SECOND STEP GUIDE (Cont.)
In Step One, we first made the admission that we were, are now, and will remain powerless over alcohol, which implies , in no uncertain terms, that we have an obsession to drink and an allergy of the body that leads to either death or insanity. Secondly and more importantly, we came to recog¬nize that our lives have been, are now, and will remain unmanageable by us alone. This conviction that we are alcoholics and that our lives are unman¬ageable by us alone leads us naturally into Step Two.
Once again, Step Two can be viewed as having two aspects. The first aspect concerns the beginning of our spiritual development, which is the foundation of the A.A. program. Since we recognized that our lives have been, are now, and will remain unmanageable by us alone (having completed a thorough Step One), we must now come to grips with the fact that we need a new Manager, as the old one (the thinking mind, with its acquired defects of character) led us into the depths of deep despair, self-centeredness, loneliness, and an apartness from our True Self. We found that the thinking mind could not solve our problems. Thus the conclusion that we must start to find a new Manager of our life (a Power greater than ourselves) is paramount if we want to become happy, positive and loving as we are meant to be.
We came to believe -- that a Power exists which is greater than our¬selves -- and this belief is absolutely necessary if we are to honestly complete the remaining ten steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. At this point, all you really need is a truly open mind. (Twelve Steps & Twelve Tradi¬tions)
Thus, Step Two can become the springboard on which we can begin the journey toward spiritual awakening. Remember, all that is needed is will¬ingness, open-mindedness and rigorous honesty.
The second aspect of Step Two concerns sanity. "Sanity" involves living sanely. Since this step is about the restoration of sanity, how can this occur? We may not relate with "soundness of mind", but we surely can identify with insanity as being unsoundness of mind. (Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions) The True Self is sane, whereas the false self (the thinker with its acquired character defects) has not usually been an example of sane living. The problem facing us then is, how can we regain the sanity which is the True Self? By eliminating the acquired insane ways of living, we are left with the True Self and its sanity.
Step Two, properly approached, worked, and lived, will start the beginning of the end of our old life, and the beginning of our emergence into a new life. (Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions)
The purpose of writing the second step is to help us become aware of the acquired, destructive thinking that has wrecked our lives.
It may seem "nuts" doing all of this but keep on a-goin'.....
Go through the following examples and be as honest and specific as you are able to at this time. Give specific examples and situations from your own life. You are after the destructive, acquired character defects.
SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT HISTORY
Answer the questions below specifically. Indicate how you are trying to understand your spiritual history or lack of it.
1. Have you ever believed that the thinking mind is all-powerful and that
it could solve all your problems?
2. Have you ever considered yourself to be an atheist or agnostic? If so, describe why.
3. Have you ever rejected organized religion? If so, what were your rea¬sons for doing so?
4. Did you at any time, consider the idea that a Power greater than your¬self might exist? If so, describe the attributes of that Power.
CURRENT SPIRITUAL ATTITUDES
Answer the questions below as honestly as you are able to at this point. Remember, this Power, greater than yourself, is your own concept. All that you really need is willingness and a truly open mind.
1. Are any of the following roadblocks -- to coming to believe -- present in your life? (a) indifference, (b) fancied self-sufficiency, (c) prejudice and (d) defiance.
2. A.A. and its suggested twelve steps have a spiritual foundation. What does this mean to you?
3. What do you consider the most important thing in your life today?
4. Do you doubt the existence of a Power greater than yourself? Explain.
5. What is your mental image of God?
6. Does a Power greater than yourself play a part in your daily life?
RESTORATION TOWARDS SANITY
"Sanity" is defined as "soundness of mind". (Twelve Steps & Twelve Tradi¬tions, p.33) What we are concerned with now, is becoming aware of the old patterns of insane thinking (the reactions toward people, places and things that caused havoc in our lives). Answer the questions below honestly and with a truly open mind. Remember, insanity is not a part of your True Self. Insanity exists in the acquired false self, which is not a part of the real you, so dig deep!
1. Do you have any fears in your life today? (fear of people, emotional insecurity, financial insecurity, etc.) List these fears.
2. Can you recognize self-centeredness in your life? If so, give examples.
3. Do you believe "The main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind, rather than his body"? (Alcoholics Anonymous [big book], p.23) Why or why not?
4. What areas of your life do you feel that you have little or no control over? (family, job, A.A., spiritual or emotional) Why do you feel that you have little or no control over these areas?
5. Describe how the following feelings or attitudes got you into trouble:
(a) anger, (b) resentment, (c) jealousy, and (d) pride
6. Do you consider yourself to be a positive person? In what areas of your life are you positive?
7. Do you consider yourself as being a negative person? In what areas of your life are you negative?
8. What is your idea of the false self (the old self with its acquired defects of character that attempts to control your life)?
9. What do you think is your True Self and how do you find it?
10. Do you believe that a Power greater than yourself could restore you to sanity? How?
11. How am I going to live Step Two -- "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." -- in my life on a daily basis.
12. Write a summary or "picture" of yourself as you see yourself now (your good and bad points). Remember, the good points (assets) are the real you, and the bad points (liabilities) are the false you.
DO IT NOW..... FOR YOU !!!
WITH LOVE from the
Top of the Hill group
840 17th St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Shared with love, Candy Smith, Oak Harbor, Washington 1980
Phyllis Brett, Coupeville, Washington June 21, 1987