Leader's Share and Step Questions
My name is Shlomo and I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this
Before we delve into step two let me let me go over my understanding
of some of the preparatory assignments I gave you for this step.
I read somewhere that five courts in the USA concluded that the steps are
religious and the traditions are not.
The decisions were based on the fact that the steps have prayers to God in
them, and say that God is the Power that makes us recover.
I disagree with their conclusion.
Religion dictates to its followers which concept of God they have to follow
and believe in.
The 12 step program definitely does not.
The Big Book says that our program is spiritual and any concept I have of
the Power that makes me recover
will work for me as long as it is not another person. Therefore it is all
The Book also tells me that the connection to the source of a Power greater
than myself can be found
Deep down within myself.
Therefore there is no need for go between's or religious institutions as
there are in religions.
Religious persons of any religion can choose the Power greater than
Themselves as the God of their religion, if this is what works for them.
Non religious and religious persons too can choose any concept of a Power
Greater than themselves that is suitable for them
Atheists who don't believe in the existence of a God can also choose any
Power greater than themselves that suits them.
One may even choose the group who meets for the purpose of recovery by
Working the 12 steps and 12 traditions as a Power greater than himself.
Since the 12 step program includes prayers as an integral part of the
Spiritual plan of action, the question may arise who do we pray to?
This question is usually asked by nonreligious people and by atheists
There are many different answers to this question.
Prayer may be a ritualistic way of expressing a wish to open myself up to
It may be a way to communicate with my innermost self , or my subconscious
It may be a way to turn to the sane and better part of myself, the universe
My soul, a universal source of energy or life, etc...
Whatever concept you feel comfortable with , is sufficient to work the 12
Step program and reach recovery.
So a prayer doesn't necessarily have to be a religious act.
The word God in the Big Book can be considered as a generic convenient term.
It can have any interpretation we want that represents to us
a source of Power by which we can live as recovered persons
Personally I came to the conclusion that the only thing I have to be willing
to believe in this program is that recovery by the 12 steps is possible.
The reason I believe that recovery is possible is the living example of
people I meet in meetings who recover by the 12 step program.
And this is enough to begin the journey to recovery.
Now let us delve into step two
STEP TWO "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore
us to sanity"
If we have to be restored to sanity it means that we were sane once, but at
present we are insane.
I dealt a bit with the insanity as it expressed itself in our obsession of
The mind which returns us to compulsive eating again and again after periods
Of not eating compulsively.
One form of insanity that we suffer from is repeating the same action,
Compulsive eating, and expecting different results, that now it will be ok,
And we will not overeat and binge.
The same insanity can also manifest in planning a binge, eating compulsively
And not caring about the results.
So our obsession is a form of insanity which leads us to insane actions.
But this is not the whole picture of our insanity.
Let me quote a few sentences from the Big Book.
Bill W., in BILL'S STORY page 13 says" I had to test my thinking by the God
Consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense."
Here Bill is recovered and still he cannot trust his perception of his
But because he is recovered he is aware that his disease distorts his
Of reality and makes him live in delusion.
But his recovery doesn't straighten out this distortion.
He cannot see the truth about himself and his reality, and needs to turn to
A Power greater than himself for help.
It is said that this Power may also give us guidance through the words of
This can be explained as follows.
It turns out that the disease changes and distorts my perception of my
Reality but it does not affect my perception of other peoples reality.
Therefore if others ask me I can give them good advice about themselves
And they can do the same to me.
This distortion of my reality without distorting my perception of the
Reality of others can be very confusing to me.
I am led to think that if I can see clearly what is happening to
Others I can also see clearly what is happening to me,
And this is part of my delusion that makes me believe a lie and not the
The confusion and havoc it causes is at the root of my spiritual malady
This reminds me of a movie about a genius in economy who suffered from
Schizophrenia and saw people and conspiracies that were only in his mind and
Not in his reality.
When he became aware of it he began to ask others if they also saw the
Person that appeared before him.
He couldn't trust his mind not to play tricks on him and this was his way of
Dealing with it.
I don't see people who aren't there but I mistakenly think that my delusion
For example: I stood with a friend in the library at my working place.
An acquaintance passed by us and completely ignored us.
My first thought was that he was a jerk,
But then I turned to my friend and asked him why that person ignored us.
My friend answered that he was probably deep in thoughts about his project
and didn't notice us.
