STEP 3

Definition of Step Three: complete trust or confidence in something / based on n spiritual conviction rather than proof.
Synonyms of Step Three: trust, belief, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence, etc

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs.
Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail.
We hope you find them helpful.
Love in fellowship.

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Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. | More…

 

The most important thing to know about Step Three, is that all we can do is decide to do it. –Hour To Hour | More…

You are not a son of God until you have faith in  God, until then you are a child of God  –Joseph Prince | More…

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The beauty of the Third Step is that there’s no real work for us to do. Making a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God requires no energy, no movement. It’s only a decision and can be made in the blink of an eye. The action comes from God. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More…

We decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. –Big Book p.62 | More…

By taking the Third Step every morning of our lives, as has been suggested, we can positively influence the outcome of every experience we’ll have. Hallelujah! –A Woman’s Spirit/Karen Casey | More…

Care; This is what we turn our will and lives over to the care of our Higher Power. What peace follows! We turn everything over to this Higher Power, who can take better care of us than we can by ourselves. –Keep It Simple | More…

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Following a spiritual path has become increasingly essential to me. Contrary to my fear that taking Step Three would condemn me to a life of brave self-sacrifice, I find instead that it frees me to think and act as my truest self. –“A Remarkable Sensation,” Thompson, Pa., March 1997/Emotional Sobriety: The Next Frontier/Grapevine | More…

In Step Three, we turn our will and our lives over to the care of God.
How do we feel God’s care, God’s love?

We feel God’s care and love through how people treat us.
Our Higher Power works through people who love us back to life.

With time, we begin returning this care and love to others.
We feel this warm love flow right through us and out to others.

We’re kind without trying to be. We smile at others for no reason.
We comfort those who hurt just by holding them. –Keep It Simple | More…
When I was new to the program, I was taught that I could not be in fear and in faith at the same time. I was either living in fear, or I was living in faith.

What recovery has taught me is that today I have a choice between the two. And today, I choose to live in faith. In the Big Book, there is a simple line: “God is everything or He is nothing.”

And, again, this presents me with a choice – do I believe that my Higher Power will take care of me, or don’t I? And the decision I make here leads to a path of either faith or fear.

By taking a third step each day, I am consciously choosing to turn my will and my life over to my Higher Power. I am choosing faith. Then, when fear comes knocking – as it always does – my faith answers the door and fear has nowhere to land.

Living in faith gives me the freedom and the courage to live a life that is happy, joyous and free. A life the program promises, and a life I get the choice to live. –Wisdom Of the Rooms | More…

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We’re responsible for the effort but not the outcome. Each day that we choose sobriety, we are moving more securely toward mental health as a stable condition.

No one achieves an absolute state of total mental health. To be human is to have doubts and fears. But as faith grows, as it will when we live the Twelve Steps, doubts and fears lessen. Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

Our newly found faith serves as a firm foundation for courage in the future. The foundation of our lives is what the rest of our lives is built upon.

In order to maintain those new lives, we must maintain the foundation of those lives: our recovery program. As we stay clean and our lifestyles change, our priorities will also change.

We need to remember that our recovery program is the foundation upon which our new lives are built. Each day, we must renew our commitment to recovery, maintaining that as our top priority. –Just For Today|More…

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Our fears are lessened and faith begins to grow as we learn the true meaning of surrender.  We are no longer fighting fear, anger, guilt, self-pity, or depression.

We can stop worrying and start living. When we turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power, all we have to do is our part, as responsibly and conscientiously as we can. –Just For Today | More…

To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves.We are free to do what we want, but every choice makes a difference in our lives. Some choices make us happy, and some bring trouble. –Keep It Simple | More…

If it is hard to adjust to our age, how much harder it must be to realize we can’t even run our own life with any degree of competence. Until we get used to that idea, we will keep having living troubles.

Accepting our incompetence doesn’t have to take forever, though. The Third Step is a shortcut that requires no action, only a decision. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More…

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Let go of fear and your need to control.
Relinquish anxiety. Let it slip away

Let
yourself move forward.
Let yourself be moved forward.

