Step Three

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







Part One
Part Two

Leader's Share and Step Questions


Hi everyone
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this 12 step workshop.
I this share we are going to delve into step two and have some assignments on step three.

Step two: "came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity"

If we have to be restored to sanity it means that we were sane once, but now we are not.
We are at present insane.
I dealt a bit with the insanity as it expressed itself in our obsession of the mind which returns us to compulsive eating again and again after periods of not eating compulsively.
One form of insanity that we suffer from is repeating the same action, compulsive eating, and expecting different results, that now it will be ok, and we will not overeat and binge.
The same insanity can also manifest in planning a binge, eating compulsively and not caring about the results.
So our obsession is a form of insanity which leads us to insane actions.

But this is not the whole picture of our insanity.
Let me quote a few sentences from the Big Book.
Bill W., in BILL'S STORY page 13 says" I had to test my thinking by the God consciousness within. Common sense would thus become uncommon sense."
Here Bill is recovered and still he cannot trust his perception of his reality.
Because he is recovered he is aware that his disease distorts his perception of reality and makes him live in delusion, but his recovery doesn't straighten out this distortion.
He cannot see the truth about himself and his reality, and needs to turn to a Power greater than himself for help.

It is said that this Power may also give us guidance through the words of other people.
This can be explained as follows.
It turns out that the disease changes and distorts my perception of my reality but it does not affect my perception of other peoples reality.
Therefore I can give good advice to others about themselves and they can do the same to me.
This distortion of my reality without distorting my perception of the reality of others can be very confusing to me.
Since I am led to think that if I can see clearly what is happening to others I can also see clearly what is happening to me,
And this is part of my delusion that makes me believe a lie and not the truth..
The confusion and havoc it causes is at the root of my spiritual malady

This reminds me of a movie about a genius in economy who suffered from schizophrenia and saw people and conspiracies that were only in his mind and not in his reality.
When he became aware of it he began to ask others if they also saw the person that appeared before him.
He couldn't trust his mind not to play tricks on him and this was his way of dealing with it.

I don't see people who aren't there but I think that my delusion is normalcy.
For example: In my working place we ate lunch in a big dining room.
The people who sat near me were not compulsive eaters and a lot of times they left half of the meat portion on the plate.
I thought they were insane.
How can one leave half of the main portion and not finish it all.
I finished mine and wanted to finish theirs too.

In the chapter THE DOCTORS OPINION he describes this kind of insanity too:
"they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false.
To them their alcoholic life seems the only normal one"
This kind of insanity that is expressed as delusion and distortion of my reality is at the root of my unmanageable life and my spiritual malady.
It is especially confusing and gives rise to negative feelings and attitudes since I can see other persons reality quite clearly and I think that I see mine clearly too where mine is delusional.


So after explaining and enlarging the scope of the inanity mentioned in step two let me have a look on the word "could."
It does not say "would or will" it says "could".
The reason is simple.
We do this by removing the things that block us from It and develop conscious contact with It.
Only when we do this work by doing all the twelve steps will we be able to benefit from the energy given fourth by this Power.
And then the Big Book promises us that our obsession about food will be removed.

Our distorted delusion of our reality will always remain with us, but now in recovery we are aware of it,
And have tools to deal with it by turning to a Power greater than ourselves and sharing with others, and listening to them.

We also have to understand that in recovery we are not rid of most of our character defects.
But we are aware of them and deal with them on a daily basis by doing steps 10-12.
Therefore when the defects arise we can handle them.
We are not overwhelmed by them and are not driven to eat compulsively.

Our physical abnormal reaction to certain foods that causes cravings for more, will also remain with us all our life.
But it will not be active since our obsession will be removed and without the obsession we will be able to stay out of the food without fighting
Since we will not feel or want to eat foods that cause us to eat compulsively.

Now let me talk again about reaching bottom.
Reaching bottom is the process that drives me accept a Power greater than myself as the solution to my food compulsion.
In the chapter BILL'S STORY page 8, Bill describes his bottom as a feeling of complete defeat and utter hopelessness, helplessness, loneliness, despair and self-pity,
and a realization that his addiction was his master which means that it had complete power over him.

In the AA 12&12 In the chapter on step one, Bill writes that every alcoholic (compulsive eater) must hit bottom first, since few people will sincerely try to practice the 12 steps unless they have hit bottom.
The 12 steps are a program of change and our natural tendency is to resist change since it means leaving our comfort zone even if we suffer in it.
Most of us prefer relief and we do the recovery program only when the inner pain is so great that we feel there is no other way out.
Bottom is an internal feeling and has to do only with our internal world.
Our troubles in our outside world may drive us to reach bottom but they are not the bottom.
The feeling of reaching bottom is the same in everyone who has reached bottom.

