STEP 2

Definition of Step Two – Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
Synonyms of Step Two – Hope: aspiration, desire, wish, ambition, aim, dream, longing, yearning, craving, hankering, etc

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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Step Two: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. –12 & 12 | More…

In order to engage in a course of recovery, we must have hope of success. A way to instil hope is to realize recovery is not a question of ability; but rather persistence and application. | More…

Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you understand. For years I tried to understand my behavior around alcohol and I only came away more confused. –Father Leo | More…

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The Bible, we said, was full of nonsense; we could cite it chapter and verse, and we couldn’t see the Beatitudes for the ‘begats.’ In spots its morality was impossibly good; in others it seemed impossibly bad.

But it was the morality of the religionists themselves that really got us down. We gloated over the hypocrisy, bigotry, and crushing self-righteousness that clung to so many ‘believers’ even in their Sunday best.

This all meant, of course, that we had substituted negative for positive thinking. After we came to A.A., we had to recognize that this trait had been an ego feeding proposition.

In belabouring the sins of some religious people, we could feel superior to all of them. Moreover, we could avoid looking at some of our own shortcomings.

Self-righteousness, the very thing that we had contemptuously condemned in others, was our own besetting evil. This phony form of respectability was our undoing, so far as faith was concerned. But finally, driven to A.A., we learned better. –12 & 12 p.30 | More…

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Step One lands like a “ton of bricks” for the newcomer.
Step Two is a step up, a promise of new, positive action.

Step Two is an absolute necessity as a foundation for recovery.
Step Two has a different aim than most religious ideas. It is about not drinking.

Alcoholism is a spiritual malady. Spiritual maladies require spiritual solutions. Step Two when accompanied by clear thinking and sincere sponsorship, can deliver incredible, exciting hope.

We is the alcoholic, the determined sponsor and the Higher Power which guides our work. Step Two, no matter how imperfectly it is done, should not leave any loose ends.

An atmosphere of emotional panic (alcoholic hopelessness) is not the right setting for work on Step Two. Parting with the past, no matter how unsettling a new position might be amounts to real work.

The exact idea of a Higher Power, when all other influences are removed, is entirely attractive. Step Two cannot be a mere extension of other things which have already not worked in his past. The alternative here is that nothing can restore us to sanity –The Tao of Recovery | More

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Step Two is sometimes known the Forgotten Step; we Forget to hope – we Forget to believe – We Forget to practise ‘these principles’ in all our affairs

Zacharias said if you remain a prisoner of hope,
God will double that which you have lost –Joel Osteen | More…

No man, we saw, could believe in God and defy Him, too.
Belief meant reliance, not; defiance.

In A.A., we saw the fruits of this belief: men and women spared from alcohol’s final catastrophe. We saw them meet and transcend their other pains and trials.

We saw them calmly accept impossible situations, seeking neither to run nor to recriminate.This was not only faith; it was faith that worked under all conditions. We soon concluded that whatever price in humility we must pay, we would pay. 12 & 12 p.31 | More…

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When we have feelings of guilt or self-hate, we have spiritual problems. In the early stages of recovery we may, at times, feel more shameful than we ever did before, simply because we are becoming honest about how we feel.

We may even become ashamed of our guilty feelings, and then the problem escalates. Lack of love for ourselves is at the heart of our problem.

We cannot become self-loving by force of will, but we can stop being so wilful by simply yielding to the care of a loving God.

At those moments we do not feel deserving of love, but we can stop fending it off.

As we yield to it, we take a spiritual leap into a world we don’t control and we didn’t create, but we can be healed by it. –Touchstones | More…

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Our fears are lessened and faith begins to grow as we learn the true meaning of surrender. We are no longer fighting fear, anger, guilt, self-pity, or depression

Surrender can be difficult, still, it’s easier to trust God, a Power capable of managing our lives, than to trust only ourselves, whose lives are unmanageable. And the more we surrender, the easier it gets. –Just For Today | More…

The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity.
The strength to move into action comes from this belief.

The process of coming to believe involves a willingness to recognize miracles for what they are. Our experience in recovery gives us examples of a Higher Power working for our good.

Looking back at the evidence of a loving Higher Power acting on our behalf, it becomes possible to trust that this Higher Power will continue to help us in the future. And trust offers us the strength to move forward. –Just For Today | More…

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A.A. is constructed so that we need not debate the existence of God; but for best results, most of us must depend upon a Higher Power, and no right-minded A.A. would challenge your privilege to believe precisely that way.

We should all be glad that good recoveries can be made even on this limited basis. But turnabout is fair play. If you would expect tolerance for your point of view, I am sure you would be willing to reciprocate.

I try to remember that, down through the centuries, lots of brighter people than I have been found on both sides of this debate about belief. For myself, of late years, I am finding it much easier to believe that God made man, than that man-made God. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.73)

Being hopeless is being insane.
Smart won’t get you sober, but stupid can get you drunk!

