Step 2 of AA: Believing in a Higher Power

Are you ready to open your mind to a power greater than yourself so you can receive support during your quest to overcome an alcohol obsession? If so, you must harness that power to restore your soundness of mind. Let the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), in particular Step 2 of AA, guide you in your recovery. 

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Understanding Step 2 of AA and Its Purpose in Your Recovery Process

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

As you embark on Step 2 of AA, you’ll need an open mind. You need to envision a rebirth, as you end the behaviors of your past life and start fresh with faith in a higher power and the guiding principles of AA.

The time you spend on AA Step 2 will depend on different factors, such as your commitment to sobriety. This step may also take longer if you have a hard time believing in a higher power or forms of spirituality, but remember, this step doesn’t mean you need to find religion.

AA Step 2 lays the foundation for the successful completion of Steps 3–12 and requires you to accept outside help—a higher power, a sponsor, a therapist, a friend, therapeutic treatment, or another type of greater power—to control their destructive drinking behaviors with an eye toward the long-term solution of recovery.

What Does A Higher Power Mean in the Context of AA?

AA members may take innumerable, different routes on their quest for a higher power. AA Step 2 encourages you to discover your own path to faith, spirituality, or even religion. Determine what lights your fire to remain committed to your sobriety.

If you’re unsure what “higher power” you want to believe and commit to, here are some examples:

  • Believing in a deity or a god: When you believe in this type of higher power, it’s likely intricately linked to your religion. Whether your higher power is Akal Murat, Allah, Buddha, God, Shiva, or Yahweh, you’re welcoming a helping hand to assist in your recovery.
  • Trusting in nature: Since the beginning of time, civilizations have tapped into the healing properties of nature. Nature has the potential to heal our mind, body, and spirit. When you consume alcohol, you’re often disconnected from the environment. You can use nature as your higher power to awake your senses to your surroundings.
  • Embracing the laws of science: If you’re keener to science than religion, you can use it to your advantage on your path to recovery. For the past century, scientists have been studying drugs and drug use. Science has broadened our knowledge of substance use disorders. You can use this knowledge to remind yourself addiction isn’t a moral flaw or a lack of willpower. You can always embrace the science of drugs, brains, and human behaviors to help with your sobriety.
  • Having faith in your moral principles: Maybe you’re driven by your moral principles, which might include the love of your country or your civic obligations, for example. You can take pride in being a nice person and citizen and let it change your relationship with the world.
  • Placing your confidence in AA: If you’re relucent to changing your beliefs or embracing religion, you can believe in the unity of your support group. This might be your friends, family, or even the people you meet in AA. You’ll notice a lot of change and growth of members through AA meetings. You can use this as the power greater than yourself.

Whatever works for you as your “higher power,” use it and embrace it. This is the faith that’ll drive your progress forward as you continue your journey through AA.

According to Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (1981), “…Alcoholics Anonymous does not demand that you believe anything. … all you really need is a truly open mind” (p. 26). Whether you’re a Christian, a worshiper of another religion, a humanist, or an atheist, there’s still a place for you to recover in AA. 

Tips For Starting And Working Step 2 Of AA 

Regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs, you need to have faith in a higher power, which can help restore your sanity. You have to let your faith infiltrate every aspect of your life. You must replace negative thinking with positive thinking. You have to let go of self-righteousness and embrace humility.

Here are some tips for starting and working Step 2 of AA:

  • Accept you can’t conquer addiction on your own.
  • Awaken to a power greater than yourself.
  • Create a list of spiritual experiences you’ve encountered.
  • Look outside yourself for support in your recovery.
  • Start a new habit of gratitude in your everyday life.

Myths And Misunderstandings About AA Step 2

  • Your higher power must be rooted in religion: Your higher power can be whatever gives you faith to beat your addiction—maybe it’s the vastness of the universe, the teaching of the Buddha, the worship of nature, or the service of your fellow people.
  • If you’re religious, your higher power must be God: AA Step 2 does reference God as a higher power. This is merely a suggestion for a higher power to help you navigate and traverse the road to sobriety. Choose whatever god or deity works for you and your religion, whether it’s Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, or another religion.
  • You need to pray regularly: Praying is an important activity in many religions. Therefore, this activity can help AA members who are religious. Praying is a suggestion for letting your deity or god take the reins on your journey to recovery. If you’re not religious, you don’t have to pray. You can find an activity that helps you connect with whatever higher power you choose.
  • If you’re not religious, you can skip Step 2: This is not true. Even if you’re not religious, this is an important stage of your recovery. You must accept help from a power greater than yourself. If it’s not God, that’s okay, but it doesn’t mean you can skip Step 2. Rather, you need to find a higher power that works for you and your unique path to recovery.

If you’re ready to start your road to recovery, call 800-839-1686Who Answers? today to talk to a treatment specialist about your rehab options.

What Is AA?

AA is a nonprofessional support group for all types of individuals who struggle with an alcohol use disorder. AA meetings are a safe and anonymous place for people to come together and share their experiences.

If you’re looking for companionship, mutual understanding, and support with your sobriety, AA is the place for you. There are no fees, age requirements, or education requirements.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by one of our treatment partners below.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by ARK Behavioral Health, a paid advertiser on AlcoholicsAnonymous.com.

All calls are private and confidential.

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