Don’t think too hard about things.
The flow is meant to be experienced.

Within it, care for yourself.
You are part of the flow, an important part.

Work with the flow.
Work within the flow.

Thrashing about isn’t necessary.
Let the flow help you care for yourself.

Let it help you set boundaries, make decisions, and get you where you need to be when it is time. You can trust the flow, and your part in it. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

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There are times when it’s hard to make a decision. It’s necessary to keep in mind that any course of action is a decision, but no decision is irreversible. We are free to do what we decide, and are freed by the awareness that whatever we do is based on our own decision and no one else’s. –Today’s Gift | More…

Recovery is an intensely spiritual process that asks us to grow in our understanding of God. Trying to understand God may boggle our mind because of what we have learned and experienced so far in our life.

We can learn to trust God, anyway. I have grown and changed in my understanding of this Power greater than myself.

My understanding has not grown on an intellectual level, but because of what I have experienced since I turned my life and my will over to the care of God, as I understood, or rather didn’t understand, God.

God has shown me, beyond all else, that how I come to understand God is not nearly as important as knowing that God understands me. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

Many of us face seemingly insurmountable difficulties, perhaps because of our compulsion or simply through misfortune. Whatever the scale of our problems, One Day at a Time and First things First, are keys to handling them.

Today, we can deal only with today’s problems. One of today’s problems, of course, may be worrying about the future. A good method of handling that problem is to turn our concern about it over to our Higher Power.–Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

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Isn’t it true that in all matters touching upon alcohol, each of them has decided to turn his or her life over to the care, protection, and guidance of Alcoholics Anonymous
Already a willingness has been achieved to cast out one’s own will and one’s own ideas about the alcohol problem in favour of those suggested by A.A. –12 & 12 p35 | More…

The more we become willing to depend upon a Higher Power, the more independent we actually are. 12 & 12 p.35-36 | More…

Third Step prayer
Dear Lord,
So far I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped,
haven’t lost my temper,
haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or overindulgent.
I’m really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed,
and from then on,
I’m going to need a lot more help. –Friends of Bill W.

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Based on their collective experience, The Program’s founders suggested a prayer to be said when taking the Third Step and making a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

“God, I offer myself to Thee, – to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.

Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!  –Friends of Bill W. | More…

When we did our Third Step, we merely embraced the truth. When we decided to let God be God, we were able to participate in the plan. Whenever we let go and let God, we become a player on a team that will always win. –Easy Does It | More…

To enjoy freedom we have to control ourselves. We are free to do what we want, but every choice makes a difference in our lives. Some choices make us happy, and some bring trouble. –Keep It Simple | More…

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Bill W. considered each step to be a spiritual principle in and of itself.  The most important of these is Humility.

Core Spiritual Principles of the Program:  Willingness, Open-mindedness, Honesty. AA’s Code:  Love and Tolerance of Others

The Principles of the Twelve Steps

Step One:            Honesty
Step Two:            Hope
Step Three:         Faith (Surrender)
Step Four:           Courage
Step Five:            Integrity
Step Six:              Willingness
Step Seven:         Humility
Step Eight:          Brotherly love
Step Nine:           Discipline
Step Ten:             Perseverance
Step Eleven:       Awareness
Step Twelve:      Service (Charity)

The relative success of the A.A. program seems to be due to the fact that an alcoholic who no longer drinks has an exceptional faculty for “reaching” and helping an uncontrolled drinker. The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society. The five principles of the Twelve Step Program are; membership requirement, spiritual basis, personal inventory, restitution, and helping others. | More…

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If it is hard to adjust to our age, how much harder it must be to realize we can’t even run our own life with any degree of competence. Until we get used to that idea, we will keep having living troubles.

Accepting our incompetence doesn’t have to take forever, though. The Third Step is a shortcut that requires no action, only a decision. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More…

Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God This decision step to go on with the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous asks that we step out on faith.

It is only a matter of being willing to believe. Through the process of the 12 steps, that belief turns into faith.

We carry this faith into the rest of the steps by being willing to believe. We must begin to have faith it will work. | More…

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