Working the Steps

Step Two

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Chapter 4 of Alcoholics Anonymous, "We Agnostics", begins to describe the spiritual solution for our illness.  I strongly recommend reading it carefully.  The Greek word from which agnostic comes means literally 'lacking or without knowledge".  Many people lack knowledge and understanding about God.  It may be necessary here to separate spirituality from religion.  Bad experiences in organized religion have turned many people away from any concept of a Higher Power. 

One of the most useful tools is a spiritual inventory.  On a sheet of paper, make three columns.  Label the far left column on the left page "Powerful people," those people who were in a position of authority over you, such as parents, teachers and older siblings.  In the middle is "What happened; what I learned."  Here, you list any negative experiences at the hands of the powerful person, and what lesson you may have concluded about a Higher Power from it, such as "I am unworthy" or "God won't take care of me."  You may surprise yourself with this list - and find a number of issues to tap on.  The right column is "The Truth I choose to believe today."  Make as many entries in columns one and two before going on to column three, where you will decide what your Higher Power should be like.  Yes - it is okay to create a loving God of your choosing.  What name you give your Higher Power is not important - it can be God, Goddess, Universe, Creator, Bob…. the important thing to know is that your Higher Power is not you.  The person struggling with an addiction or chronic issue has tried to solve the problem on their own - now they need a power greater than themselves.

Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Once we have cleared old ideas about God and have become willing to believe in a loving Higher Power, we turn the issue over to Him/Her. This action taken in this Step is to invoke the Third Step Prayer in the Big Book, ideally with a sponsor or trusted friend.  I find that tapping (or holding the TAT pose) while praying is very effective.

"God, I offer myself to Thee -- to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"

Step Four

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

This is the Step that may require the most tapping.  It is the Step that stops many from moving forward with the program.  Here is where we face our "defects of character."  We start by listing our resentments.  Create a chart with four columns.  In the first column, list everyone against whom you hold a resentment.  Make this list as complete as possible before moving on to the second column, in which you will list how each person wronged you.  Obviously, you may have several items after certain names.  Next, list what part of you was threatened by that wrong: self-esteem, security (emotional, physical or financial), ambitions, personal relations, sex relations.   Finally, when we have completed the third column, we turn to where we may have been at fault in these issues, and list whether we had been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, frightened and/or inconsiderate.  Ta da.  By focusing on where others have done us wrong, we now have a list of our own character flaws.

Now do a similar chart, this time listing in the first column all the people you may have harmed - particularly in relation to the issue, but don't restrict it to that.  Then, a chart in which you list your fears - the first column containing the people, institutions or events that you are afraid of.  By the time you have finished these Step Four inventories, you will have a comprehensive list of issues to treat with tapping or other form of energy therapy.

Working the Steps

Step One

Steps 2-4

Steps 5-7

Steps 8-12