Coming to believe is accepting spiritual help. Joy isn’t the absence of pain – it’s the presence of God. You can’t change reality, but you can change your attitude towards it. –Pocket Sponsor | More…

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A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous, and then dismissed as trivial, until finally it becomes what everybody knows. –William James | More…

Success and failure share a common denominator … Both are temporary… Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.

The process of coming to believe restores us to sanity. The strength to move into action comes from this belief. The process of coming to believe involves a willingness to recognize miracles for what they are. –Just For Today | More…

Our fears are lessened and faith begins to grow as we learn the true meaning of surrender. We are no longer fighting fear, anger, guilt, self-pity, or depression

Surrender can be difficult, still, it’s easier to trust God, a Power capable of managing our lives, than to trust only ourselves, whose lives are unmanageable. And the more we surrender, the easier it gets. –Just For Today | More…

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Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you understand. For years I tried to understand my behavior around alcohol and I only came away more confused.

I believe that I can never drink alcohol without having alcohol problems. This cherished belief keeps me sober and gives me a God I can understand; a life that I can love; and a world I can live in. Father Leo | More…

It takes time, effort, open-mindedness, and faith to acquire a working belief in a loving Higher Power that would guide us through life’s challenges. Even after we come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, our old ideas can come back to haunt us.

Major setbacks in our lives and the insecurity such events can trigger may give rise to the return of our old, inadequate ideas about God. When this happens, we need to assure ourselves that our Higher Power has not abandoned us but is waiting to help us make it through the hard times in our recovery.

No matter how painful our loss may be, we will survive our setback and continue to grow if we maintain the faith our program has given us. –Just For Today | More…

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We see steps one and two as surrenders to whatever the problem or challenge is:
1,We admitted we were powerless over [            ] – that our lives had become unmanageable.
2, Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
It is important to identify your challenge. If you can’t identify a specific problem, insert “happiness”— We’ve seen that done before.

The first word in the first step is “we,” which is the magic of Twelve Step programs and meetings. Sometimes, just being around those who are in the same situation as we are and who understand our pains, can be a healing experience.

I think there is no challenge or problem that others cannot relate to and can offer support if asked to give guidance. Admitting that you have a problem and seeking help are the most important steps in the process.

Step Two is the surrender, an acknowledgement that your way of dealing with an issue may not be working. Trying a new way with proper help and support is the sane path.

I look at the world and I discover an order, a pattern to life, a balance within the system. In this observation I find hope. If I continue to go with the flow of life, I will find peace and stability. –Father Leo | More…

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If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet. When we surrender our need to be in control, we are more open and welcoming of the good things that come our way. –Touchstones | More…

Our relationships were dying.
This is because addiction is death.

And recovery is life!
The Steps breathe like into us.

Our groups breathe life into us.
We start to heal because we once again feel hope.

As our hope grows, others feel it too. We’re starting to slowly rebuild our world. We’re building our world on the Twelve Steps and their message of hope. –Keep It Simple | More…

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Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the act. –William James Believing is an important part of recovery.

To believe means to put aside our doubts.
To believe means to have hope.

Believing makes the road a little smoother.
So, believing lets the healing happen a little faster. –Keep it Simple | More…

Yes, there is a long period of reconstruction ahead. . . . The reconstruction of my life is the prime goal in my recovery as I avoid taking that first drink, one day at a time.

The task is most successfully accomplished by working the Steps of our Fellowship. The spiritual life is not a theory; it works, but I have to live it. Step Two started me on my journey to develop a spiritual life;  –Daily Reflections | More…

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Bill W. considered each step to be a spiritual principle in and of itself. The most important of these is Humility.

Core Spiritual Principles of the Program:  Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty. AA’s Code:  Love and Tolerance of Others

The Principles of the Twelve Steps
Step One:           Honesty
Step Two:           Hope
Step Three:        Faith (Surrender)
Step Four:          Courage
Step Five:           Integrity
Step Six:             Willingness
Step Seven:        Humility
Step Eight:         Brotherly love
Step Nine:          Discipline
Step Ten:            Perseverance
Step Eleven:       Awareness
Step Twelve:      Service (Charity)

The relative success of the A.A. program seems to be due to the fact that an alcoholic who no longer drinks has an exceptional faculty for “reaching” and helping an uncontrolled drinker. The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society. The five principles of the Twelve Step Program are; membership requirement, spiritual basis, personal inventory, restitution, and helping others. | More…

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Alcoholics recover their faith in a Power greater than themselves. They put their drink problem in God’s hands and leave it there. –24 Hours | More…

In order to engage in a course of alcoholism recovery, we must have hope of success. If there is no hope, why try?

We have not been able to stay sober on our own, and the desperation we feel when we enter AA is overwhelming. A way to instil hope is to realize recovery is not a question of ability, but rather a desire to stay sober. Seeing others recover and live free of alcohol brings hope. –Unknown

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