"Came to believe a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity"
Many newcomers face a dilemma at this point. Pursuant to the article on Step 1; where we persuaded you into believing we were helpless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable, reducing us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare none but a Higher Power can remove our obsession?
Some of us won't believe in God, others can't and still, others who do believe in God have lost all faith? Are we to believe he will perform some sort of miracle?
The Defiant and Beligerant One
It is possible that he believes Man himself is the creator of evolution and that of his own destiny. Must he now renounce all this in order to save himself? We say to such individual, "take it easy". If the once vice-president of the Atheist Association was able to conquer his objections, so too can you.
One has but to listen to these three statements:
1. You are not forced to believe in anything. These steps are but suggestions to what has worked for others in the past.
2. In order to get sober and remain sober, you do not have to digest all of Step 2 immediately.
3. All that is required, is for you to become willing and open-minded enough to explore the fact that this has worked for others in the past.
Some of us have come from a scientific schooling and believe only in what can be proven scientifically through research. The standpoint we make in reference here is the converse, yet those of us that have followed these suggestions have seen results, very good results. We must, therefore, become willing to open our minds and consider the option.
Many people enter into a fellowship (a fellowship may be regarded as a group of like-minded individuals gathering in a group to discuss their issues) and it is for many, the fellowship becomes their Higher Power.
Furthermore, when referring to God, it is the "God of your understanding" and therefore does not have to refer to one particular deity or religious belief.
Personally, my higher power is God. I can recommend you simply believe and develop a faith in the knowledge that Your higher power will remove the urge and desire for your need for alcohol. No-one can truly explain how this works, but know that it does.
As time goes by, many confirm as they become relieved of the obsession for alcohol, their lives unaccountably transformed, they came to believe in a Higher Power, and for the most part began to talk of God.
Consider next those who once had faith but lost it along the way. Those who tried asking God to relieve them of their circumstances, only never to realise any results; those filled with self-sufficiency who have cut themselves off from God and have become prejudiced against religion?
For these, this may be harder as they sit in no man's land since both ways proved bitterly disappointing, he is the bewildered one.
Religion says the existence of God can be proved, the agnostic says it can't be proved and the atheist claims proof of the nonexistence of God. Obviously, the dilemma of the wanderer from faith is that of profound confusion.
Any number of like-minded alcoholics can say to the "drifter" Yes, we were overcome by the confidence of youth, of course, we were glad that good homes and biblical studies had developed certain values within us. We were taught, to be honest. tolerant, to be hardworking and ambitious and believed such simple rules of fair play and decency would be enough.
As material successes found us, we felt we were winning at life and therefore came to believe in the efforts of our labour, negating the need for God.
The here and now was good enough for us, why should we concern ourselves with the state of our souls now or hereafter?
Our own will would reward us until alcohol would have its way with us. As the progressive illness continued its grip upon us and we realised we were one strike away from losing it all, we were left with little option but to look for our lost faith.
For a great many, it is within the fellowship of those able to relate, that faith was rediscovered. As can you?
The intellectually self-sufficient
Then we come across the intellectually self-sufficient man/woman, secretly looking down upon our peers and believing we could float above the rest on our intellects alone. Knowledge was all power. Intellect could conquer nature. The God of Nature had displaced the God of our Fathers. These too were required to be humbled and taught that humility and intellect could be compatible - so long as humility came first.
Through focusing on humility, we are able to receive the gift of Faith; a faith that works. A faith that is available to you.
It is easy for us to draw comparisons and challenge the authenticity of these Godly praises, citing the multitudes that die in the name of their God and their religious doctrines.
All this revealed was negative thinking, appeasing our Ego's need to feel superior over our debaters, but really avoiding the reality of our own shortcomings.
Self-righteousness, the very trait we condemned in others, was our own evil staring us in the face like a rabbit in the headlights.
This phoney form of respectability was our undoing as far as our faith was concerned. But ultimately, with the help of our fellows, we discovered better.