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|04-12-2010, 12:14 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Western USA
Here is what I am finding out about Step Three: It is easy to say, easy to give mental assent to, but (for me) mighty difficult to practice.
I know... just agree to the idea and go on, the rest of the steps will be the proof that I have worked Step Three. Except that I've bought into that idea several times before... and failed. I have nothing to lose by sticking with this step until it really means something to me--until my life shows that I have made that decision. Otherwise, a guy like me may settle for the fake and miss it entirely.
My first time through the steps, I just wanted to hurry so that I could join the big boys at the other end and say that I had done it--so that I could attend a step meeting and say, "My experience with this step is ..."
Hogwash won't cut it for me. I'll camp here until the door opens.
All Big Book quotes are from an online text of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, First Edition.
|04-12-2010, 12:15 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2007
Blog Entries: 1
yeah..my tent is right there next to yours
Copyright © 2010 - 2010 Ananda
You can't stop living just because it hurts a little - Ananda's Mom
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|04-12-2010, 12:31 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2009
It's one thing to look at Step 3 and think about that decision to turn my will and life over. It's another thing to really look at the requirements and conditions on pages 60-63. Am I really convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success?
Good news is, I don't have to worry about any life. Just my own. I look at my alcoholic life in the last few years of drinking, and I concluded that 'This is me without God. This is my best effort at running on self will.'
The only thing I knew for certain was that I couldn't continue to live like that. My life without God was disgusting and I could not go on. I had a choice. An unlivable, self-disgusted life OR something else. I didn't know what that something else was, but the other option was intolerable.
So I got down on my knees with a sponsor and said the 3rd Step prayer. I felt nothing, but I had made my decision. I continued to pray, even though I felt silly and stupid. I asked for help. I kept my promises. I got up in the morning and took a shower, and did only what was right in front of me. I began to find the needed power, and inchingly crept my way into a 4th Step.
Step 3 was really done from a negative position for me. Life can't be this (without God), so it must be this (with God). I can only work it that way if I'm really, really convinced it can't be this.
|04-12-2010, 12:33 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: rochester ny
I would say sure, camp away. But dont camp too long, there will eventually be a monsoon and your tent will get washed away. Stretching the metaphor here...
anyway what I mean is steps 1,2,3 involve alot of admitting, believing, making decisions. Meanwhile more than likely the 4th-step-to-be is getting longer on the other side because I'm the same person. Meaning I'm doing the same stuff, being dishonest, using people, avoiding my life generally. (these are some of my defects i'm using as an example)
"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of god, as we understood him". I didnt know what my will and my life was until I did steps 4 and 5. I still dont know what god is (nor does anyone really), and the step doesnt say "spent a whole bunch of time waiting for the decision to feel good", which in my case would translate to "deciding what I will and will not turn over". It also doesnt say "I figured out what god is before making this decision". We have plenty of time for spiritual growth, and the other steps are designed to help us open to this stuff.
In my experience, my concept of a higher power BEFORE my 4th step wouldnt keep me sober. No way. It was a dry drunk's concept. I needed action and more action, less thinking and waiting.
The 4th step was one that I did need to be more careful with. If I'd rushed that, I can see how things I may have omitted would come back to bite me later.
Anyway, this is just my experience. I'm sure your sponsor can help you in this area. The internet is a terrible place for opinions
|04-13-2010, 12:58 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2007
I also agree that one should not move on to a fourth step to show that a decision was made at step 3. Remember, step 3 is the decision and an understanding of this power/god/etc is not required.
My experience with the step was this: On page 60 are the A> B> C> 's. I was asked if I was convinced and had any nagging doubt or questions about these. I did, and discussed those with the guy taking me through. The step itself? Got on my knees and said the prayer with him. It was not something I was looking forward to, but I did it. Then moved on to my inventory.
Your doubts should be discussed in detail (my opinion of course). Camping seems like it may overcomplicate what is simple. So simple that we tend to mess it all up with words and such..
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." - Soren Kierkegaard
|04-13-2010, 05:45 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2008
There sure is some "good sobriety" here!
Part of my Step 3...
There is a hole, chasm, what have you, that opens up in my consciousness, or.... soul... where I lose sight of the meaning of my life. Why am I here? What purpose is there to my existence? Adrift... It can be a perfectly nice day, no problems, working around the house... and... I'm cut loose.
I started to get those feelings around the time my alcoholism really became full blown. And when I got those feelings, I drank, compulsively.... a way to palliate the symptoms of discontentment, restlessness.... And a vicious cycle developed. Alcoholism.
Part of my step three experience is that I lean on God when those holes open, when I question the meaning of my life, the meaning of the next chore I am to do... God loves me, I have meaning in His eyes.
Maybe I don't know what that is, what His plan is... but as Keith so eloquently stated above... whatever I could do with my own self will was disgusting, totally disrespectful to self, self destructive.... self.self.self.
It is then that I understand the beauty of Step Three, of God. I don't have to drink. I have God. All I need to do is seek Him.
|01-18-2011, 08:02 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2010
I don't know if this will help you any but it helped me and hopefully soon I will be moving on.
My addictions counselor put it like this...in all my years of drinking the only contact I had with my Higher Power (mine is God) was the "God help me stop drinking" or "God help me out of this mess and I promise to quit drinking".
I have no relationship with God.
I need to develop a relationship with Him in order for Him to be part of my life now. He never abandoned me, I abandoned Him.
So like any new relationship, I need to work on it daily and let it grow from there.
Don't know if this makes sense or helps, I hope it does.
|01-18-2011, 09:51 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2010
I too would not encourage sitting too long on this step. My experience has always been that the extent to which my will and life have been turned over is manifested in the actions I take. For me this has not been a "one and done" proposition. There is one question asked about whether god is everything or god is nothing. For me this has been a question that has come up repeatedly, not one that I answered once and its been ice cream and orgasms since then.
Bear in mind the promises that follow the fifth step tell us that up till this point we have had spiritual beliefs, after taking the fifth step we begin to have a spiritual experience. The way this looks in my life is that I grow in understanding and faith as I do this work repeatedly, as I adapt this spiritual lifestyle. For me, my spirituality has been a sort of punctuated equilibrium that has changed as time and work has passed.
|04-26-2011, 12:32 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2011
The best way to do that is just do the rest of the steps. That will be doing gods will. Step 3 is a descion to do the rest of the program. Its a descion to not do what i would normaly do and try something differently. We all no where self will gets us. LOADED. With the rest of the steps we are going to work on the real problem. Ourselves.
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