Men's Step 2 - Discovering the Light Within

Submitted by janetlorman on Tue, 09/14/2021 - 12:30

Men's Step 2 - Discovering the Light Within

Another First Responder came to our group meeting and said: "I always prided myself on my hardheadedness; survival of the fittest. The fact is I wasn't superstitious or religious. I thought of God as a higher power and spiritual things meant religion, and that meant weird mystical thinking. I was too smart to believe in a power greater than me. What I started to realize was that if I was the greatest power in my life, I was in deep, deep trouble” − Mark, First Responder.


We can believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. And with those others in the Code Blue Community, who are struggling with the consequences of work-related experiences, we can come together and influence each other in a magnificent, life-changing way.


To survive this new challenge, we seek meaning in what it means to survive a crisis. We want to believe there is a purpose for those who survive. We would like to be free from distressing thoughts telling us we should have done more. We want to believe our lives serve a better and higher purpose as we do our best to save others.


A first responder trying hard to understand his higher power said: “I have always known. My earliest memories were of looking at the world and knowing it wasn't an accident. The thoughts were too adult for a child to have… I have been told, but they are there nonetheless. What has reinforced it is not a single event, but constant protection and teaching. I can count on both hands the many times where I should by all reasoning be dead, but I survived all of them. I was led to learn many things by this inner compass. It always feels wrong to call it that, but it is as close as I can get, for now. “


Another reason for coming together in a Code Blue Community is those first responders who do so come to realize that they are not alone in their experiences of nightmares, flashbacks, substance abuse, anger, rage, depression, and hyper-vigilance, etc. Sharing in peer-based groups, with a Life Coach leader who has actually “walked in their boots” reduces the previous innermost need to isolate.


The second step also is a spiritual journey. This can be the beginning of a new life for you.   It is not only that the Code Blue Step by Step program has spiritual practicalities, but the very foundation and success of our peer-based steps program is to introduce you to a renewed lifestyle that is spiritual in nature. This does not mean you have to be of a particular denomination.


It's all about taking a step forward with real humility; working on yourself needs to come from the heart. You need humility here. You are not God, and you cannot do what only He can do. He will heal you if you open your heart to His grace.


Following any trauma incident or series of events, particularly personal trauma, we often face serious doubts and denial of the existence of a God or any such entity and the value of the world outside ourselves. Some first responders try to “live in two worlds. We doubt all of our prior beliefs, particularly those of any "higher power”. We want to believe we are solely responsible for every outcome. We are often numb to our own spirituality and connectedness to the effects of anything greater than ourselves.


So, pain is a way of warning. By completing these Code Blue Twelve Steps, we begin to realize that emotional pain was caused by wanting people, places, and things to be different than they really are going to be. In many instances, it is denial, confusion, and helpless reactions that are the problem. Some individuals who come and begin to work the Twelve Steps have tried to run away from their pain, repressing it or overreacting, never any middle ground. So, they become frustrated, and finally, hopelessness begins to take over their mind, body, and soul. Let us offer you a helping hand − one buddy to another. Answer these following questions, talk to a Life Coach, then get started. Begin to realize there is a new life waiting for you out there. Come in. We care!


  • Recall some of your best friends from childhood or adolescence. Describe what you liked best about them and what they liked best about you? Do you think that these qualities have any relationship to a Higher Power? Explain.


  • Describe events, situations, or people who have helped you to understand what a "Higher Power" or God is all about.


  • Describe any dreams that you have had about a "Higher Power" or God, and what they mean to you.


  • What have been your previous experiences with religion? How do think that this does or does not relate to your experience with God as you understand God?


  • Many times, First Responders deal with the guilt of “not having done enough”, feeling they have somehow failed even after giving their best effort. Here is an excerpt from Psalm 139:

        15 My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place;
             when I was woven together in the depths of the
       16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days 
ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.


What are your thoughts on this excerpt?


“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.”  ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


Goal Setting

What do you need to do to make your goals a reality? Write specific steps you need to take. Revisit your goal for Step One. How are you progressing toward meeting your goal? Do you need to revise any steps?