STEP THREE ~ INTRODUCTION
[Disclaimer: There may be OA's in WTS who do not call
their Higher Power(s) "God." I alternate between "God"
and "HP;" and they are interchangeable. Please
understand that when I speak of "God," I truly *do*
mean "God, as (I) understand God."]
Step 3 was and remains the cornerstone of my recovery.
I learned how - and whom - to trust with my life and I
learned how to sit back and let others run the
universe. I am not in charge - and it's a good thing,
too. Step 3 taught me the difference between a life
run on Penny's will (which leads to chaos) and a life
run on God's will (which leads to serenity and peace),
and all it takes is a decision that I need to make
I used to be (ha) a control freak. No one was
trustworthy because no one could be trusted to do
things the way I would have done them, if they could
be trusted to do things in the first place. I was the
master of my own universe, I knew what was RIGHT, and
if I worried enough, I'd get what I wanted. To
paraphrase the philosopher, I worry, therefore I care.
Worry is an interesting bifurcated concept. Worry is
the ultimate control method that creates anxiety. It
allows me to believe that I am in control even as it
robs me of all serenity. It makes me feel alive and
productive and then saps all the energy out of me and
Step 3 taught me that worry is a useless waste of time
When I first looked at Step 3, I couldn't help but
wonder what life would be like if I gave it to God.
I heard OA's talk about the child with the broken toy.
I was the child and the broken toy was my life. Like
the child who needs to let go of the toy in order for
it to be fixed, I need to make the decision to let go
of my broken life in order for God to fix me as God
saw fit. I've also heard OA's say that their best
efforts got them into a mess of a life and huge
clothing, and I believe them - to an extent (more
about that later). Step 3 gives me the chance to begin
to let go of all the old beliefs and attitudes that
got me to 225 pounds of misery and fear.
One last thing: "God as we understood God" is the
single concept that allowed me to completely embrace
OA. Once I had come to an understanding of God, I knew
that I could stay in this organization, even when my
understanding of God differed radically from other
OAs' understanding. The self-confidence to be true to
my own understanding came with time, but it came
because OA gave me the wiggle room and the freedom.
1. What's the difference between "self" will and "God's" will?
2. What does it mean to "make a decision?"
3. What kind of action is necessary after you make the decision?
4. What would prevent you from taking Step 3?
5. How do you see yourself after taking Step 3?
6. Do relate to the idea of yourself as the toy that needs to go to the God (as we understood God) to be fixed? How so?
7. Why do you think this step refers to "God as we understand God" and not just "God?" Does this distinction help you work this step?
8. It's been said that this is the cornerstone of OA's 12-step program and that the rest of the steps are impossible without completely taking this step. Do you agree/disagree - and why/why not?
9.One of my favorite slogans is "I can't, God can, I think I'll let God." How do you relate to this slogan?
10. Step 3 is where we let go of our selves and allow our selves to become minimized so that we can get built back up. Are you ready to make that decision?
Yours in Recovery,
The Twelve Steps
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