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Unread 12-09-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
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Default Step 3

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we
understood Him
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Unread 12-19-2009, 11:33 AM   #2
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I think of the first three steps as my everyday steps. All three simply require a change in our way of thinking. It sounds easy, but for the many folks who cannot get past them, they can seem a huge obstacle. Notice Step Three says we "made a decision". For me, that decision must be made each day, and often more frequently.

Understanding and learning to practice these first three steps is a major milestone in recovery. Doing so frees us to be in a position to tackle the action steps to come.
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Unread 12-20-2009, 03:38 PM   #3
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Step three for me should have been step one for me. When I learned about this disease and the other one, I turned myself over to God, and do so every day, my hope is that it becomes easier for others as it is for me. The important thing is for me is to work all steps all of the time in my daily life. It's not easy to look in the mirror and know that we are powerless over our disease, but knowing that God will see us through the tough times seems "healthy" for lack of a better word.
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Unread 12-30-2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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I love this step, because its an ACTION step. I have to use it in my life constantly. I try to take my will back alot!
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Unread 01-01-2010, 03:05 PM   #5
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Step three is about "making a decision" If I knew how to turn my will and my life over to GOD as I understood him at this point. I would not need the steps! That is what is so beautiful about this program. And these steps. They are in order for a reason. And it is very hard for us to do these steps without the guidance of someone who has worked them all. Don't let this God thing scare you off. I remember someone saying (at a step study once....and I even wrote it down in my book) If the God I came to AA with could have kept me sober then I would not have wound up doing these steps or coming to the rooms of AA. See I had a God. But....I had no way of connecting to him. I prayed before I got to AA. But....to be honest ...most of my prayers were of the 911 variety (God get me out of this one and I promise not to do this again). Today they are more of the 411 variety (need information God.... variety)
So I get to AA and I see these steps and I'm thinking I understand them. But...like it says above on this step....Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him. The important part of this step is to make a decision....to open that door Ever so Slightly to finding a God of your own understanding. As we do the work in the next 9 steps we will have come to a spiritual awakening of some kind! We will then have a better understanding of OUR God. (whatever or whoever that God is.)
If you are struggling with the God thing. Just open the door alittle in this step okay! It is just a decision to turn your will over.
I can make a decision to wash the car. But....that doesn't mean the car gets washed! The action comes later! As you will see.
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Unread 01-02-2010, 12:25 PM   #6
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Well said Tang ..........

I remember those 911 calls to God, I call them the OH DEAR GOD prayers. I offered up many of them.

By working the program I didn't find I new God of my understanding, but, I found the realization of what my part of that relationship was. When I began working with the God of my understanding, my Higher Power, that is when positive changes began to take place and it is also when I began to be able to see the blessings which were placed in my life, each and every day.

Though our Higher Powers might differ and though our personal understandings of those personal Higher Powers may differ, the rewards and promises still come to pass for each of us, if, if, we can be humble enough to take some suggestion, unselfish enough to give back and selfish enough to place our recovery first.

That is how it worked for me.

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Unread 01-02-2010, 01:34 PM   #7
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I found that I reached that understanding in spite of myself. The whole spiritual aspect of the program was something that I thought, "nah....I'll never go there". I think it says something about this in "How it Works", how we can assume that we'll *never* be able to "get" this or that, which has the effect of closing ourselves to change. A lot of this stuff took years for me, not because there was anything wrong with it or how it was presented, the reality was that I had closed myself by thinking in absolute terms. I had to learn the hard way that, simply by being open to change, anything could happen.
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Unread 01-02-2010, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms View Post
I found that I reached that understanding in spite of myself. The whole spiritual aspect of the program was something that I thought, "nah....I'll never go there". I think it says something about this in "How it Works", how we can assume that we'll *never* be able to "get" this or that, which has the effect of closing ourselves to change. A lot of this stuff took years for me, not because there was anything wrong with it or how it was presented, the reality was that I had closed myself by thinking in absolute terms. I had to learn the hard way that, simply by being open to change, anything could happen.

Toms, as I understand what your sharing and as I too can be witness to it, the simple fault I see is assuming that if one does not have a personal spiritual revelation or evolution, that they have in fact personally caused it from happening, in some fashion and failed in some way!

Unfortunately too many still believe in this false assumption and obviously not only do I not agree with it, but, I find it counter productive when those in the need of healing, are made to feel inadequate in some fashion, when in fact, they are not!

