Step Two and Hope

Hope. When we come to OA we see that despite the failures in our lives – the broken promises, hard feelings, failures, disappointments, destructive behaviours, self-hatred, anxiety, depression or guilt – there is still hope.

Hope is the spiritual principle that supports Step 2 (“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity”). It is a big step towards the God of our understanding. In Step 2, we begin to realize that such a Higher Power exists. We begin to have hope this Power can set us on the road to recovery and freedom.

Many of us have struggled when we first came to OA (and some of us since) with the idea of a Higher Power. Surely if there is such a God, we knew nothing of Him/Her/It. Have we not suffered alone in our compulsions? Where was God then? In our darkest days, one thing most of us lacked was any relationship with a Higher Power, let alone a working relationship. Most of us had no trouble admitting that food addiction had become a destructive force in our lives. Our own best efforts resulted in ever greater destruction and despair. At some point, we realized we needed more help.

As we continue our journey to recovery through the Twelve Steps, we take Step 2 by simply admitting to the possibility of a Power greater than ourselves. The Step 2 phrase “came to believe” suggests a process and a progression of faith that evolves over time.

In A.A.’s oral tradition this is defined as a three-part unfolding: first, we came, that is, we showed up and stumbled through the meeting room’s door. Then, we came to, that is, we came to our senses and began to experience emotional sobriety. And third, we came to believe. We began our real recovery process and our spiritual growth.

Through believing that a Higher Power can help, a person formerly eaten up with raging fear, anger, shame, doubt, guilt, and frustration becomes calm. We begin to grow spiritually by focusing on some simple steps, going to meetings, reading the Big Book and other OA literature, and talking to a sponsor.

We discover we are not alone; there are other caring OAs who understand because they are dealing with the same problems we have! The simple belief that a Higher Power can restore us to sanity leads us into the OA family.

In OA, we learn we can trust others with our deepest shame, we are lovable and we must take care of ourselves. As we gain friends who can help us get through and then even enjoy most days, we start to feel we can trust ourselves again. Hope for the future starts to bloom. We can start to see a new life is possible, as we trudge the Road of Happy Destiny!

~ Jennifer S with thanks to