Such a thought never even crossed my mind.
In the chapter THE DOCTORS OPINION he describes this kind of insanity too:
"they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false.
To them their alcoholic life seems the only normal one"
This kind of insanity that is expressed as delusion and distortion of my
Reality is at the root of my unmanageable life and my spiritual malady.
It is especially confusing and gives rise to negative feelings and attitudes
Since I can see other persons reality quite clearly and I think that I see
Mine clearly too where mine is delusional.
So after explaining and enlarging the scope of the inanity mentioned in step
let me have a look at the word "could."
It does not say "would or will" it says "could".
The reason is simple.
We do our part by removing the things that block us from our H. P.,so that
Develop conscious contact with It.
Only when we do this work by doing all the twelve steps will we be able to
Benefit from the energy given fourth by this Power.
Only then does the Big Book promise that our obsession about food will be
Our distorted delusion of our reality will always remain with us, but now in
Recovery we are aware of it,
And have tools to deal with it by turning to a Power greater than ourselves
And sharing with others, and listening to them.
We also have to understand that in recovery we are not rid of most of our
But we are aware of them and deal with them on a daily basis by doing steps
Therefore when the defects arise we can handle them.
We are not overwhelmed by them and are not driven to eat compulsively.
Our physical abnormal reaction to certain foods that causes cravings for
more, will remain with us all our life.
But it will not be active since our obsessi will be removed and without
the obsession we will be able to stay out of the food without fighting
Since we will not feel or want to eat foods that cause us to eat
Now let me talk again about reaching bottom.
Reaching bottom is the process that drives me accept a Power greater than
myself as the solution to my food compulsion.
In the chapter BILL'S STORY page 8, Bill describes his bottom as a feeling
of complete defeat and utter hopelessness, helplessness, loneliness, despair
and a realization that his addiction was his master, which means that it had
complete power over him.
In the AA 12&12 In the chapter on step one, Bill writes that every alcoholic
(compulsive eater) must hit bottom first, since few people will sincerely
try to practice the 12 steps unless they have hit bottom.
The 12 steps are a program of change and our natural tendency is to resist
change since it means leaving our comfort zone even if we suffer in it.
Most of us prefer relief and we do the recovery program only when the inner
pain is so great that we feel there is no other way out.
Bottom is an internal feeling and has to do only with our internal world.
Our troubles in our outside world may drive us to reach bottom but they are
not the bottom.
The feeling of reaching bottom is the same in everyone who has reached
Now let me say a few words about coming to believe.
The Big Book tells us in the chapter WE AGNOSTICS that willingness to
believe is enough to begin my journey to recovery.
There is a big difference between belief and faith.
I will give a simple example.
Suppose there is something wrong with the plumbing in my apartment and I don't
know how to fix it.
So I look in the yellow pages, find a plumber, and ask him to come and fix
I don't know the plumber personally and I cannot be sure that he will do the
job to my satisfaction.
But I believe that he will do it. Otherwise I wouldn't have called him.
Am I certain of him? No!. but I am willing to try since I cannot do it
myself and I don't know any other plumber personally.
The plumber comes and does the work to my complete satisfaction and for a
Now I know that this plumber is worth working with and the next time I have
a problem I will be sure to call him.
Now I have faith in him and the work he does and am certain that it will be
done to my satisfaction.
This is the situation with a Power greater than myself.
In step two I come to believe that this Power can restore me to sanity.
I do my part of working the steps and when I reach recovery I am certain
that this Power restored me to sanity and I have faith in this Power.
I think it is time for the assignments
1. Describe your concept of your H.P.and your relationship with it, or as
you want it to be.
2. Read steps 1, 2,3 in the A.A., 12&12
3.. Are you convinced of the following 3 pertinent ideas?(Big Book page 60)
(a) That you are a compulsive eater and cannot manage your own life.
(b) That probably no human power can relieve your food compulsion.
(c) That a Power greater than yourself can and will if It is sought.
4. Read pages 60-64 in the Big Book
What are the two requirements we have to fulfill in order to do step three?
What is the meaning of the words "will and life" in this step?
Can we turn our will and life over in step three? explain.
4. Write the step three prayer (page 63) in your own words. And explain its
meaning to you.
That is all for now folks
Have a nice and fruitful day
Questions and comments are most welcome.
Send them to: email@example.com
Replies to the assignments are to be sent to
The Twelve Steps
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