Please understand, I understand exactly what I like to call the "spiritual miracle of the program", when over time the non spiritual finds spirituality. I have been witness to it many times over the years and as a Christian it is my prayer that each person has their own spiritual awakening.

But also because of my faith, spiritual beliefs and understanding, I have to accept each person for who they are and not let my likes, dislikes, beliefs or disbeliefs turn them away when they are in need. And each time that happens, the program fails, IMO, in the worse possible way.

Just my thoughts.

Mike
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Unread 01-02-2010, 09:56 PM   #9
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Mike,

I can't thank you enough for what you just posted. Luckily I wasn't turned away, but I've met many who were, and most of them, having no support system and made to feel like they were at fault in some way, relapsed. Many people use drugs and alcohol as a way to fill that hole in their life, or because they have low self-esteem, or maybe because they've never belonged anywhere or couldn't socialize without using. If the program welcomes these folks with open arms, they are so much less likely to go back out and use, IMO! Thank you for repeatedly making this point, so if a new person happens to be reading they know that there are people that will welcome them, regardless of their spiritual beliefs.


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Unread 01-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #10
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I agree wholeheartedly! That is why, to me, the idea of a Higher Power "as we understand it" is so welcoming. I can try to explain what that means to me, which is certainly not meant to be a critique of the beliefs of others.
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Unread 01-03-2010, 10:43 AM   #11
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Hi, I'd just like to throw this out there. jerryg, a moderator from the Alcohol Forum, has another way to look at the higher power issue that might be of interest:

Quote:
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Don't let the god issue throw you. The concept of a higher power is not just about "god" or religion.
The best definition of higher power I have heard is that it's purpose is to remind you of your commitment. So you must always bring it back to your commitment. And your struggle around that commitment. We all struggle when we make commitments to change things in our lives. What are the reminders we encounter as we tack our way to our goal? It's never a straight line. What reminds us to stay the course when we encounter a step in the commitment that is painful or inconvenient? Is the the step we struggle with or our commitment?
Take your time, keep a humble and receptive attitude. Don't beat yourself up if you slip, but be honest with yourself if you do.

All the best,
Jerry
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Unread 01-03-2010, 10:48 AM   #12
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What I find in my recovery that works doesn't mean that is what others are going to find works. (especially when it comes to finding a "higher Power" )
This was especially true prior to my "spiritual awaking" . For years I couldn't "get it" (meaning relapsing over and over....) So I questioned my GOD thing! That must be what the problem is! Everyone that "gets it" has a better God. NOT TRUE.... They didn't have a better God...What they had was, they turned to "there God" instead of just saying they had a God. That is when I discovered that it was about "seeking" rather than "finding".
Someone in a meeting said he had gone to a Catholic priest about this issue of finding God. He said he spent days talking to this priest. (It was a retreat he was at) What he finally heard the priest say was " Even I have NEVER found GOD. Only when it is time to "go home" will I find God. My journey here in this life is to "SEEK GOD" always. Turn to him for everything. " OHHHHHHHHH now, that is something I had never done. I was so busy trying to find him.....I forgot to just seek.
Seek means: To search for, To solicit, to have recourse to.

I do not know why I resisted for so many years in this program. Why it was SO important for me to have a "sign" that I had found GOD. Had I just let go of that "knowing" I hadn't found God .....I might have stayed sober. I missed the part where it said to "seek". That is all that is required. EVEN from a priest! Whew....that sure took the pressure off!
I have a God of my understanding today! A real connection with him. Because I seek him daily! I live my life thinking about others. NOT me! I am not perfect at that! But...just the act of seeking God's will (his will is always about US getting out of ourselves, doing for others) helps me through my daily challenges.
This is another example of "some people are too smart for this program!" I was too smart! lol
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Unread 01-03-2010, 11:04 AM   #13
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Thanks, ladies, for those last couple posts! I went through rehab with (of all people) a couple priests. I would have thought that, if anyone would be able to breeze through the spiritual part of the program, it would be priests. Instead it seemed they could have an even tougher time. From what I gathered from our many talks (one of the priests was my roommate), these guys carried such heavy guilt loads that they felt ashamed to follow there own profession. Nuns, priests, rabbis.....the disease never discriminates!
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Unread 01-03-2010, 05:24 PM   #14
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Nancy what a wonderful description! Thank you for posting that here and sharing that with us. That is one of the best ways to describe how to relate to a higher power that I have heard in a while.

