Step Two

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.



STEP TWO



STEP TWO

Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Who or what is at the center of your universe? The center is either yourself, or something, someone else. If you are the center of the universe, in you own thinking, then you are insane (everyone knows I am ;-) ) just joking. Believe me when I say that I had tried almost everything to manage my weight, and everything I tried had failed. After a while, I concluded that there was nothing that I could do about my weight and eating, so I quit trying. I knew that what was happening would kill me long before my time, but as I lacked the power to do anything about it, there was nothing to be done.

Spiritually, I had developed defenses which caused me to grow less and less spiritual. After all, who needs a God who is impotent when desperately needed. Why bother? Belief diminished, and as it did so, I became more and more cynical, and ignored both emotions and intuitions.

The emotions had always been a part of the problem. To admit feelings to consciousness was to feel the pain of the unfortunate things that had happened to me in my childhood, and subsequently as the discrimination against obese people also began to hurt. To admit feelings to consciousness, I fear, would cause me to be so overwhelmed with the pain that I would not be able to survive. This mixture, as many of you will recognize, is a great setup for certain mental illnesses, most often depression, but also several others. This called for even more eating. The feelings were unbearable, and then, because so much energy ( including the chemicals that operate our brains and bodies ) another feeling, a condition. The situation was so hopeless that constant anesthesia was called for. And so began a vicious cycle. More and more energy spend hold down feelings; the more energy spent, the less there was for sanity, since I had no connection to any source of energy beyond myself. So the more anesthesia I needed. With the food came the obliviousness of mind, and a slow history of disconnecting from everyone and everything that might have been of any help to me. This, I found, is called hopelessness, spiritual deadness, and depression. It is at the root of addiction. All addiction, by the way. I had come to put my faith in a substance, food in my case, and in nothing else. Metaphorically, I had built an altar to my god, and rested it on my stomach, which was certainly roomy enough to hold it.

The day I came to OA I found that there was another way. I was willing to try it. The only thing I can say is that I was in a room full of people, some with long term abstinence, some with none, and all in between, who shared on thing in common: They had hope. I had lost all of mine. But surrounded with such a cloud of witnesses, I felt the return of hope, a brave little banner waving, and felt I had perhaps indeed come home. The spiritual part did seem a bit hokey to me, but what the heck, I would try that, too. If that worked, maybe I had missed something, as the people in that room seemed to have some kind of spiritual understanding. It also seemed to me that the more abstinent they were, the more spiritually enriched they seemed to be.

But the spiritual was not something that I understood immediately. My first sponsor was a very spiritual man, and he led a For Today meeting, which I attended, perhaps as much because of him as anything. I liked him a lot, I wanted what he had, which was years of abstinence and a great weight loss. He suggested to me gently that he had found that the spiritual route was the only way he could make it. I began to reconnect to my own intuition, for that is where the spiritual connection lies.

Then one day, about two months into program, I was confronted with a situation. I had to pass through a food court at mealtime, and the court was a compulsive eaters' paradise (or perhaps hell, in reality). I felt the power of my compulsion overtake me. I was at the point of giving in, when I remembered a little of the lessons I had learned. I said a prayer, which went something like this: " O God, if you're really there, I need to get through this court and back out again without eating. If there is anything you can do to help me, I sure would appreciate it." What surprised me was that immediately the pangs of compulsive hunger left me, and I serenely walk on, turning neither to the left of to the right. And there were about a half a dozen stands on either side.

I had witnessed consciously my first miracle. I will add that since then, I have seen so many that I now know that miracle is actually the normal course of life. Subsequent events of ever increasing power convinced me of that. There was a Power greater than myself, and he/she/it could and would restore me to sanity one day at a time for as long as I lived, if only I sought such help.

Who are what is this Power? In the first place, it is not really possible for me to engird the meaning or description of that which is so much greater than I. I have to confess that to this day, I remain a little suspicious of anyone who knows all about God, god, goddess, or whatever. For me, this has been an inward journey, and in taking that journey I found not only the God of my understanding, but also my own self. This Power was not me, but I was fully connected to him, her, it. I had always been that way, but I had not seen it, did not know it. The long journey home was simply the journey I had taken to get home. What was all important was that I had come home. And that this was the way home was perfectly all right with me.

Now, I certainly can neither foresee nor foretell what your journey may be, but I think that perhaps some of my questions may help you to find your way. I certainly hope so. You know that the only story I can tell is mine. But in a certain sense, the steps are really the story of all of us.

My disease is only a bite away; but between me and that bite stands something that is more powerful than either of us. The food is really powerless, but I could do an end run around the wall of strength, if I chose. For today, I choose otherwise. I hope you will also.

Love,
John

I pray for an open mind so I may come to believe in a Power greater than myself.

I pray for humility and the continued opportunity to increase my faith

Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Questions.

1. Even if you have a great faith in your deity, and call your deity by name, do you really think your HP can do anything about your compulsive eating? If you do, explain how this has come about for you. Or have you given up hope altogether?

2. What do you do to nurture your connection with the Higher Power? Are you willing to meditate daily? Are you reading literature about the steps and about understandings of Higher Power? What do you find in these materials? If you do not read them regularly, or at all, is there a reason for this?

3. Share a little of your journey. If you are abstinent, what part has spirituality played in your recovery? If you are not abstinent, share your journey to date.

4. Many people have a great deal of difficulty with any belief in a Higher Power, a Power greater than ourselves, or a GOMU (Go of my understanding.) The spiritual side of our nature may seem like an alien place. Share where you are in this understanding. Do not be afraid to take on whatever gods or idols there may be. Tell it your way.

5. It has been said that religion is for people who want to avoid Hell; spirituality is for those who have already been there. What does this mean to you? Even if you practice a religion and believe in it fervently, what spirituality within the teaching of your religion can you see?

6. Some have said that spirituality is the human side of the connection to the Higher Power. Spirituality is something we may find within ourselves. How do you react to this statement, realizing that this is not to denigrate any theology?

7. Are you willing to try it, if only because it seems to work fro so many? What would it take to get you into this frame of mind – if you're not there. And if you are, can you share a little of the journey you took to get there?

You will note that I am calling for all of us to do a little sharing here. The more we can share on this topic in our lives, the more we find strength and hope with each other. Give it your best try. All you have to lose is an addiction!

Love,
John



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