Step 3 of the Twelve Step Programme.
‘Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him’.
This step is about making a decision. It is about being willing to have a relationship with our Higher Power in order to change our lives and solve our problem.
Most of us are not weak people and have been running our lives on self will. Some people could have described us as stubborn (determined might sound better) and perhaps as being defensive. These are all signs of self will. We seem to be always on some sort of collision course with the people around us who care about us (and even those who do not so much!).
There are 4 things we need to be certain of before going through Step Three:
-That we are an alcoholic (or addict) and cannot manage our lives
-That no human power can relieve the alcoholism or drug addiction
-That ‘God’ can and will restore us to sanity
-That living life in self will cannot be a success.
Self will can be considered to be ‘selfish willfullness’. It is like being an actor on the stage but also wanting to direct the play.
Step Three is about making decisions…
However, just making a decision will not make things change – for that we need to take action. (I might decide to go on holiday – but unless I book a holiday and get to the accommodation, I am not going anywhere). So our will is our thinking. What we actually do – our actions – is what makes up our life.
The rest of the steps.
The action we need to take is in steps 4 – 9. Steps 10 – 12 are how we keep our will turned over to our higher power. If we take these steps then our thinking will be motivated by right thinking which will lead to good consequences. When our thinking is determined by self seeking then it tends to lead to negative consequences.
When we live our life on self will, we tend to get annoyed when things do not go our way and blame other people. We become angry, indignant and self pitying. We can be manipulative and want everyone to do things the way we want them to be done. I used to find myself saying ‘if I were you I would ….’ Now I have stopped that way of thinking – I am not them so they will want to do things their own way. Now I tend to be so easy going that it can come across that I am too laid back.
We ourselves are the only people who can change. We cannot change other people, only ourselves and the way we react to other people.
So in order to recover from alcoholism we need to first give up drinking alcohol (Step One) and give up our self will (Step Three). If we only do the giving up of alcohol and not the self will then we are likely to relapse. This is why Step Three is such an important step.
Our page on the twelve step programme provides more detail.
Contact us to find out more about the Twelve Step Programme.