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Post Info TOPIC: Step 2 - ACoA

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Step 2 - ACoA

From "The 12 Steps for Adult Children"

  "We prepare for Step 2 by acknowledging that we don't know everything about our Higher Power. Many of us have a distorted view of God. Although we are not quick to admit it, we may believe that God is like our abusive or absent parents or significant others. We may believe that God doesn't care how we feel, that God is cruel and waiting to judge us. We may have been threatened with God's punishment all our lives...

  "Preparing for Step 2 requires that we set aside our old images and mistaken beliefs about God...

  "For many of us, this step presents major obstacles. Since we find it hard to trust others, the loneliness of our present condition causes us to fall back on our own resources. We may even doubt that a Higher Power can heal us or even be interested in doing so. Unless we let go of our distrust and begin to lean on God, we will continue to operate in an insane manner...

  "Depending on our religious background, some of us may have been taught that God is an authority to be feared. We never saw God as a loving Higher Power... Our fear of displeasing God magnified our growing sense of guilt and shame. As adults, we continue to fear people in authority and are often overcome by guilt and shame for simple misdeeds...

  "We still may be harboring childhood anger because we felt that God disappointed us. Due to the severity of our experiences, some of us rejected God because trusting in God did not relieve our pain...

  "Step 2 is often referred to as "The Hope Step". It gives us new hope as we beging to see that help is available to us. We must simply reach out and accept what our Higher Power has to offer... All we need to do is be willing to believe that a power greater than ourselves is waiting to help us...

  "Before entering a 12 Step program, many of us strongly resisted spiritual concepts and beliefs. We neither understood spirituality, nor felt it had anything to offer us. Our longing for the nurturing and caring parent limited our ability to understand the concept of a trusting and loving Higher Power... 

  "Our traumatic childhood experiences caused us to become defiant, indifferent, resentful, self-deluded, and self-centered. Our adult lives need to be restored to a more balanced state... When we attempt to do it alone, we often deceive ourselves by looking to outside sources for the causes of our problems. With the help of a Higher Power, these deceitful behaviours can be healed from the inside out...

  "Our Higher Power helps us realize that actions destructive to ourselves or to others are not acceptable...

  "When we started this program, we may have been expecting instant results. From our childhood, we remember feeling anger or confusion when things didn't happen 'right now'. In this program, sudden change is the exception, not the rule. It requires patience and perseverance to achieve the peace of mind we seek...

  "During the intial stages of accepting the presence of a Higher Power, it is sometimes helpful to be consciously aware of the special occurances around us. We can view coincidences in our lives as small miracles, gifts or simply interventions of our Higher Power...

  "When we are ready to accept our powerlessness and unmanageability (Step 1), and when we trust our Higher Power to restore us to sanity (Step 2), we will be ready to make a decision to turn our lives over to the care of God (Step 3). There is no need to rush the process... Our success in the program depends upon our relationship with our Higher Power and our belief that this power can help us...

  "Coming to believe in a Higher Power and admitting we behave in a destructive manner require a great deal of humility... As we work toward a more balanced lifestyle, we see the importance of humility in all our affairs. Our growth is considerably enhanced by our willingness to be humble and accept our humanness... "

do your best and God does the rest, a Step at a time


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Posts: 18

I have to confess I haven't had the trouble with this step described in the ACoA book or in other 12 step literature (the Big Book for example). I have believed God was the only one who could answer my questions, to the point that my life's work (as a theologian and pastor) has been studying, researching, writing, and publishing on this issue and addressing it in the classroom -- where is God when we suffer horrible, tragic abuse? But I am learning that I can't take this step for granted. I have to admit that I had to become clinically insane (locked up in a psych hospital) before I truly "got" than none of my own efforts (taking medication; going to therapy, support groups, & church; working programs of spiritual practice or recovery) could restore me to sanity -- I didn't believe I was "that" insane, just troubled.... I was trying to manage my illness and addictions. Now I know that my addiction (love addiction in my case) makes me clinically insane. I can't pussyfoot around it. And I know that doing all the right things, while they are important and can help, is not enough to restore me to sanity. Only God can do that, or in other words, when therapy and meds and the program are all working, that is my Higher Power at work -- not me. And I also get an implication of this step, thanks to sharing here and in meetings and literature -- that when the thing I'm addicted to is my higher power, I become progressively more insane. When God is my higher power, I am progressively restored to sanity. Because I am a theologian and pastor, I tend to assume everything is always A-OK between me and God. But I think this step helps me to realize that if I am becoming progressively more insane (as I have been for years), that should be a red flag to me that something else is my higher power, that it's time to stop taking for granted that I am really relying on God -- I have let my addiction come between us.



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