From the Foreword of the 12 & 12: “A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a group of principles, spiritual in their nature, which, if practiced as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.”
of this Step:
Literature Reference: Step 2 Promise: “In the face of collapse and despair, in the face of the total failure of their human resources, they found that a new power, peace, and happiness, and sense of direction flowed in them.” (Big Book – Page 50, We Agnostics)
What Can I Surrender in this Step?
1.) My desire to control everything myself, and
2.) My belief that I am responsible for the outcome of my life
In Step 1, we learned our problem wasn’t alcohol – it was/is our mental states (our thinking) that was the crux of the real problem. How perfect it is that just 10 pages later (page 45, “We Agnostics” – 4th Edition), Bill shared with us the solution to that problem: “Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. That’s exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem.”
Check! How simple is that? This one of twelve simple suggestions is much easier than I ever imagined. I thought solving the drink problem was going to be insurmountable. When I figured out that it’s not a drink problem I need to solve, but a think problem – and that simply believing there is a Power out there that is greater than I am that can help me solve it – well, that made life much easier to bear.
I then get to ask myself why I shouldn’t apply to life’s problems this same readiness to change my point of view. I was having problems with relationships, couldn’t control my emotions, was prey to misery and depression, couldn’t make a living, had a feeling of uselessness, was full of fear, was unhappy and couldn’t be of help to others. I was/am “maladjusted to life, in full flight from reality and an outright mental defective” (B.B. – Doctor’s Opinion – Page xxvi – 4th Edition). All of this was true until the day came I could finally believe that a Power greater than myself could run my life better than I could – and all I had to do was let it.
Your higher power has to be God. This is a big misconception in Alcoholics Anonymous. Your higher power can be anything that you believe in: the Universe, nature, Buddha, music, love, Allah, humanity or even AA itself. Another thing to remember is that your Higher Power doesn’t need to have a gender (even though in 1939, Bill W. felt it easier to use one for our basic text). AA doesn’t require you to believe in anything that you don’t want to; each step is a suggestion along the road to a sober life.
Taking a step displays a willingness to write inventory and allow it to surrender something within us. Write inventory on your most serious shortcomings around the practical application of this step in your life today (“How am I applying the principle found in this Step to every moment of my life?”).
(If you can answer yes to these questions, you’ve likely taken this Step)
“It is absolutely possible to believe without trusting – but one cannot trust without believing.”