Step 2 of AA is the idea of believing in something greater than one’s self. In the mind of an alcoholic, they are the God of their own world. However, in the long run their own God (self-will) is not able to prevent them from eventually drinking again. Step 2 is not insisting that the alcoholic become a religious freak, only that they become open to a spirit/energy that’s bigger than their ego.
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
Official Readings on Step 2
Step 2 Guide
Use this guide to help yourself understand the message of step 2.
Starting Step 2
Step 2 rids the complexity of spirituality. It’s not saying you need to believe in a specific God. You choose the God of your understanding. However, what it’s really asking at first is this: Are you even willing to believe? Here comes that word “willing” that is used so heavily in the Big Book. Once you have become willing and open to the belief in a higher power, your step 2 is complete. At this time, you don’t know who or what this Higher Power is, but you will over time. The idea about believing in something greater than yourself is due to the concept of freeing yourself from your own self-will.
But I Believed in God Before..
Many who approach step 2 have a religious experience from their past, most often from when they were a child, and did not find the experience to be of any benefit. It’s common amongst almost all Alcoholics to have this notion that they do not belong and that includes not belonging in God’s circle. That the God they tried to believe in before was too harsh or difficult. In AA, we try to abandon this old concept of God and accept our new understanding of God which is that He does care and wants us to be happy.
The willingness to believe is solely the foundation, however it’s not enough to sustain joyful sobriety. We must press on to step 3 and to finishing the steps. We should do this with the urgency of a drowning man. To lag without urgency could be a death sentence!
Ok, I am now willing to believe, now what?
Hopefully at this point you have a sponsor. You need a sponsor to help guide you through the 12 steps of aa. It’s possible to complete the first three steps by yourself, but you will need the help of another alcoholic to guide you through the remaining 9 steps. Pick a sponsor who has done the steps themselves and whom seems joyous in their sobriety.
Conclusion of Step 2
Self-centeredness is the core of our problem. When we hand over our self-will to God, whoever that might be, we no longer have to be in the driver’s seat. When we try to be in the drivers seat directing our own self-will, the destination almost always leads back to the bottle. Step 2 does not require the alcoholic to find their higher power immediately, it’s solely asking the alcoholic to begin the process of being open and willing to the idea of a Higher Power. It’s important to remember that coming to believe in a higher power is a process rather than a single event. Get a sponsor and move on to step 3.
Step 2 AA Worksheet & Questions
The Step 2 AA worksheet focuses on the principal of hope and how that is achieved through spirituality. Getting sober does not mean that the alcoholic become religious or believe in a strict God. It simply tries to convey the idea of being open to a God of your own understanding. Using the step two worksheet helps breakdown these concepts in a simple way.