Hi, I'm Tami, and I'm a COE. I am grateful to have made a decision to turn my will, my life and all my affairs over to the care of God as I understood God. I am your WTS Step Study Leader for this Quarter.
Coming into this program, I felt a great deal of devastation that I had put so much misplaced faith into food. The insanities of my focus in life, the extremes of living compulsively and obsessively with my own self will had defeated me. I had pursued my own way of living with enthusiasm and passion, which are not bad traits in and of themselves. Step Three showed me how to focus and point them in positive and productive ways that would work, but I had to give up control. Having been shown so thoroughly my way didn't work, I was ready to try a way that I was told would work.
I started this step early in my recovery with fear and trembling of what it would mean to give up control of my life. What would be left of me if I surrendered my will and my life? Would I even know myself? Would I just disappear, and a robot remain? What if the pain I'd been trying to avoid feeling was just too much? What then? Would I need to make decisions that I didn't want to make? How would I loose the weight, and how fast? It was times when these questions loomed that the Serenity Prayer would reassure me that I could change the things I could, surrender the stuff that I couldn't to my HP and the wisdom to know the difference would be there when needed. I had peace when I gave the results to my HP. I had no peace when I tried to control it.
Hurdling my view of a God that wanted to whack me when I did wrong, I found a kinder God to believe in. This God listened to me, hung out with me, cared about me and would patiently and surely show me how to live a better way. The freedom in this program to choose my own HP made all the difference.
The hopelessness I felt about measuring up to impossible standards of perfection began to disappear as I began to turn my food over to the God I now wanted to have a relationship with. I was crossing the bridge from theoretical belief to experiencing this HP's love and care. But, always, I had the choice to make the decision to take this step and then to risk acting on it. It was up to me to seize the opportuniites presented to me in the now.
I began with my food plan, with the help of my sponsor, and I turned it over to God everyday. I began slowly at first, to talk to my HP and then I began to want to listen. In every good relationship there is two way communication. If I had doubt in making a decision, I would wait until my way became clear.
How do I discern what is my will and my HP's will? With practice, and by the sense of peace that accompanies my HP's guidance, even with difficult tasks. The confusion in my mind clears, my way becomes clear, and I feel the nudge in my intuition how and when to act.
Other things I've surrendered is to not weigh myself any longer, or allow the scales to determine how I feel about the day or my feelings about myself. I 've had to let go of the need to have a perfect body. I am content with good health, good energy and to be in good physical and spriitual health. As I face my issues, and let go of my defects, the weight is coming off in slow and safe ways and means. It is God's timing, not mine. I remain willing and open to greater growth and trust.
I've had to turn over my self pity and replace it with grattitude. No "poor me" thinking because I feel deprived of my binge foods. A more positive attitude shows me that I am neither victum or pitiful. I have dignity and purpose in this life, connected to my HP.
Do we live happily ever after, and never have any more problems in our lives as we continue in recovery? I once had hoped for that ideal state!! Now, I recognize my life's problems as a call from my HP to walk closer to Him, to lean into the struggle and not away from Him/Her. I have bad days now and then. But, I used to have bad years before! We are not promised a rose garden without thorns. But, now I can enjoy the beauty of the roses because of the thorns.
I'm facing my life now, turning it over one problem at a time, one day at a time. I don't do it perfectly. I make progress. The new recovery behaviors become easier with time and as I persist. They are familiar patterns of behavior now that help me to take care of myself. I have the experience to know no matter what is going on in my life, that I will have peace as I stay close to God.
I want to leave you with a quote from St. Francis de Sales:
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset. Commend all to God, and then lie still and be at rest in His bosom.
If we refuse help after admitting that we are powerless, we will remain stuck in our insanity.
We will study Step Four next week. It's not that bad. Everyone who's done it has survived!!! And so will you!!
Blessings, Tami WTS Step Study Leader
STEP THREE ~ QUESTIONS
1. In what ways are you willing to adopt a whole new attitude about weight control, body image and eating?
2. Are you ready to give up self-will regarding food? Please explain.
3. How do you feel about completely turning over your life to your HP for guidance?
4. Do you have eating guidelines? Will you ask God for the willingness and the ability to live within them each day? Explain.
5. Based on what you have learned about recovery so far, how do you see the "turning over" process of Step Three?
6.. What are the things that might prevent you, emotionally and intellectually, from accepting the help of a Higher Power?
7. In what ways do you see a Higher Power working in your life now?
8. Are you willing to consider that taking good care of your body is a spiritual act also?
9. What can you do when you feel unstable?
10. In what ways could Step Three be considered an act of confidence?
11. Are you seeking a spiritual solution to the emptiness or void that you used to fill with food or other compulsions?