Spiritual principles behind Step Two: Hope

What are the spiritual principles behind Step Two?

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

The operative spiritual principle for Step Two is hope.

Other relevant spiritual principles for Step Two are open-mindedness, humility, and acceptance, for starters.

In setting our course for addiction recovery, we must have hope of success. The hopeless ones seem to be stuck at what might be called Step Zero. Having failed miserably in our own attempts to fix ourselves, we come to realize we cannot do it on our own. This step gives us that hope. We find that we are not alone, that something greater than us can help conquer our alcoholism and addiction along with all the despair and negativity that goes with it.

Step Two is about having an open mind. In a sense, this is the beginning of the end. You will end your old life and begin your new one, having developed a fresh, new faith – faith in whatever sort of higher power you choose.
As the previous step was about letting go of pride, Step Two is about letting go of preconceived notions about what AA is and how it works, what God is, and making room for change and new thinking.

In Step One we conceded defeat – that we are powerless addicts and alcoholics, and as a result, our lives had become unmanageable. Here in Step Two, there are two biggies:

  1. The source of the power we need to recover is a power greater than ourselves.
  2. We are apparently insane and thus need to be restored to sanity.

Hope: The feeling that what is wanted can be had, or that events will turn out for the best (Dictionary.com definition of hope); Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large; as a verb, its definitions include: to expect with confidence and to cherish a desire with anticipation (Wikipedia on hope)

Why it makes perfect logical sense to have hope

There are many thousands of folks experiencing real recovery, and we can see that the program seems to be working well for many of those in our local recovery communities – an understanding that generates hope and faith that it can work for us, too. Another process to find your way to some hope is to realize that recovery is not a question of your ability, intelligence, perceived level of goodness or badness, or willpower alone. Your hope of recovery lies in your action, persistence, and application of the principles in all areas of your life.

Step Two is about hope, faith, and ultimately deep realization. It’s a step towards God, or to whatever our conception of God may be. In some ways, this step begins the process of stepping outside ourselves. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can all stand together on Step Two. True humility and real open-mindedness can lead us to recovery if we are persistent.

Step Two is about hope, about possibility, about open-mindedness. In this step, we come to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. With some effort, perhaps, we open our minds to the possibility that help is available. Help must be available, as we see many apparently happy, joyous, and free with months and years of sobriety in our recovery communities. We are willing to at least consider, and eventually access a source of assistance that can do for us what we have been absolutely unable to do for ourselves. We’ve tried everything to conquer addiction and alcoholism on our own, and it did not work. Maybe something else will work. We don’t have to believe that it will happen, only that it could happen.

This little bit of hope, this chink in the walls of misery in which we’ve imprisoned ourselves, is enough to show that we are at least willing to move in the direction of wellness. Once we understand that the possibility of help exists, it seems worthwhile to explore a relationship with a power greater than ourselves. A little willingness can go a long way toward producing some faith and hope, and with persistence, our new faith and hope become an ongoing fact in our lives. With the strong boost we get from a power greater than ourselves, eventual serenity and the restoration of our sanity become realistic hopes.

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