Now let me say a few words about coming to believe.
The Big Book tells us in the chapter WE AGNOSTICS that willingness to believe is enough to begin my journey to recovery.
There is a big difference between belief and faith.
I will give a simple example.
Suppose there is something wrong with the plumbing in my apartment and I don't know how to fix it.
So I look in the yellow pages, find a plumber, and ask him to come and fix the problem.
I don't know the plumber personally and I cannot be sure that he will do the job to my satisfaction.
But I believe that he will do it. Otherwise I wouldn't have called him.
Am I certain of him? No!. but I am willing to try since I cannot do it myself and I don't know any other plumber personally.
The plumber comes and does the work to my complete satisfaction and for a modest price.
Now I know that this plumber is worth working with and the next time I have a problem I will be sure to call him.
Now I have faith in him and the work he does and am certain that it will be done to my satisfaction.
This is the situation with a Power greater than myself.
In step two I come to believe that this Power can restore me to sanity.
I do my part of working the steps and when I reach recovery I am certain that this Power restored me to sanity and I have faith in this Power.

I think it is time for the assignments

ASSIGNMENTS:
A. Did you come to believe that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity?

I think no one has sent us an answer to my last assignment so here it is again. It is important. So please do answer
1. What characterizes your Power greater than yourself?
Are you willing to believe in It?
How do you think you can achieve contact with It,
And how do you think it can help you achieve recovery.

2. There are about 700 members in this loop.
Most of you don't send shares to the loop. So now is your chance.
Please tell us your reasons for being here and for not sharing with the loop.

3. Read the first 3 pages of the chapter HOW IT WORKS pages 58-60.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you action directions.

4. Are you convinced of the following 3 pertinent ideas?
(a) That you are a compulsive eater and cannot manage your own life.
(b) That probably no human power can relieve your food compulsion.
(c) That a Power greater than yourself can and will if It is sought.

5. Read the next pages 60-64. (Till step 4)
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you action directions.

6. Step three:"Made a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM"
What are the two requirements we have to fulfill in order to do step three?
What is the meaning of the words "will and life" in this step?
Can we turn our will and life over in step three? explain.

7. Write the step three prayer in your own words. And explain its meaning to you.

That is all for now folks
Have a nice and fruitful day

Shlomo

Questions and comments are most welcome.
Send them to:
10.shaft@gmail.com
Send your answer to the assignments to: wts@lists.therecoverygroup.org

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Hi everyone
My name is Shlomo
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this 12 step workshop.
I this share we are going to delve into step three
But first my answers to some of the last step two and three assignments.

QUESTION:
What characterizes your Power greater than yourself?
Are you willing to believe in It?
How do you think you can achieve contact with It,
And how do you think it can help you achieve recovery.

ANSWER:
My Power greater than myself is a source of life energy that I connect to deep inside myself.
In order to be able to connect consciously I have to work all 12 steps and continue to work steps 10-12 on a daily basis.
This Power is available to everyone.
In fact it is available to everything in the universe.

In order to have a tangible image I compare its action to that of the sun.
The sun gives light and life to everything and everyone with no exceptions, and without any dependence on what they do or how they live.
But in order to benefit from it I have to let its rays of light reach me.
My spiritual disease locked me up in a dark room where light couldn't get in.
I had to do the steps in order to open the room to the light and the more I advanced with the steps the more light came in.

The way my Power greater than myself works in my life is by sending a constant flow of energy into the world.
When I am open to this flow I get insights and understand what I have to do with my life.
The insight comes by way of intuition, and inspiration.
I usually have to quiet my mind in order to get it and the way I do it is by meditation on a daily basis.
I usually say a prayer before meditating as a way to open myself up to the Power's influence.
I also use prayer to ask for power to carry out what I gleaned by my insight.
This opens me up more to the influence of this Power.

When I am in conscious contact with this Power as a result of working the 12 steps on a daily basis,
I am recovered and my food obsession is gone or lessened to such a degree that I control it instead of the obsession controlling me.
This is my concept of a Power greater than myself in my life. Of course any concept that you feel comfortable with will work for you too.

ASSIGNMENT:
Read the first 3 pages of the chapter HOW IT WORKS pages 58-60.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you action directions.
ANSWER:
I will write what information made the biggest impression on me.

In order to recover I have to work the steps thoroughly.

I have to develop a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.
When I came into the program I was afraid that I will not be able to recover because I was not honest.
My sponsor explained that I don't have to come into the program as an honest man but be willing to develop honesty and work on it.

I have to want recovery and be willing to go to any length to get it.
Let go of my old ideas and be open to new ones.
The set aside prayer helped me with that.

