Step Two

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

Step Two Outlined

"The Second Step puts us on track - a new track - a course that holds more power and direction than we have on our own. It is the transition Step. It takes us from where we are to where we want to go."

"All we are asked to do now is believe. In fact, all we are asked to do is "come to believe". We do that by opening our minds and hearts and connecting with other recovering people."


"Although we share codependency issues, each of us has a personal version of how codependency manifested itself in our lives and what being restored to sanity means."

"Not only do we have our own ideas of what it means to be restored to sanity but these ideas may change as we change. In the beginning of recovery, I needed to be restored from chasing alcoholics around, trying to make them stop drinking, to the sanity of living my own life. I needed to be restored from continual self-neglect to learning to pay daily, loving attention to myself and my needs. I needed to be restored from believing I had to, and could, control others to a place of letting go of others and allowing life to unfold."

"My idea of being restored to sanity centers around owning my power in relationships learning how not to let others have all the power, learning not to allow others to control me, no matter how healthy or well intentioned the people I'm dealing with. To me, sanity is when I am at peace with myself and take care of myself with others, instead of taking care of them."

"Many of us find that as our recovery progresses, our definition of sanity changes. Initially, many of us come to recovery thinking that it is reasonable to repress our feelings, dislike ourselves, stay immersed in shame, and feel trapped and hopeless. We may come to recovery thinking it normal that people endure being alive and slog through a miserable form of existence. We may think it normal to deny and deprive ourselves. We may think expecting perfectionism of ourselves is reasonable!"

"We may look upon victimization as a normal day-to-day event, a reasonable reaction to most of life's circumstances."

"But this viewpoint changes for many of us when we begin to identify those past behaviors as codependent."

"Later, we may look upon any return to the unpleasant and negative thought patterns and emotions that accompany codependency as undesirable, and a reason to use this Step. We do not blame ourselves or expect to be free of tangles. Tangles can be beneficial and growth- producing. We do not look upon emotions as insanity, but rather as healthy expressions of healthy living. But most of us prefer to stay balanced. In fact, feeling good - and for us that means feeling all our emotions - eventually begins to feel good."

"Some of us are looking for more from this Step and from recovery as a whole than being restored. Many of us feel that we have never experienced the kind of life we want for ourselves. We feel we are beginning for the first time to develop a manner of loving and living that is healthy."


"We do not begin by believing a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. We work into it. We grow into our belief. We come to believe."

"Many of us find that we come to believe by seeing other people with problems similar to ours restored to sanity as a result of working these Steps. For us, seeing is believing."

"And coming to meetings is how we come to believe."

"Many of us have little difficulty working this Step, once we begin attending meetings. It is difficult not to come to believe if we listen and watch."

"Perhaps the greatest offering of this Step is that no matter what we want and need done in our lives, we do not have to do it by ourselves. We don't have to use our will to change ourselves. For once, we don't have to try so hard."

"We can turn to a Power greater than ourselves."


"We don't have to begin with a complex understanding of a Power greater than ourselves. We don't want to begin with detailed ideas about what we want accomplished in our lives and how that should happen."

"We don't even have to know what we're going to be doing tomorrow."

"We can start where we are, with whatever amount of belief or disbelief we have at the moment. We start by believing that we can and will be restored to sanity - whether that restoration is a brief event, such as handling a momentary feeling, or a larger event, such as the restoration we need when we begin recovery or go through a traumatic experience."

"We open ourselves to the help, loving care, guidance, and power of God. We come to believe we will be healed and that the tools we need to be healed will come into our lives. Our faith is not misplaced when we come to believe that recovery will work for us."

"God was inserted into this program of recovery because God is fundamental to recovery and fundamental to the psychic and soul-level change and healing we're seeking. We do certain things to change, but essentially, we are changed. It is a spiritual process."

"The decision to refer to God as a "Power greater than ourselves" and to allow people to develop their own understanding of this power is intentional."

"This program is spiritual, not religious. The Steps were written to be compatible with all religious and denominational beliefs. They were also intended to be accessible to those without religious or denominational beliefs."

"Many of us come to recovery with contorted, fearful, and sometimes rigid and shame-based understandings of God. We may fear God. We may fear that God despises us or has abandoned us. We may have had unpleasant dealings with certain religious denominations. Some people come to this program because of a religious system had the same destructive impact on them as a dysfunctional family system."

"Great care must be taken to allow individuals the freedom to explore and determine their own spiritual beliefs."

"Because of the great amount of physical and sexual abuse that many of us have suffered, some Twelve Steps programs have removed any gender reference to God. Some people don't want to identify God as a male-gender Being; some don't want to refer to God as a female-gender Being. Some don't want to call God "Father", because of the abuse suffered at the hands of an earthly father."

"Some of us are comfortable embracing a traditional concept of God. That's fine, too."

"These Steps allow us each to get our needs met by a God of our understanding. We can come to these Steps with our fears, prejudices, needs, and desires, and still find recovery."

"When we take this Step, we begin to learn through personal experience. Then, others come to believe through our example of how we have been healed and helped. This program is a never- ending chain of healing."

"By believing and staying open to this healing process, we will become changed, in a natural, manageable fashion."

"We can use this Step to help us get through difficult situations around us, within us, or both."

"We can use this Step to help us come to believe that we can develop a sane, loving approach to ourselves, life, and others - no matter what our past or present circumstances. This Step means we no longer have to limit our futures by our pasts."


"Breathe deeply. Believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. Be grounded on that new level. By believing, we create the space for that to happen. We stop empowering the problem and begin to empower the solution, one that will be given to us."

"Do not worry about how it will happen. Do not worry about when it will happen. All we need will be given to us, done for us. We are in the process of becoming changed. All we need to do is believe."

"Most of us find we don't have to work too hard at this Step. Coming to believe is a gift. It will be given to us when we are ready for it, and we will receive as much belief as we can handle as we are ready."

"In the First Step we surrendered to powerlessness. That was the beginning. Now we are on the way to becoming empowered by a Power greater than ourselves. This Power responds quickly and greatly to the slightest movement forward, the smallest indication of belief on our part."

"We will be restored. We will be renewed. We will be lifted out of our present circumstance and into a solution, whether that involves a change of heart, a change of attitude, a new path, a new feeling, or a new vision of what we are to do. Sometimes this happens quickly. Sometimes it takes a while."

"Open ourselves to the belief that a new and better way will appear, and it will. Open ourselves, for one moment, to the possibility that a Higher Power can create a new way or a new situation or a solution, and we have set the stage for that to happen. Open ourselves to the possibility that we can be restored, and we shall begin that journey."

"For many of us, taking the First Step - facing and admitting the unmanageability, pain, and loss in our lives - felt dark and hopeless. The Second Step takes us out of the darkness and into the light of hope and promise."

"This Step offers hope, not the false hope many of us have clung to for years, but real hope in a real recovery. Take it whenever we need to."

The Source for this Step Two outline: Melody Beattie's: "Codependents Guide To The Twelve Steps."

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