Who Needs G-d?
How AA's Twelve Steps Can Help You
A well-known saying asserts that in foxholes there are no atheists.
When we're in a position of pain, danger or need, something within us awakens and reignites a deep connection to our Source. And somehow, with this connection, we find strength we never knew we had and the ability to move forward.
A paradigm for this is the Twelve Step Program from Alcoholics Anonymous. This program is one of the most successful self-help models in existence, so successful, in fact, that it has been modified and adapted by other groups including Narcotics Anonymous, Al Anon for families of alcoholics, CODA for co-dependency, Self-Esteem Anonymous and more.
At the core of the program is the belief in a Higher Being who has the ability to help us overcome our "unmanageable lives."
In the words of the Steps:
Step 1: I admit that my life has become unmanageable and I have become powerless.
Step 2: I acknowledge the belief that a Power greater than I can restore sanity to my life.
Step 3: I turn my life over to this greater Power, however I want to define Him, and ask for His help.
In a nutshell, these three steps are saying: "I can't. G-d, You can. Please help!"
What is it about the Twelve Steps that makes this program so versatile and successful?
And, why does the acknowledgement of a Higher Being--rather than, for example, looking inward and just encouraging one's own efforts--bring healing and solace when we feel overcome with addictions, suffering, stress or despair?