-Lily
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Unread 01-04-2010, 10:28 AM   #15
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Step 3: I am doing this every day, letting God handle what I cannot, and whenever i feel like I want to give up, I know there is a plan for me, and i will not be given anymore than I can handle.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 10:29 AM   #16
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ok I have a question....I know when the chats for the steps are, but which one are you guys on?
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Unread 01-04-2010, 11:09 AM   #17
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Before AA, when I thought of the words, "humility" and "humble", I associated them with negative things like putting myself down. In the program, its just the opposite. As I mentioned in an earlier post, what really popped up was humiliation, something I became VERY familiar with. I guess now, when I view humility as a quality to strive for: I tend to think of it as accepting that the world does not revolve around Tom.

Like many addicts, I blamed my drug abuse on external things: people, places, and things. Taking that further, my belief was that, if I could just "catch a break", and/or change those "things" that I saw as causing my problems, everything would be fine. Part of coming to terms with humility was recognizing that the only thing I could change was myself, and the way I chose to look at things.
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bqb247 View Post
Step 3: I am doing this every day, letting God handle what I cannot, and whenever i feel like I want to give up, I know there is a plan for me, and i will not be given anymore than I can handle.


Hi 247 ............. You know one way to also give things up to your Higher Power is to make a Higher Power box, for me, it was a God box. Then when you want to give something up, write it down and place it in the box!

Silly? Yeah kind of, but, not totally as the act of physically writing down and then giving it up, can also help us mentally and emotionally.

When you ask about chat, I'm not sure what your asking, so I hope Nancy can answer that.

Mike
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Unread 01-04-2010, 04:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bqb247 View Post
ok I have a question....I know when the chats for the steps are, but which one are you guys on?
Hi Bqb247 and Mike, I'm interpreting this as 'what step are you on in chat'?

If it's not, the chat is the same chat we use for the regular chats.
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/vb...ad.php?t=23219
http://www.addictionsurvivors.org/chat.cfm

Was either correct? lol

Nancy
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Unread 01-04-2010, 08:09 PM   #20
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LOL .............. Yeah Nancy, I think your right!

It is Step #3.

Sorry,......... Mike
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Unread 01-04-2010, 08:14 PM   #21
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Step 3 tonight? Right! Geezh....Does anyone know anything! I'm lost! lol
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Unread 01-05-2010, 09:21 AM   #22
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yes thats what I was asking....lol thanks! I WILL TRY TO BE THERE!
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Unread 01-05-2010, 05:31 PM   #23
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I want to share some extra personal thoughts on the God deal or more importantly the spiritual aspect of the program. Obviously I feel it is important, but, as I have made clear, I do not see it as a make or break issue in regard to a person being able to use the steps and the fellowship as an effective recovery tool.

Spirituality it's self is so, so very broad in how people, we humans relate to it and how we adapt it into our personal lives. It can go from a Hardcore specific Religion which one follows strictly to one simply feeling that there is more to our existence, but not really having any opinion as to what that might be.

So I see it in relation to AA as a very personal deal, where there is no right or wrong. Further, one can be passionate about other types of life long support, be it good friends, family or a group of peers. The trust, faith and dedication ones might place into such relationships can very easily mimic and be related to a spiritual level.

Again, there is no right or wrong!

However, I feel there can be mistakes made and serious ones!

I feel when we are not completely true to ourselves that is when we make the mistake, when if there could be a right or wrong, that is where it is found.

Many say that if you stick with it, work the steps, give back in the fellowship and so on, that your personal spiritual awakening will take place. Well I feel this as well and have witnessed it many times over. However, this awakening doesn't always involve the supernatural. It doesn't always involve God and Angels.

So if that is the case, a secular awakening takes place for someone, does that make their place in the fellowship any less than the next persons? does it mean that they have failed at trying to make the program productive for them?

IMO, not at all, ........... in fact, so long as they are true to themselves, honest with their emotions, then what is taking place for them in terms of the Higher Power is as correct for them, as it is for the next person.

None of us, I don't care how many similarities we share, none of us can find our personal salvations from this disease in the same fashion and when we, as members of the AA fellowship begin to expect that from others, then frankly not only have we failed them, but, we have failed ourselves.

Another mistake we can make is trying to rush this awakening, this personal evolution in recovery! There is no time limit, there is no right time or wrong time, it simply takes as long as it takes. What is important is what we are doing in the mean time!

But make no mistake, I personally feel that we do need a high power, be it spiritual or secular. I feel that we do need to "work" the steps, not merely do them. As there is a difference. I feel that we do need to take a active role in the fellowship, as time goes on and as we take more from it, we need to replenish the recovery tree by giving it back. As that too heals us!

Just some thoughts.

