A.A. Oldtimers…On the Second Step
A.A. Grapevine, December 1944, Vol. 1 No. 7
“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
Having taken the First Step of the A.A. program by admitting that
we were powerless over alcohol, we were confronted with Step
Two: “We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves
could restore us to sanity.”
This Second Step is often referred to as the first spiritual step; but
is it or the subsequent steps any more spiritual than Step One? Is
not anything spiritual which tends toward elevating us to the best
and highest type of human being we are capable of becoming?
The Second Step contains the crux of the A.A. method of getting
well: it shows us how to expel that little streak of insanity which
caused so many relapses into debauchery long after the normal
drinker would have shrunk from another drink. This twisted kind of
thinking is eliminated by faith in a Power greater than ourselves.
The question which naturally arises in the newcomer’s mind is:
“How can I acquire enough faith to get well?” The road to faith is by
taking all Twelve Steps. Faith is acquired by working for it; it is
retained by continuous use of the Twelve Steps.
One who has gained faith in this greater Power finds such faith
reflected toward himself. To the alcoholic this means faith that he will
not take the first, fatal drink. But that is not all, for soon we learn
that in some mysterious way our whole lives have been changed,
our thinking changed, and our desires as well. Finally the realization
comes that we no longer drink–because we just don’t want to.
The greater Power now becomes for us the court of final appeal.
Those harsh judgments of people, conditions, and so on, which we
made in the past are now left to this court. This is the way to tolerance.
Our own ideals, aims and ambitions are also submitted. This
leads to progress, and it is by progressing that we become–and