Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
The principle behind this Step is: HOPE
LEADER'S SHARE AND STEP QUESTIONS
I'm still Sharon and I am most definitely still a compulsive overeater and it's so great to be on this recovery journey with you all. Step two for me was a really hard one for me at first, and as I've mentioned before I left briefly on step two when I heard mention of God, because at that point in my life I was most definitely angry at God. I mean where was He when all these terrible things had happened to me and where people I loved had died and so it went on. So there was no way on earth that those crazy people could convince me that God could help me with something as trivial as food if He'd allowed all those terrible things to happen to me and to those I loved. I didn't believe that God had been there for me back then, so there was no way I would believe in a Higher Power who would help me with my food. Needless to say I couldn't keep abstinent for longer than a day or two in the beginning and as a result so I convinced myself this program didn't work and I left.
Thankfully I got desperate enough to come back and this time I was prepared to do whatever those crazy people were doing, because I saw something in their faces which I now realise was hope, which of course is the principle behind this step. Up to that point I had been sceptical and had made comments like the fact that God wasn't going to zap the food off my plate. But when I came back, I became a lot more willing to do what I needed to do for my recovery. I realised that I actually needed to first do the footwork, like putting the food down and asking for help. That mean of course that I had to use the tools and steps of the program and then leave the outcome to my Higher Power.
For the first few months I "acted as if" I believed and did the footwork and slowly the miracles began to occur. I had expected a burning bush, but it was far more subtle and I only realised 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. I've heard it said that at meetings I hear God with skin on and I certainly heard lots of things that almost seemed to have been inspired by God at meetings. Over time, my faith developed.
Because I had previously been the queen of quick fix, I had not realised that faith is a process, as is the OA program in general. Step Two says we came to believe; it doesn't say we have to believe straight away. At first we came (to the meetings), then we came to (we woke up from the denial we'd been in for so long), and finally we came to believe (in a Higher Power who could 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 to be a punishing God. So I needed a Higher Power very different to from my childhood God who would be 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 that has also helped me to find the God of my understanding was that God is not an outward possibility but an inward reality. It is comforting to know God is always with me, and that all I need to do when I struggle is to ask for help. I have a huge hole in my soul that 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 for me 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
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 to get and stay abstinent?
2. Write a description of what you would like your Higher Power to be and to offer you?
3. What needs to happen for you to be willing to rely on a power greater than yourself in order to change?
4. Why do you think that willingness is the way to a faith that works?
5. What actions are you willing to take that might increase your faith in a power greater than yourself?
6. Are you willing to "act as if" in order for you to come to believe?
7. What can your Higher Power do for you and what can your Higher Power not do for you?
8. Why must you fully complete step two in your heart before moving on to 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.
The Twelve Steps