Mike
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Unread 01-05-2010, 07:18 PM   #24
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Omike-just wanted to say thanks for the post. I completely agree with you that each person comes to the program with their own beliefs about a higher power. For some it may come later than others, but a person can still work the steps in hopes of coming to a place where they have a spiritual awakening. Forcing oneself to be there, or faking it, just to work step 3 would be a shame. The whole point of the steps being to find a new way of living. And, from what I have learned so far if you work these steps honestly you are promised just that, a spiritual awakening.
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Unread 01-06-2010, 09:33 AM   #25
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I think there are as many definitions of a "spiritual awakening" as there are for "a Higher Power". I certainly never experienced a bells-ringing, tah-dah type of experience. For me it happened over time, despite my best efforts to screw it up. I'd have a tough time describing it....but it includes a new way of thinking about things, willingness to learn and change, and a definite re-sixing of my ego!
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Unread 02-04-2010, 02:07 PM   #26
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Exclamation

Get out of myself and get out of the way!

Easy does it!

Keep it simple!



Cute little sayings which in themselves mean little, unless I actually put them into action and when I did, it all came down to one thing for me, ..............

Let go & let God!

No, that doesn't mean that I simply sit back and expect God to do for me, but, it does mean that I trust God (my higher power by the way) to help me with the things which I cannot do for myself and to help me with the issues which I have little control over.

For me to really achieve such a mind set or as I call it, a certain level of serenity .....was not easy!

In fact it is very hard and takes a new level of trust and a new level of letting go and getting out of myself, which was really very hard to do. I wish there were some kind of recipe for it or blue print, but, I don't see one, as it is very different for each person, with the goals being the common factor.

However, once it is achieved, it opens up a great relief, it opens up a door to a easier way of finding happiness and contentment.

This story below kind of demonstrates how it seems to play out in my life.

I did a great deal of damage to our family business during my years in active addiction. Thankfully though the business was strong to survive in spite of me and as I entered recovery things stabilized nicely. Though the scars I left will never go away. ........... Than comes the national economic crash and that is what it is, a crash. A train wreck waiting to happen and it hit hard, as most of us are feeling it, in some fashion.

Our little place has been around for 62 years now and we have seen our share of good times and bad with the economy, but, the past 18 months have been the worse by far. In the past my reactions would be to rip and tear and to climb the walls searching for answers and new ways. My MO was to turn into a animal hard to handle and hard to stay up with, heading into things with an aggressive hammer to forge a new path.

Basically I would drive myself and everyone around me to the edge of sanity and to the brink of insanity. I can tighten the belt and pinch pennies in a business better than anyone and squeeze each buck till it sheds tears.

But not this time! Even during the really bad weeks or months when we would wonder how the basic bills would get paid or payroll be met, I didn't react. I simply stuck to a steady course and accepted what I could not control. Our of course we tightened the belt some and yes we worked harder, but, I did not drive myself and everyone else insane. I didn't rip and tear, rolling through the place each day like a mad bear hell bent on everything being perfect and to my expectations, expecting the unreasonable from everyone.

I gave it away. I let those feelings, that worry and that fear go to God. Today I trust that in the end, it will be OK, so long as we do the best we can each day.

In the past 6 weeks a few things have taken place which I could have never accomplished on my own and which have the potential to not only help with the slow economy but take us to a new level, a level we once enjoyed many years ago during the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.

One is a radio show we are connected with, which is now on the rise and will take us with it and the other is a casino issue which could help our entire area. The radio show is a sure bet now, so that has come to pass, the casino deal, who knows? But, just the talk up in the news from it has increased our sales by at least 35% and will gave us the boost we needed to get us through until concession and catering season.

These are things which no matter what I did, I could not make happen and honestly, if I was in my old mode of over working and being a control freak, I would have been going to fast to have taken full advantage of. Instead, by getting out of the way, by staying at a steady course and by trusting my higher power, I let it happen and I let other contribute instead of trying to shoulder it all and honestly, those others, my mother in law being one, did a wonderful job and things just fell into place.

None of the above has anything directly to do with my recovery, but, it is all a result of my recovery and the gifts of my recovery, the lessons learned in recovery and for me, lessons learn from the 12 steps.

Recovery is so much more than simply not living in addiction. It is so much more than passing drug screens and going to meetings. For me it is about enjoying life on a new level. It is about taking the time to live life and to find the good in each day, so the torments in each day don't swallow me up!

It's about getting out of myself and out of the way, so the good things in life can be enjoyed.

Mike
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