For those that are having trouble with Step 2, or Step 3
I understand, relate and identify with the newer people that are having trouble with Step 2 and Step 3. I don't have any trouble with it now, but I sure did when I was first starting out with sobriety and the 12 Steps. It was such a big problem for me, that I didn't think I could ever overcome it -- and would end up drinking myself to death because of it.
Here are a couple of the things that I did -- that finally got me down the sobriety road far enough -- that I could eventually solve my problems that I was having with Steps 2 and 3.
For me to consider a Power Greater than myself -- was a threat. If there really was a God -- I believed I was really screwed! And, I would be forced to change things that I didn't want to change -- or live with an eternal conscious awareness of doom. There were some things about me that I didn't want to change. I was afraid to change because I was afraid that the changes would make me weaker -- as well as make me give up on a few of the things that I enjoyed about life.
So, I looked at Steps 2 and 3, as if they would be losses for me.
When my alcoholic condition got to the point that I was going to lose it all anyway because I couldn't stay sober -- I became willing to re-negotiate... just a little bit.
I became aware that I needed help. I needed all the help that I could get. With or without believing in a Power Greater than myself -- I was screwed. Stewed. With or without changes -- I had lost the battle of life. I couldn't stay sober on my own. And, I reached a place where I was willing to go to any lengths to stay sober -- but, I held out that reservation to go ahead and die drunk, because of my stubborn mind in regards to my ideas about God.
Here is what helped me: I began re-phrasing Step 2, to mean to me, "Came to believe, that a Power Greater than myself -- could help me stay sober."
Well. If a Power Greater than myself could help me stay sober -- I was all for it! I was open to re-consider the idea. I was open to looking around at everything around me in life that was a Power Greater than me.
I started with the weather. I have no power over the weather. I can't change it or order it to be like I want it. I just have to deal with it. If it rains it rains, if it storms it storms, and if the sun shines the sun shines. And, all my life -- I had learned to live with the weather as being a Power Greater than myself -- without even thinking about it.
Next, I did the same thing with gravity. I can't jump up in the air and stay there. So, I had to learn to live with gravity -- being a Power Greater than myself.
Then, I did the same thing with electricity, and fire, and microwave, and water. I wasn't insane enough to stick my hand in a microwave and turn it on to try and figure out if it would be a Power Greater than me! Nor was I willing to hold my head under water -- while I stuck my finger into a live light socket!
You might say... "Yeah. But, those are insane ideas!" And, you're right. It was insane on the same level of insanity -- as it was for me to continue drinking! But, I couldn't stay sober. Each time I took another drink it was the equivalent of putting my head in a microwave just waiting until something would finally push the start button!
Electricity, gravity, water, and the weather... could help me... and benefit me, as it did, by learning to live with it.... and learning to accept it for what it was.
I live in an area where thunderstorms and tornados are frequent. Each time we have one -- my will and life -- is at risk. Kind of like "in the care of the tornado or thunderstorm"... because I can't do much about it.
I used to live in an area where earthquakes were the norm. And, I couldn't do much about those either. My life was "in the care of the earthquake."
And, I accept it. Maybe, grudgingly... but I accept it and try to live with it, because there isn't much I can do about it other than take cover or run from cover! Powers -- Greater than me.
I saw other alkies using the 12 Steps and AA and it was helping them stay sober. I became willing to try to accept it and try to learn to live with the idea that, maybe... (even though I didn't really believe that it would)... that AA and the 12 Steps might help me... to stay sober. And, I became willing to give it a try.
I re-phrased Steps 2 and 3, enough to help me move forward in my trying -- by changing it to "Came to believe that AA and the 12 Steps -- Powers Greater than me -- MIGHT help me stay sober." And, I made a decision... "to try to turn my will and my life over to the care of... the 12 Steps".
That was enough to get me started. And, before I was finished with the 12 Steps -- I no longer had a problem in believing in a Power Greater than myself. Nor, did I have a problem with God.
I hope that might help you as much as it helped me -- if you're in that situation.