Step Three

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

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Phyllis here; chunkie, drunkie, junkie...clean, sober, abstinent since May 20, 1972


This sometimes creates a veil of terror for some. The purpose of a power greater than ourselves is to help us realize the role of spirituality, or the lack thereof, has played in our lives. Some questions you may ask yourself. Who am I? What is my purpose here? What standards do I live by? It is easy to feel connected when all is going well. However, during times of pain, loss, sadness, stress, or fearful, contact with HP may elude us. We may feel distant, abandoned and forsaken. Prayer feels shallow, and we can't sit still one more minute in meditation and just don't feel the presence.

Prayer: request, entreaty, invitation, solitation, urge, solicit worship, reverence, exalt, extoll.

Meditation: comtemplation, reflection, introspection, concentrate, focus, consider, reexamine, reappraise, reevaluate, LISTEN

Prayer is when I talk and G-d listens. Meditation is when G-d talks and I listen.

The key, once again, is willingness. Step 3 calls for affirmative action. Before Program, I was extremely self-centered, self- righteous, selfish. These created fear, which is the character defect that creates character defects. I was always looking inward...what's in it for me? will they like me? will I get/say the right thing, am I attractive, will someone ever love me? The questions we posed to ourselves always held the same answer....probably not. I was brought up as Fat, Lazy, Ugly, and Stupid. It takes a lot of food to stuff those down. It defies the existence of a Higher Power.

How will we let Him in? " "This appears impossible" OA/AA gives testimony that anyone at all can begin...just a small step is needed. The Key of Willingness opens the door and will continue to do so as long as you do your part. AA 12x12. The phrase about the more we depend on a Higher Power, the more independent we become. I love the comparison to electricity in our homes. We are delighted with this dependence and we don't want the current cut off. OA 12x12 I remember feeling fear of giving up "myself" to an unknown would make me invisible. I was a sum total of my character defects (which I did not even know about before Program), and they saved my life many times in the "old" days.

I was compulsively self-reliant and sufficient and could not imagine not being in charge.. The other steps of Program can be practiced with success only when Step Three is given a determined and per sistent trial. Step One must be practiced daily and so with Two and Three. It is a complete package. If you are willing to go to any length, G-d does not make it difficult! If you don't want to turn it over, don't pick it up. Developing a relationship with a Higher Power is more difficult for us because 1-we are not good at relationships 2-(for me) I was too sophisticated to believe and turn it over. That somehow was not good for cocktail and dinner time conversation.

My favorite prayer is the Third Step prayer. I use it many times daily. Sometimes I repeat it and I forget words. This is fairly common to people of my age.

G-d, I offer myself to you, to build with and do with me what thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self so that I may beter do thy will. Take away my difficulties so that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and thy Way of life. May I do thy will always.

Read Chapter 2 in the BB, again and connect it with the third step. "Spiritual experiences appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of our lives are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate.

Don't expect thunder and lightening. Don't expect visions of Burning Bushes or parting of the Seas.

What you can expect is a feeling of lightness, the removal of stress, a quiet and simple feeling that is devoid of pain. You know when you are doing something right. You feel it. It may not last for a very long time in the beginning. But once you experience it, you know that it will be back. It is so quiet, it seems like "Joy". I had a sponsee who would ask "when will I get the glow that you have?" My answer was and is,"if you see the glow, you already have it".

Read chapters 3 and 4 in the BB and notice how they relate to Steps 1,2,and 3. This is the intention of the Program. They follow in "divine" order. Step 3 is about TRUST and when in trouble, Try Really Using Step Three. Reread any of the literature you own about the first three steps and imagine applying them to yourself. The books are really about us. Read Steps 1, 2, 3 in the OA 12x12.

I never stop reading the literature. I always find something I did not see the last time. When I first came to Program, I would never make marks in the books. After a while, it was a little check mark at the beginning of a sentence. Then came underlining in pencil, and, of course, then in ink. Finally, I started using colored markers, first everything in blue, then in red, then yellow...get the idea. My first OA 12x12 is like a rainbow. There are always statements that jump out when I am receptive and they solve my problem at that moment,

Talk to your sponsor, your friends, other members of the fellowship and ask them about their "spiritual experience". How did they first start to believe? What did they do? What did they read? The fellowship plays a very important part in our recovery. We are here to see each other through, not see through each other. There is a level of honesty that exists among us and you can make it part of your life. You will start to do some deep research about yourself and the wonderful results are that we become part of the recovery community.

Fear holds back belief.

A lot of people love the Program, hate the work.

G-d is the Chairman of the Board and my dues is my abstinence.

When I first came here, my abstinence was my food plan. Today it means how I live, how I treat myself, how I treat others, how I connect with my HP.

The obstacle in front of me is never greater than the power behind me.

Courage is fear that says its prayers.

In my early years, I went through a serious identity crisis. I thought I was G-d!

The old me has died-as I prayed for it. She was willing to die to let me live.

So, Step 3 "Made a decision.the problem isn't the "decision", it is the carrying it out. What can you do daily that will help your connection with your HP. The Program is like that 3 legged stool. It must be worked on 3 levels, physical, emotional, and spiritual. You must keep it going. Each "leg" supports the other.

I do hope you are moving forward and getting something from my notes.

Step Leader
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