But before we can feel the hope, we need to embrace the concept that unseen powers can help us. The idea that a power outside of ourselves can restore us to sanity becomes the idea that encourages us to consider staying abstinent and rejoicing in the distinct possibility of a better life to come. I remember when I first came into the rooms of AA and saw the word God. A feeling of tremendous relief came over me. I hadn’t ever contemplated God with regard to getting help with my day to day life, but I sure did recall the feeling that something was terribly wrong and I had run out of ideas on how to fix it myself. The idea of a God of some sort was something I wanted to hang on to, it gave me hope.
I have heard it said that when we come into program for recovery, and relief from the awful compulsive to hurt ourselves with food, we have two choices, to go on living the way we’ve been living, or to live life on a completely spiritual basis. This program is experiential, not theoretical, or intellectual. You’ve heard the expression “walk the walk” and “talk the talk”. Walking the walk in the case of taking the second step means looking to a higher power for help in all our affairs, not just our relationship with food. What we’ve been doing to our bodies is insane, but how our lives have been lived is also not sound. Isolating from life with the loud noise of food thoughts running through our head 24/7, and thoughts of resenting the world around us without a clue as to how to turn it all around is not soundness of mind.
So step two is the beginning of our desire to start living a more successful life, a life lived on a spiritual basis. Quite simply, the spiritual laws of purity, honesty, unselfishness, and love are the guiding principles we strive to live by. I say strive because as the Big Book says, we are not saints, but try, one day at a time, to live these principles the best we can. Striving to live the spiritual life ensures that compulsive eating can be lifted from us, that our relationships can improve, that we can intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us. Step two is where hope of living life differently begins: restoration to sanity from the disease of compulsive eating, and all the related pain that goes with it.
Questions for reflection:
OA is a spiritual, not a religious program. Thinking about your previous understanding of God, if any, what difference is there in how step two describes the role of a higher power in your life?
What does step two ask you to do differently than before you came to program?
How would the practice of step two help you stay abstinent from compulsive eating?
In loving service,
The Twelve Steps