Step Two: “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
The restoration of sanity to me from a power greater than myself takes many forms and must start from a place of compassion. OA teaches me how to cultivate a life of self-compassion and compassion for others.
I would never have been able to maintain even one day of my four years of abstinence by my self-will alone. I am an extremely willful, opinionated, and stubborn person and Step 2 reminds me that I cannot heal myself of the illness of compulsive eating. This healing must come from the care of a power greater than myself. In reflecting on Step 2, I have to be at least WILLING to believe it COULD be possible for there to be something, some source of energy that could help relieve me of the bondage of self. I still pray for the willingness to believe in a source that is loving, trustworthy, and reliable; since, as an addict, my own instincts are unreliable. I have to believe there is a power other than me that has my best interests at heart.
Compassion for myself means recognizing that negative self-talk, being hard on myself, expecting myself to be perfect, feeling useless, feeling that I am not enough, are all manifestations of my disease of addiction. They are not reality and not the voice of my loving HP. The problem of my addiction centers in my mind, rather than in my body. I have to be willing to believe that a Higher Power can also help me manage my actions, thoughts, and feelings because my vision is skewed and my feelings are not always facts.
Self-compassion has taught me how to be more compassionate and patient towards others. When I see others acting in ways I believe are cruel or harmful, I know that they, too, are creatures of a loving higher power, who are suffering and in pain. My job is to practice a code of kindness, pity, patience, tolerance, and love towards all. I have to give away and practice the compassion I cultivate for myself by working with others and being of service in order to maintain my abstinence and maintain my spiritual, mental, and emotional health.
Self-compassion means learning how to be patient and forgiving with myself. I must work all 12 Steps to help forgive and accept this negative voice in my head, which is really just a scared little kid who feels unloved and is afraid they will never be taken care of. Living the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of OA is the most loving thing I have ever done for myself. OA gives me the freedom to adapt and change my concept of a HP in order to best serve my spiritual needs in any given moment. This is such a beautiful result of being willing to suit up and show up.