Imagine you are walking along a very narrow path. The forest is thick and dark. As you struggle your way along the path, you notice a possible clearing up ahead. In haste, you rush along the path. The clearing becomes more and more welcoming. At last, you take your last step out of the darkness and into what appears to be a safe and inviting clearing. Unfortunately, you failed to look at your final step and realize you’ve just stepped into quick sand.
As you look around, a large and sturdy branch hangs within reach. You grab hold of the branch. With exertion, you pull yourself free from the quicksand. In that moment, you are placing your faith and hope in that branch to bring you out of harms way.
In recovery, we come to a place that awakens us to reality. We become radically and rigorously honest with ourselves over our inability to manage our lives. And that we have allowed substance use to become the predominate means of existence. Once we are honest with ourselves, we are able to look toward a way to bring ourselves back onto a path of living differently. We are looking for restoration.
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves is able to restore us to sanity
There are two distinct principle truths in the second step of any 12-step based recovery support group. The first requires faith and belief. The second reflects our assurance and trust in the capability of being restored. Belief and hope are the two core principles.
As we move from being honest with ourselves, we are now entering into a reality of how we are not at peace. The insanity of our disease may prevent us from bringing our own self out of despair. This is evidenced by the many attempts a person has engaged in their attempt to moderate, control, or even establish some period of abstinence.
When an individual meditates on this step, they are responding to a deep acknowledgement of their own suffering. Through their own personal experience confirms the reality of the struggle to achieve restoration and sanity. This insanity is the crazy ways of thinking and acting that are a real part of our experience. As powerfully devastating substance use causes; we admit our need for something more powerful than our own will and strength.
Despite our present despair. We also admit that there possibility exists a way for us to work toward changing our present lives. It is when we finally take this step, we may experience an overwhelming relief. Our sense of hopelessness and powerlessness becomes a hope and empowering encounter toward restoration. This step acknowledges the reality of spiritual healing. It is that moment of clarity when we reach out for help.
It is a deep reflection of our own belief in a healing power that helps us out of our quicksand. An individual finds healing power in others who are in their own sustaining recovery program. It may come with a rekindled passion to reconnect with a faith based community. Or, it may be in those quiet and sacred moments of turning toward the Divine and seeking help in our distress.
We shift our thinking from the illusion of false belief and hope that our substance use may have provided to a more rational and logical belief in something that is more powerful in breaking those chains of bondage.
This hope offered by taking this step is our belief in the possibility of freedom in knowing recovery is attainable. It is attainable because we are on a path toward ending our own suffering. We begin to gain insight in knowing we are healing, learning to forgive self and others, develop a deeper sense of self and love for self and others. An individual begins to find hope in recovering the loss sense of self. Our true nature. Our authentic sense of being.
Along with the belief and hope that is inspired through taking this next step, we are also granting permission. Permission for us to explore ways to find healing. Living a liberated life where we begin to experience insightful and transformative wisdom. It is the path of enlightenment. It’s our call to spiritual awakening to the reality of taking our journey of self-actualization.
However, this does not come easily. The healing power of recovery comes when we realize our need to completely surrender our lives over to a power greater than ourselves.