Step Three

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


This step was one that I really resisted for a long time, despite everyone trying to reassure me that I was only making a decision, that it really didn't have to be so difficult. But I had a lot of fears on this step because in my mind I saw it akin to my previously unsuccessful attempts to become "religious" and quite honestly, I just wasn't ready. And why not? Fear was the bottom line for me. I feared that I would have to give up those character traits of mine that I enjoyed having. That life would become dull and glum. That I would no longer be allowed to just "be myself." I didn't want to put myself in a position of not being able to do those things that I wanted to do.

I used to have a habit of going to a meeting and then stopping off at a bar or tavern to hang out at before going home, even though I no longer drank. This was interfering with my responsibilities and was becoming a problem, as I would stay late and then be tired and miserable at work the next day. Being tired though, wouldn't stop me from heading right back there night after night. I approached my sponsor about this problem and he suggested that I try saying the Serenity Prayer on my way home.

A few weeks later, my sponsor checked in with me and asked me how my experiment had gone with saying the Serenity Prayer on my way home. I kind of shrugged and said I really didn't know. He asked if I'd been saying the Serenity Prayer and I replied that I had. He asked me how many times I'd gone to the tavern and I told him I hadn't gone to the tavern since we last spoke about it. "So it worked," he said. I told him, "Nah, not really, I just hadn't wanted to stop at the tavern these last couple of weeks." When he quit laughing, he explained to me that when I turn these things over to my HP its not that I'm prevented from doing what it is that I want to do, its that what I WANT to do changes.

He used this same lesson to reassure me that I really had nothing to fear by doing Step Three, but that didn't really relieve me of the fear of actually doing the step itself. We chose a place in the woods on a beautiful stream so that we wouldn't be distracted. I asked him why HE needed to be there when I did this and he told me it was so just in case I ever forgot if I'd done the Third Step or not, he would be around to remind me that I had! Well, crawling off into the woods to pray with another guy wasn't exactly what I had in mind for a fun day, but I did it anyway! : )

I don't remember feeling any dramatic changes at the time but looking back on it, I know that the day I took this step was probably one of the most important days of my life. Without this step it wouldn't have been possible for me to do the next steps, and without those remaining steps, I'd have never gained abstinence from compulsive overeating. I take this Step Three now, every morning before I start my day, and occasionally several times throughout the day. There are those who say it never has to be said more than once, but I've found that it helps keep me focused on the idea that I am no longer having to control my own life.

I don't know if I can "make" my HP take over my will and my life, but making the decision to do so and being open minded enough to allow my HP to work through me, often makes the most difficult situations bearable. I can't always tell the difference between my will and my HP's will, and I like to think that it is because what I want in my life is changing and becoming more in line with what my HP wants for me.

Would you tell us your experience with Step Three and what it has meant to you?


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