The principle behind this Step is: HOPE
Still Sharon and most definitely a compulsive overeater and I was just thinking about my experience of step two. In fact I left briefly on step two when I heard mention of God because at that point I was most definitely angry at God. I mean where was He when all these terrible things happened to me and where people I loved had died and so it went on. And there was no way that those crazy people could convince me that if God hadn’t been there when all that was happening to me, how on earth could I expect Him to be there for me and help me with something as trivial as food? I couldn’t keep abstinent and convinced myself this program didn’t work and so I left.
Thankfully I got desperate enough to come back and was prepared to do what those crazy people were doing because in their faces I saw the hope, which of course is the principle behind this step. Before, I had made comments like the fact that God wasn’t going to zap the food off my plate. When I came back, I became a lot more willing to do what I needed to do for my recovery and I realised that actually I needed to do the footwork, like first putting the food down and asking for help and using the tools and steps of the program.
For the first few months I acted as if I believed, did the footwork and slowly miracles began to occur. I had expected a burning bush, but it was more subtle. I only realized they were miracles when I became open to them. A miracle was as simple as something I heard in a meeting or a fellow OA member phoning me when I needed a call. Over time, my faith developed.
I had not realized that faith is a process, as is the OA program. Step Two says we come to believe, but it doesn't have to be straight away. At first we come (to the meetings), then we come to (wake from the denial we've been in for so long), and finally we come to believe (in a Higher Power who can relieve us of our compulsion).
I know that in order to work this step I had to find a faith that worked and I have certainly changed my ideas of God from the one of my religious childhood whom I always perceived as a punishing God. The Higher Power whom I now have is very different from my childhood God, The God I believe in now is gentle and loves me unconditionally, even when I screw up which is often.
Something I once heard in a meeting has also helped me find the God of my understanding, and that is that God is not an outward possibility but an inward reality. It is comforting to know God is always with me, and all I need to do when I struggle is to ask for help. I have a huge hole in my soul I used to try to fill with food, but no amount of food would ever fill me. Only God can do that. Although I had always thought God had forsaken me during those dark days before program, I know now He was there all the time, carrying me. In fact there’s that wonderful poem called “Footprints” which describes it all for me. Here it is for those who don’t know it.
FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints, the one belonging to him, the other to the Lord. When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there were only one set of footprints. He also noticed that this happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life. This really bothered him, and he questioned the Lord about it. “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me. “The Lord replied, “My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints in the sand, it was then that I carried you.”
Today, I am grateful to be a compulsive overeater and to realise I had to find the God of my understanding to recover, a God who fills me like no food could.
ASSIGNMENT AND QUESTIONS ON STEP TWO
Again read step two in the OA 12 & 12 or read AABB Chapter 2 "There Is a solution” and "More about alcoholism" and answer the following questions.
1. Are you open to the possibility that your Higher Power can help you get and stay abstinent?
2. Is something holding you back from believing you can be restored to sanity?
3. Write a description of what you would like your Higher Power to be and to offer you?
4. What actions are you willing to take that might increase your faith in a power greater than yourself?
5. What can your Higher Power do for you and what can your Higher Power not do for you?
6. Why do you think willingness is the way to a faith that works?
7. What needs to happen for you to be willing to rely on a power greater than yourself in order to change?
8. Are you willing to “act as if” in order for you to come to believe?
9. Why must you fully complete step two in your heart before beginning step three?
SECOND STEP PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I know in my heart that only You can restore me to sanity. I humbly ask that You remove all twisted thought and addictive behaviour from me this day. Heal my spirit and restore in me a clear mind.
Love in recovery,
The Twelve Steps