Step 2 is the step I come back to when I am troubled. I believe, down to my innermost self, that step 1 applies to me, but I can still find myself without defense against that first drink. The insanity for me is the belief that I can have one more drink without reigniting the obsession to have even more.
What I have come to believe was accomplished as a gradual process. I don’t debate my or any others beliefs. I am consequently reluctant to discuss my
God, who I choose to call me higher power, in any detail. Yet, when it will serve a good purpose, I am willing to announce my convictions with tact and common sense (see p. 77).
I am religious, but I find so-called proofs about the existence of a specific concept of God, simple solutions to the problem of evil in the world, and pat answers to why bad things happen to good people unconvincing. Fortunately, AA does not demand anyone adapt specific beliefs. My concept of a higher power works for me, it may not work for you. Your concept certainly won’t work for me. When you lecture me about the absolute truth of your religious beliefs, I go to my happy place. When you speak from the heart about how your higher power works for you and through you, I am all ears.
As I have come to believe in what I believe, I have found my spirituality increased. I have resigned from the debating team. I found serenity, not differences when I attended a Protestant baptism, a Catholic wedding, a Jewish Bat Mitzvah, and a Unitarian funeral. I would expect to find the same serenity in any religious practice. My belief in the value of my religious beliefs has increased, but so has my agnosticism. I am more willing to acknowledge the value in others beliefs. I am less willing to express an opinion on sectarian religion.
Step 2 is essential, but it is not sufficient. I have observed too many doing the AA two step (a 1 and a 2 and a drink). There is also the AA waltz (1-2-3, 1-2-3). Ebbie Thatcher, the friend in Bill’s story who “got religion” did not stay sober. Dr. Bob, a religious member of the Oxford group, didn’t stay sober until he cleaned house with his amends (what became the ninth step).
What’s next? Step 3.