Made a decision to turn our will and our lives
over to the care of God as we understood Him.
STEP THREE~QUESTION #1
Read Step Three in the AA 12&12. "Willingness is the key." Discuss and reflect on what affirmative acction you have taken in the last two weeks within the confines of the program.LEADERS SHARE:
In order for me to have willingness, I have to ask God for it. I ask for the willingness to be willing, because on my own I cannot be willing. The biggest thing I have done in the last two weeks is start this step study. This has been very rewarding for me. My own sharing helps me with my own program. Reading everybody else's sharing also reinforces the fact that I am not alone. When I feel that I am being ignored at work by the people who work for me, I am learning to hold them accountable. A part of my disease is to not hold others accountable when I should. This always been hard for me because I have a fear of other people's reactions. Yesterday, I worked out a process with my management to hold the people who work for me accountable for their major projects and the amount of time they spend on them.
STEP THREE~QUESTION #2
Read Chapter 4, "We Agnostics," in the AA Big Book Discuss and reflect on "The Great Reality (that) is deep down within us."LEADERS SHARE:
This chapter tells us that faith in a power greater than ourselves is a part of our human makeup. this reality may be very deep down inside of us, but it was there all along.
I was raised in a very strict church as a young child. I was picked on and mistreated by other children who attended church. As a result, I would resist church. As an adult, I always felt that I was on the outside looking in, especially in a church setting. In a church I joined in the late 1970's, nobody would talk to me and I was always isolated. Consequently, I rejected the idea of going to church because it was for everybody else. Until a few years ago, I had a resentment towards organized religion because I never felt accepted. I developed a strong faith about 6 years ago, but I did not go to church until about one year ago because I refuse to be set up for rejection and isolation. During the period I did not go to church, I always thought there was a God for me, but I did not take Him really seriously.
I believe that I always had a belief of God inside of me though I did not recognize it then. Even under the weight of 100 additional pounds of body mass resulting from compulsive overeating, I found out God was there for me.
Today, I go to a church on a regular basis where I am accepted just as I am.
STEP THREE~QUESTION #3Read Appendix ii, "Spiritual Experience," in the AA Big Book. Discuss your spiritual awakening or reawakening. LEADERS SHARE:
My spiritual experience came about 6 years ago at the OA men's retreat in Santa Barbara California. The topic was prayer and meditation. At that retreat, I was constantly in the chapel praying, sometimes on my knees. Every year I attend, I get even closer to God. Just being on my knees in the chapel and praying really makes me feel connected to God. This is the process that made me want to return to church about one year ago.
I turned things over to God before that time, but it lacked the same depth as compared after my first men's retreat.
STEP THREE~QUESTION #4
Read Chapter 5 in the AA Big Book "...people of faith have courage..." Discuss and reflect on the courage your faith has given you.LEADERS SHARE:
I used to think of people of faith as weak people with no spine! Today, based on my personal experience, and the experience of my beautiful brothers and sisters in recovery, we are the strongest people around! Faith gives me courage to do something that is outside of my comfort zone. I am being given service opportunities that are so far out of my comfort zone, I am literally wowed as to what god is doing with me. I would never do these things alone, I could not. But with my life and will turned over to god, I can let god work through me. If that is not courage, I do not know what it is!
This program has given me the courage to make amends when necessary. I am learning to speak up when I need to without fear of other people's reactions. Even if I say something that is inappropriate, it is recovery for me to speak up though I need to make an amend afterwards. Growing up with a childhood like mine, I have a natural fear of other people's reactions. Also, I have a fear of rejection and not being accepted by others. Turning these over to the care of God gives me strength and courage to do what I need to do in my daily life. My employment places me in situations where the meetings are adversarial. I ask God to give me the right words to say and the courage to stand up for what is right. When I remember to do this, guess what - the meeting goes better. Sometimes, I do not even believe the words that come out of my mouth. I give credit to God in all of this.
STEP THREE~QUESTION #5
Re-read Step Three. "I am responsible for only one person's actions." Whose and why?
I used to apologize when somebody ran over my foot with their shopping cart. I was always told I was just taking up a space and I was in everybody's way. First, the program taught me that I am a whole and worthy person who is a child of god and has every right to be here. Second, I am responsible for my own actions and reactions, not anybody else's!
When somebody else wrongs me, I read the following two quotes:
"Never play back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you as honorable."
"Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good."
These quotes tell me that I must do what is right, regardless of what others around me may do. I am subjected to a lot of negative behaviors from other people almost on a daily basis. I need to respond back by sticking to the principles and staying out of the personalities. Yes, part of my brain wants to get in there and "set the other person straight!" My program and faith both teach me to love others as god loves me and to forgive others just as god forgives me. The act that was committed may be wrong, but I have learned to forgive the person(s) behind the actions.
Lastly, The program is teaching me to speak out when something done against me is wrong. I no longer apologize when somebody runs over my foot with their shopping cart. I may say out loud "Ouch!" or "Excuse You!." I learned that it is OK when somebody wrong me to say how I feel about it and to be honest as long as I stick to the principles.
Love In Recovery,
The Twelve Steps
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