Greetings in recovery to each person walking these steps with me! Thank you again for allowing me to serve in the capacity of your leader for this quarter. Again my plan is to share my experience with the step, share highlights from my personal weekly readings, and encourage you all to read, write and share. As I focus on the principles behind each step, this week we are on Step 2, and the principal is Hope. I find that interesting, because nowhere in my reading of Step 2 in the OA 12 and 12 did I find the word "hope."
Let's look at step 2. "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." Page 47 in the AA Big Book is the action page that goes with this Step. The thing that I noticed on that page, was that it says that we came to believe THAT a Power ..., not that we came to believe IN a Power... So I think that the authors of this book were saying that we come to a place where we believe that something greater than us does exist, and that it wants to and can help us. It does not say that we have to come to believe in any particular power. Some people believe in the God of their childhood. Some of us are Christian and believe in Jesus Christ as our higher power. There are people of other religions that have other gods. And there are those people who are in recovery whose higher power is something other than your typical or religious God, but rather a spirit of the universe or even the group itself. The Fellowship of OA can be seen as a Power greater than ourselves, and it is often a good place to start when one has no prior concept of a personal higher power. I like the idea of having the hope of recovery without swallowing someone else's idea of a higher power.
I looked up the word "hope," to see what we're dealing with, and I sound one definition that said "a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen." I did not like that particular definition, because of the word "expectation," so I kept looking for another definition and I found one that I liked. It said "grounds for believing that something good may happen. I was thinking about that. What does it mean to have grounds to believe in something good? I also thought about things that I have put my hope ,in the past, with regard to weight loss and compulsive overeating.
Step 2 in the OA 12 and 12 talks about the binge/diet cycle, and that was definitely case the case in my life. I was either eating deverything I wanted, or restricting on some diet plan. I put my hope in diets, and I put my hope in the perfect weight. I thought if I follow this diet, then I will weight this perfect weight. If I weigh this perfect weight, then I will have a good relationship. I will fall in love. I will get married. I will live happily ever after. That's what I really believed in, and put my hope in. When I was thinking about that I could think of names of many diets that I tried, including Weight Watchers, Lean Line, Jenny Craig and Nutri-System, or following the program of the Atkins diet, or South Beach or Fit for Life. When diets failed, I tried exercise programs, joining Planet Fitness or LA Fitness or one called Nirvana, for the sole purpose of losing weight. I put my hope in diets and exercise plans for a long time. Why? And why do people today put their hopes in these same things?
Lately, I've seen commercials with famous people saying telling people to put their hope in certain diets, and I think we trust certain celebrities, or we think we want what they have, so we believe them when they tell us to trust in something. Then I wondered how does one come to hoping in Overeaters Anonymous? What would make somebody come to OA and put their hope in the 12 steps? .
Looking again at my definition of hope, I found was it "grounds for believing" that something good may happen. What grounds do I have to believe that this program will work for me? I'll tell you that the 12 step program has worked for me in other areas of my life so I can say I have grounds to believe that the steps will work in OA because I seen them work in my life. What other grounds might I have? Well, when I go to meetings, or when I hear a speaker, or when I work the steps and see someone lead, I get the benefit of their experience. I've seen people that have been in program for a few years, and some for many years, and the program has been working for them for a very long time. That gives me hope that it will also work for me.
The other thing I noticed in the readings in Step 2 in the OA 12 and 12 was how it talked about accepting the help of others, the fellowship of Overeaters Anonymous, and the community that we feel because we understand each other and this disease together. I have hope today because I work with others ,asking for help when I need it, as well as accepting opportunities to help others either in sponsorship or in service like this, an opportunity I really appreciate.
So that's my share on Step Two. I only have a couple of assignments for you this week first I'd love it if you read Appendix II - The Spiritual Experience in the AA Big Book, as well as reading page 47. Also, please read Step 2 in the OA 12 and 12, and share with us your thoughts about the chapter, and any particular sentences or paragraphs that stand out and speak to you personally. A couple of questions to consider and answer this week are:
1. What does hope mean to you?
2. What have you placed your hope in, in the past?
3. What are you hoping to get from working the steps?
4. Have you come to believe that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity?
Thank you again for your participation and for this opportunity to share.
The Twelve Steps
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