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

Hi everyone.
My name is Shlomo,
I am a compulsive overeater and leader of this workshop.

STEP THREE: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM."

First let me go over the preparatory assignments that connect step 2 to step 3.
My concept of H.P. (Higher Power)
My personal H.P., 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 H.P., 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.
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.

On page 60 in the big book are written 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.
When I am convinced of those ideas I can approach step 3.
I was convinced of (a) and (b), but at fist I was not convinced of (c).
But I was willing to believe that recovery by working the steps is possible
And that was enough to begin my recovery journey.
Today I am convinced and have faith in (c).

The Big Book tells us on pages 60-62 why we need care and guidance from our H.P.
"Selfishness-self centeredness! That we think is the root of our troubles.
Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and
self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate....So our troubles we think are basically of our own making.
They arise of ourselves, and the alcoholic (compulsive eater) is an extreme example of self will run riot......neither could we reduce our self-centeredness ourselves much by wishing or trying on our own power.
We had to have God's help."

The A.A., 12&12 on page 40, explains further:
"Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God's intention for us."

The key to step three is willingness to decide to get help and the requirements are to quit playing God and to decide that God is to be our life director.

Now let us look at step three:
STEP THREE: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God AS WE UNDERSTOOD HIM."

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).
Notice that we don't turn our life over to God. We turn it to God's care.
A simple example. If I have to fix my car I don't give up my car to the mechanic.
I turn it over to his care, which means I want him to repair it, not take it away from me.

We DECIDE to turn our will and our life over to the care of God in step 3, 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.
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 in step 3 is half measures that avail us nothing as far as recovery results are concerned.
After I do steps 4-12 on my past, I turn problems over to the care of God by doing steps 10-12 and not by step 3.
We do the step three decision formally by saying the step 3 prayer (Big Book page 63).
We say the prayer aloud to our sponsor or someone else who understands what we are doing.
We can say it in our own words as long as we express the idea of the prayer,

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 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.
You may try it a few times to see how it works for you.

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

2. Read step 4 in the AA 12&12. (pages 42-54).
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.
Do you recognize some of those defects in yourself?
If you do, write them down and give examples on how each one manifests and influences your life.

3. See the diagram in the following link.:
Our illness makes us go to extremes in fulfilling our survival needs which are expressed in those instincts.
Thus giving rise to our three basic character defects (wrongs), resentments fears and harming others.
Those defects manifest the results of our incorrect thinking, incorrect behaving and incorrect actions.
Give some personal examples.

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


Questions and comments are most welcome.
And as you can see I keep your anonymity when sending my answers to the loop

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