Came to believe that a Power greater
than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


Remember, last week, we looked at the difference between powerless and helpless. I am powerless over food and my life is quite unmanageable when I'm turning my will and my life over to the care of food. When I rely on the pitfall of 'one bite won't hurt', I'm turning my will and life over to the care of food. I may as well get down on my knees right in front of the fridge and pray to it. Food is a power greater than myself at that time.

Last week I asked you to write what your concept of God is, or if you didn't have one you liked, to write a want add for a God. Now let's look at the chapter, “How it Works” on page 58. Read through all the steps, down through page 60, to where it says, “Being convinced, we were at Step Three”. Read through to the middle of page 63 to “We were now at Step Three.

These pages say some pretty powerful things about getting ready to turn our will and our lives over to the care of the God of our understanding. The first direction is that we must get ride of self-will if we want to have a life that is successful. Can you look back over your life to where you were trying to get your own way, under the guise of being helpful? When was your self will in collision with something or somebody? Can you see instances of that? Write down your thoughts to these questions.

Me? I always wanted a little white house with a little white picket fence and 2.5 children, a doting husband who came home at 5 every night. I pictured myself greeting him at the door with a martini, dinner prepared on the table (sort of like a Thanksgiving feast), I'd have a perky little white apron tied around my perky little waist and he'd give me a loving smooch. The 2.5 children were nestled all snug in their beds while my handsome husband and I dined to candlelight, soft music and after the lovely dinner, the kitchen magically cleaned itself while Mr.
Wonderful and I made mad, passionate love all evening.

Do you know that I chased that fantasy through three marriages to three alcoholic men? The first one hit me, the second one hit walls and the third ignored me, but I kept trying to force my self will onto unwilling participants, ruining both our lives. Their drinking escalated as quickly as my weight. During the first 20 years of my adulthood, I exceeded 200 pounds three times, each time the high weight got higher.

Maybe you were not as prolific with husbands as I was, but how did your self centeredness affect your life and the life of those around you? As it says on the bottom of page 60, how were you the actor running the whole show? Write about how you relate to this.

What happened in my case is that I went through three painful divorces, I never had the kids, and I never was a stay at home mom. I ended up supporting all three husbands at one time or another. The show didn't come off the way I wanted (on page 61). I could never admit I was at fault. I became indignant, angry and self-pitying. Wow, that was the worst, the self pity. And meanwhile, I gained more and more weight.

How were you a producer of confusion instead of harmony? How is self centeredness at the root of YOUR problems, not just about your size but your unmanageable life? Write about this. On page 62 it talks about being driven by fear, self-delusion, self seeking and self-pity. Can you see where you may also been driven by these too? Are you willing to own that your troubles were of your own making too? Please answer these questions.

On the bottom of page 62, we talk of how we played God. Can you see where YOU acted like God? Boy, I sure did. And as I look back now, I can honestly see that it didn't work for me. Then I was open to considering this God of my understanding to be the Director. The bottom of page 62 references a keystone of a triumphant arch. The dictionary describes a keystone as: 1 : the wedge-shaped piece at the crown of an arch that locks the other pieces in place. In other words, without the keystone, the arch falls. That is how important God is in our recovery. The top of page 63 holds the third step promises! How wonderful to enjoy peace of mind and face life successfully!

Today I am married to a wonderful, healthy normal man, not an alcoholic. The steps turned me from a woman of substance abuse to a woman of substance and a healthy, normal man was attracted to me. I no longer look for that picture and now that God's running the show, I have a life that I never dreamed possible. I like HIS show much better! My will was limiting. God's will is total abundance, beyond my wildest dreams.

This brings us to step three. If you can actually do this with your sponsor, either in person or over the phone, that's great. Read on the middle of page 63, the third step prayer. You might want to read this with your sponsor or spiritual advisor. If you have a God that works for you, great, you are ready to go. If not, the one you wrote about in your want ad? You hereby are given permission to have that God! And you are ready to go! And now, if you are ready, say that prayer to the God that you described last week. Give yourself to that God and give that God to yourself. Mmmm! Feel the warm glow of YOUR HP's protection and care.

You might want to take some quiet time to get to know this Higher Power. I have learned to lean on mine through out the day. In the morning when I get up, I start my day on my knees in prayer. I found it helpful to take a position of humility, and I ask for abstinence for the next twenty-four hours. One day at a time. I also end the day on my knees, thanking Him for abstinence that day of abstinence, and it's working. It's worked now for the last 5,355 days, one day at a time.

We're not done. Look at the bottom of page 63. It says that this is a beginning and we may feel an effect from taking step three. Now the real work begins. If you read on to page 64, you'll see that unless you take the next step, this effect may be lost.

Now, we'll take time to face and be rid of the things that are blocking us.

This week, you are going to take step four. I know, I know, some people have been working on a step four for years. But the big book tells me that the first 100 men and women took the steps in a day and a half. If you have been pontificating over a 4th step for a long time, it's time to finish it. If you've never done your inventory, it's time to start it.

Read the next pages through the end of this chapter so you have an idea of how to take this step. Most find it easiest to follow the formula on page 65, listing who or what you are resentful of/at, the cause and what it effects. Keep it simple. Sit down for an hour or so and write. That's the tools of step 4 - paper and a pencil. Read onto page 66 and 67, and learn that anger and resentment are dubious luxuries of normal men. For us they are poison. That's pretty heavy.

This list holds the key to our future! Isn't that hopeful? On the top of page 67, we are given a new way to perceive people, as sick. And new action on how to treat them. People no longer push my buttons when I don't see them as trying to do something to me, but as people who are sick.

I had to forget about all the wrongs done to me, by those ex-husbands, my parents, co-workers, bosses, friends. I had to look at how I wronged them. You'll hear some in program suggest that we belong on the top of our resentment list. I disagree with that. The big book suggests that I must be rid of my 'self' motives. So putting myself on my inventory goes against that theory. I am trying to get rid of self seeking motives.

On page 67, at the bottom, there is more directions, for us to pay attention to that word, fear. Follow the directions on page 68 and review your fears thoroughly. Put them on paper too.

I find it interesting that the sex inventory comes on page 69. No lack of a sense of humor with God, eh? Here we see how to make our sex inventory - put them on paper too. List who you've hurt, wheere were you at fault? Don't take anyone else's inventory but your own.

So by next week, you'll want to be ready to do your fifth step. This is your good beginning; you've swallowed and disgested some big chunks of truth about yourself.

Do you have a sponsor? If you don't yet, you might start looking around for one because - yep, you guesssed it. Next week you'll be doing your fifth step! Have a great week!

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