Half measure will avail me nothing.
So there is no easier and softer way to reach recovery in this program.

The steps are suggested as a program of recovery.
But since half measures avail us nothing.
If I decide to work the steps I have to do it thoroughly and follow each step directions exactly.

The program is a program of spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
This means that I have to work the program diligently all my life and that no one works the steps perfectly.

QUESTION AND ANSWER:
Are you convinced of the following 3 pertinent ideas?
(a) That you are a compulsive eater and cannot manage your own life. YES.
(b) That probably no human power can relieve your food compulsion. YES.
(c) That a Power greater than yourself can and will if It is sought.
When I came into program I was not convinced of (c).
What helped me was what was written in the chapter WE WGNOSTICS, That it is enough to start by being willing to believe.
My sponsor helped me too by explaining the difference between belief and faith.
Today I say YES to (c).

ASSIGNMENT:
Read the next pages 60-64. (Till step 4)
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you action directions.

ANSWER:
I will write what information made the biggest impression on me.

I have to be convinced that life run on self will can hardly be a success.

The root of our problem is selfishness--self-centeredness.

When people hurt us it is usually because sometime in the past we have made decisions based on self will which later placed us in a position to be hurt.

Our troubles are basically of our own making.

We must be rid of our selfishness or or it kills us. Only a Power greater than myself makes this possible by Its aid.

We cannot reduce our self centeredness by wishing or trying on our own power.

We have to quit playing God. We have to decide that God (a power greater than ourselves) is going to be our director.

QUESTION:
Step three:"Made a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM"
What are the two requirements we have to fulfill in order to do step three?
What is the meaning of the words "will and life" in this step?
Can we turn our will and life over in step three? Explain.

ANSWER:
I will use the word God as a short generic term for my Power greater than myself.
And everyone can give it the meaning that fits him.

The first requirement is to quit playing God which means to quit running our life by our self will alone.
The second requirement is to decide to be directed in all things by a Power greater than ourself.

The word "will" in step three stands for feelings and thinking. The word "life" stands for my actions.

Step three is a decision making step. We decide to turn our will and our life over to the care of God (a Power greater than ourselves).
We decide to do it but we still cannot carry out our decision in step three since we still haven't dealt with our spiritual malady and had not overcome it.
Our spiritual malady blocks us from a Power greater than ourselves.
We have to work on removing the blocks by doing steps 4-12.
Only then can we really carry out our decision.
That is why it says on page 64 that "although our decision was a vital and crucial step , it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face and to be rid of the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Therefore we started on a personal inventory this was step four".
Step 4 is the first step we have to take in order to be able to carry out the step 3 decision and it is just the beginning.
We have to continue with all the rest of the 12 steps in order to be able to carry out the third step decision.
So when someone says that he had a problem and did step 3 and turned it over to the care of God he is deluding himself.
The process of turning a problem over to the care of God is by deciding in step three and then immediately doing steps 4-12.
Just saying I turned it over is half measure that avail us nothing as far as recovery results are concerned.

ASSIGNMENT:
Write the step three prayer in your own words. And explain its meaning to you.

ANSWER:
We do the step three decision formally by saying a prayer.
We can say it in our own words as long as we express the idea of the prayer, which is expressing our decision by asking God for guidance and directions in all our affairs.

In the first version of the Big Book it was said that we should say this prayer on our knees.
This was taken out of the following editions since it was thought that it was mostly a Christian religious act of humility.
I learned that kneeling has also an entirely different meaning which may be is important to every person who prays.
There are few physical positions that quiet the mind.
One is practiced in the far east and is called the lotus position. This position is not practical for most people in the west.
We have another position which is the kneeling position. It too helps quieten the mind.
Using this position while praying and meditating helps our prayer and meditation to be much more effective.

I recommend doing prayer and meditation while kneeling because of the way the kneeling quiets the mind.
But of course you are free to decide for yourselves.
I just recommend that you try it for yourself a few times.
Pray and meditate while kneeling and not kneeling and feel the difference then decide.

NEW STEP THREE ASSIGNMENTS and more.

1. Read step 3 in the AA 12&12
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Pay particular attention to the key of willingness and to making our will conform with God's will.

2. Do step three.
Say the step three prayer aloud to someone who understands

3. Read the chapter HOW IT WORKS pages 64-67
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you action direction.

Read step 4 in the AA 12&12.
Mark and copy the sentences that give you new information.
Pay special attention to the explanation of the basic instincts of life and the character defects that arise when those instincts are driven out of balance to extreme ends.

That is all for now folks
Have a nice and fruitful day

Shlomo

Questions and comments are most welcome.
Send them to:
10.shaft@gmail.com
Send your answer to the assignments to: wts@lists.therecoverygroup.org







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