, as who we were, had been designed to serve our love addiction. Even if we seemed to possess some positive traits, such as authentic concern for others, we could see that these had been perverted by our addiction, leaving us full of conflict and working at cross-purposes. The line between compassion and passion had never been clear to us. Indeed, our love addiction, dictating who and what we had striven to be in the world, had supplied our principal source of identity, our entire self-concept.
Q. Describe the fears in your life today (e.g. emotional and financial security, relationships, authority figures, rejection, abandonment, sex, or death)
Q. How do you see yourself as unable to manage your own affairs?
Q. What do you believe are the underlying issues that caused you to repeat insane (compulsive and obsessive) thoughts and behaviors over and over again?
Q. How are you demonstrating open mindedness in your life today?
The Spiritual Principle - HUMILITY
Coming to believe in a Higher Power and admitting our insanity require a great deal of humility. Lack of humility is what got us to the position we are in today. It is important to practice humility in all our affairs. Humility is a recurrent theme of the 12 Step Program, and our growth is enhanced by our willingness to be humble. As we attend meetings and work the steps, we discover a peace and serenity that is possible only through our surrender and the desire to improve the quality of our lives.
Q. What are some thoughts and behaviors you consider examples of sanity?
Q. What does practicing the spiritual principle of humility mean to me?
Q. What are specific examples and situations that show you are humble?
Whether we were aware of it or not, our entire being had been molded by our failure, or refusal, to solve from within the problems of our real lives: insecurity, loneliness, and lack of any abiding sense of personal worth and dignity. Through charm, rescuing, people pleasing, controlling or persuasive intellect or through avoiding any type of emotional closeness we had used other people as "drugs," to avoid facing our own personal inadequacy. Once we saw this, we realized that in surrendering our addictive behavior we would inevitably have to question the whole foundation of our self-image, our personal identity. This task was staggering, implying as it did that our former selves would have to die, or at least risk dying, so that a new self, free of the addiction, could live. We came to realize that this disease of love addiction so subtly and thoroughly permeated our best intentioned and most fervid plans to reform ourselves, that even our ability to think clearly was undermined. There could be no such thing as a self-powered cure. Too many of us had tried this and had failed repeatedly. It was not that our logic, motives or intents were wrong. Rather, our very ability to see the problem clearly, and our wishes to change ourselves, were themselves systematically distorted by the addiction.
Q. What does ‘restore us to sanity’ mean to me?
Q. In what areas of your life do you need to practice sanity most today?
Q. How do you see restoration to sanity being a life-long process of recovery work?
In the Second Step we focus on open-mindedness, willingness, faith, trust and humility. The spiritual principle of open-mindedness that we find in the Second Step arises from the understanding that we cannot recover alone, that we need some kind of help. It continues with opening our minds to believing that help is possible for us. It doesn’t matter whether we have any idea of how the Power greater than ourselves is going to help, just that we believe it is possible.
When we become ready to accept fully our powerlessness and unmanageability (Step One) when we accept a Higher Power and our insanity (Step Two), we will be ready to take action and turn our lives over to the care of God as we understand God (Step Three). There is no need to hurry. The important thing is that we are ready and that we have the faith necessary to proceed with the remaining steps.