Sobriety Navigator: Alcoholics Anonymous: an overview of Step 3:
Step Three: “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
The proposition of turning our will and our lives over to a higher power or God can seem very unappealing to many people. Some questions we face include:
Does turning my life over to a higher power or God mean a vow of poverty?
Will I have to abandon my life and travel the world feeding starving babies?
Will I have to stop having fun and live a life of piety?
The answer to all of these is an resounding NO. If that is the case, then what does it mean? It simply means that I am open to new thoughts, ideas, and perspectives about how to live life without the dependency on alcohol.
It is obvious to any alcoholic after reading step one and step two, that for most people the will to stop drinking is not enough. It is also apparent to most alcoholics that drinking is only a symptom of other underlying problems. In order to live a reasonably serene life, we must be willing to consider the fact that our own self will and self-centered determination could not deliver the results we were looking for. We need help.
Most people want to lead a successful life and fulfill their individual desires, hopes, dreams and aspirations. And every drinker who walks through the doors of AA has come to the realization that their best thoughts and actions fell short of reaching these goals. No matter how strong willed, intelligent or determined they may be, it wasn’t enough.
In truth, the willingness to bring our will into agreement with God’s intention for us does not diminish our identity or our individuality in any way. The practice of turning our will and our lives over to the care of our higher power will not minimize or diminish our dreams, goals or aspirations.
What the daily practice of turning our will and lives over to the care of God will do is assist greatly in solving both our alcohol obsession and the underlying problems caused by drinking. This in turn begins the process of strengthening our self-confidence and healthy self-esteem. It affirms to us that we are like everybody else; we matter, too, and that God is not against us. We have been against ourselves.
The daily practice of turning our will and our lives over to the God of our individual understanding will set in motion the beginning foundation of a set of life skills that will become invaluable over time. The repeated practice of asking God for guidance and direction in all matters of our life will not throw us into a drastic state of chaos or confusion. It will, in fact, reduce them. The final say is always ours.