Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God. (*)
Step 3 is scary for many, even those who have some sort of belief in a higher power. For me the issue was one of control. It felt like I was asking a total unknown to take over my life and run it. I was afraid I’d never get to do anything I wanted to do. I was sure, that I’d end up celibate running a rehab house.
Because I really didn’t want to drink again and because my sponsor assured me Step 3 only required I make a decision, I did state that I had decided to turn my will and my life over to whatever. It was the only course I could see after having accepted my insanity in Step 2.
Decide to be willing
Actually, my sponsor asked me a series of questions more or less like this:
“Do you,” he asked, and yes, I had a male sponsor which is another story, ”have any doubts you’re powerless over alcohol and drugs?”
“No,” I answered know I really had taken Step 1.
“Do you have any evidence you’re any good at managing your own life?”
“No,” I answered well aware that the evidence showed I didn’t.”
“Do you believe in God?”
“Well,” I stammered, “something got me here, but… ”
He stopped me as I started to waffle. ”So you do believe in something, even if you don’t know what it is or what it means to you at the moment.”
I nodded, which was apparently enough.
“And you have a sense that that ‘something’ is what got you to AA, right?”
“Yes, in fact I’m sure of it,” glad we had moved away from any definition of a high power.
“Do you think, perhaps, that something might help you not drink, at least one day at a time? And maybe help you with some other issues?”
Tears of relief started and it was the first time I had some hope that this 12 Step program might work for me as I’d seen it work for others. I nodded and sniffled.
In a gentler tone, he asked, “are you willing to give it a try?”
I was and I still am.
Which is what Step 3 is really about – being and staying willing. Willing to trust that there’s more going on in this universe than we can see and that there is something, an energy, a spirit, a source, a higher power, that we can open to and that will help guide us in truly self-supportive ways.
In fact, it’s really about making a decision to become willing. I found I wasn’t able to do much turning over until Step 7; all I could do at Step 3 was make a decision to become willing. Not so hard to do afterall.
Oh, and all those worst fears? They didn’t even come close to coming true.
Love and blessings,