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Old 08-13-2007, 11:50 AM   #1
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step 3 worksheet


"We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him."

================================================== =========

This has often been referred to as a stumbling block of recovery. Many of us just get stuck here and can't seem to move on. The reason for this, as addicts we like to take something simple and complicate it, but it doesn't have to be that way if we become willing and open minded. Now with that in mind let's look at this step, beginning with the word decision. What is a decision? A decision is a action word, it is a beginning, a starting point or looking at it from a point of recovering, it is the time we let go of our old attitudes and let the steps begin to build new attitudes in our lives as we make mistakes and grow in spiritual principles. As you can see now, being willing and open minded is very important as far as decision and the Third Step are concerned. Simply put, a decision is accepting this step into our lives.

The next part of the step we must look at is "To turn our will and our lives." We must ask ourselves, what does the step mean by our will and our lives? Our will is our way of doing things. We always want to fix things to the way we want them, no matter who it hurts or destroys. It comes from the core of our disease, self-centerness. There is only one power that can destroy self-centerness and that is spirituality. We are now begining to build spirituality in our lives, which we get a realization of its strength and power in the Eleventh Step. Our lives simply mean our day-to-day affairs. Our problems, our worries and our pain.

Now let's look at the words "over to the care of God as we understand Him." Many of us couldn't or wouldn't relate to that word God. By the time we reached NA many of us were Atheist or Agnostic and some of us had a God who was vengeful. Here again is where we need to be willing and open minded and honest. The type of honesty we are talking about here is self honesty. We must be honest enough to admit that there is a power that is higher than ourselves. It doesn't matter what this power is. The program tells us God as we understood him. It doesn't have to be a God of someone else's belief, but a God of your belief. This is where much confusion comes in the program. As addicts, sometimes we try to push our God and our beliefs about him onto other addicts.

I have heard some addicts tell another addict to get down on his knees to pray to God without even knowing if that is the God of that addict's understanding. The important thing to remember is that it is a God of your understanding. It could be the God of your childhood or a force, nature, some kind of intelligence or just a rock in the backyard. It is a higher power you and you alone can have faith in. You relate and pray to your higher power according to the way you understand him. The higher power you have today may change during ongoing recovery and that's okay, it's your Higher Power. Now let's talk about "over to the care of." One mistake we make when we don't understand this step is that we say "turn it over to God." We leave out the word CARE. Without the word care we change the entire meaning of the step. Let me give you an example of this. It's Saturday night and you and your wife/husband are going out for the night and have a child, you don't turn your child over to a babysitter, but you turn your child over to the care of a babysitter to watch and guide. When we turn our will and lives over to the care of God we do this not to become robots or carbon copies of each other, but to have a Higher Power of our understanding watch and guide our will and lives.

The question has been asked many times, "what is God's will for me?" The answer is simple, God's will for us is to act mature and responsible to the best of our ability, at whatever point of our recovery we are at. God's will for us grows as we grow. If we act mature and responsible to the best of our ability, the outcome of our situation will be as mature and responsible as it can be at that point of recovery. Now, when we turn our lives over to the care of God as we understood him, one of two things will happen. Let's look at what these two things are:

1. If we are living the first three steps in our lives on all things, in other words, we are living mature and responsible, our higher power will work things out for us.
2. If we are not living the first three steps on our lives our higher power will allow us to feel the consequences of our actions, so we can learn from them, so we can act mature and responsible.

When we first came into the program of Narcotics Anonymous we were physically, mentally and spiritually bankrupt. The first step restored us physically. The second step restored us mentally and the third step restored us spiritually. We must maintain vigilance over these three aspects of our disease. The first to go will be the spiritual, the second to go will be the mental/emotional part of our disease. The next and final will be the physical, the act of picking up again. That is why it is so important to live these steps in our lives, it is the maintenance of our program. If you have no higher power try G.O.D., Good Orderly Direction.

One last thing we will talk about is the relationship of the Serenity Prayer to the first three steps. Once we realize the connection between the two, the serenity prayer becomes a powerful tool in our lives. Let's take a look at it.

The courage to change the things I can. The second step doing things differently to change the outcome from insane results.

And the results to know the difference. This is the Third Step doing the mature and responsible thing, not our will.

Write about the following on a separate paper and return so we can go over it.

1. What is a decision?
2. How did I make my decision?
3. What is my will and life?
4. How do I turn my will and my life over to God?
5. Why is it OK to have a different Higher Power than you?
6. Why do I have to live the first three steps in my life?
7. What are the three phases of relaspe?
8. How can the serenity prayer help me in my life?
9. Why is being clean without living the steps dangerous?
10. How did others help you come to the point of making a decision?
11. Who or what made your decisions for you while you were using?
12. Who or what makes your decisions for you while in your recovery?
13. Who managed your life while using?
14. Who manages your life in recovery?
15. What is a "decision"?
16. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "decision".
17. What is our "will"?
18. What is our "lives"?
19. What do the words "over to the care of" mean to you?
20. In the dictionary, look up and write out the definition of "care".
21. What was your relationship with God like before coming to NA?
22. What are the three characteristics needed for "a God of our understanding?"
23. Write out in detail what you believe to be your Higher Power?
24. Write out every time you felt God's presence in recovery and while using.
25. #Write out 24 things you have to be grateful for today.

If I am not the problem....
then there is no solution...
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