- Step 3

Step 3




12 Steps: Discussions related to the 12 Steps and using them as a treatment to recover from alcohol and drug addiction.

Postby Dallas » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:15 pm

God gave us free will. I can take my will back, and do sometimes


That's been my experience, too.

"It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action
and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we
do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism.
What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent
on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every
day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s
will into all of our activities. “How can I best serve
Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.â€
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Postby Dallas » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:25 pm

I now live in an area, commonly referred to as "the Bible Belt" of the USA.

It's more common than not -- that I see AA's trying to mix religion with recovery.

One of the more common errors I've seen is... in relationship to a concept of "once saved -- always saved." This seems to get turned into "O.k. I get on my knees, give myself to God, and then God keeps me sober... ALWAYS."

I've observed scores of AA's that have done this... and within a short time afterwards -- they are drinking again. So, they come back in and do it the same way -- over and over and over and over again... until their gone for good and we never see them again.

Another personal observation is: the longer that I'm sober -- it seems like the path keeps getting narrower and narrower for me. When I was newly sober -- it seemed like I could get away with things that now would seriously harm me if I tried it!

It IS a really good life that keeps getting better and better and better... as long as I continue to make a daily surrender. Let me skip a day or two -- and I get really goofy! Whereas, when I was new... it seemed like I could skip a few days or even a few weeks before I'd get nuts.
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Postby Serenity Seeker » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:24 pm

Dallas,

Pondering thoughts and questions. I believe in a religous God, one I have always reached for through my life. Today my conceptions I grew up with are changing of him, however, I believe "for me" that once saved always saved. But I believe I have to build a relationship with my HP and practice for the rest of my life daily turning my will over to the care and direction of my HP. I can't just say I'm saved and do no footwork or action to seek his plans for my life.I leave this conception of saved out of it or the thoughts of religion when I share. Am I an example of a new person doing this? I pray of course everyday for God to take away the insane thought and obsession that I can drink, drug or gamble and life would be any different. This has helped me so far.

I stopped trying to figure out my HP and decided to let "him" reveal himself to me as he would see fit one day at a time.

I started writing a little song I would like to share on this take. It is not finished yet:

Falling down on hard times thinkin I won't survive.
Tend to forget in these trials, this is not my life.
Been practicin on my knees praying for your will.
Oh Lord, help me learn to be still.

Thought I had to describe you.
Your exsistence I had to define.
Finally stopped fightin inside
You'll reveal yourself in good time.

Thats is all I have. But that is where I am today and I am grateful to my HP for carrying me here, when I was to insane to even be able to think, walk or somedays breathe.

Did a nooner, headed to a womens meeting, practice for 12 Sober Days of Christmas play, and then my homegroup. I get to chair a BB study tonight.

Hugs again to you all and especially you Dallas. Can't wait to hear your thoughts.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:31 pm

I hope I didn't offend any religious sentiments or beliefs with my comment above. It wasn't intended to diminish religious ideas -- it was simply an personal observation of what I've seen, and witnessed, of the mixing of a religious concept in regards to "staying sober". I'm very familiar with the "once save always saved" doctrine of religion. My father was a Baptist minister and I grew up w/ those beliefs also.

Can I get drunk again, die drinking, and still be "saved"? Yes, I believe that's possible. I have no doubts about that. But, if I'm going to live sober and die sober... (saved or not saved) that's an entirely different scenario. And, it requires me to do some additional things. I think this is what Bill W., was referring to on page 88, of the Big Book, where he wrote :

"We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline
us in the simple way we have just outlined.
But this is not all. There is action and more action.
“Faith without works is dead.â€
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Postby Dallas » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:38 pm

btw: I have met some AA's -- that took their 3rd Step, and interpreted it w/ their religious doctrine -- and said, they didn't need to do the other steps because in Step Three "they turned their will and life over to God". Some, even went on to say that "They couldn't drink even if they wanted to drink -- because God keeps them sober." My question is: "IF God keeps them sober (as in once sober -- always sober) ... then was it God's fault that they returned to drinking?
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Postby Camel » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:01 pm

[quote="Dallas"]btw: I have met some AA's -- that took their 3rd Step, and interpreted it w/ their religious doctrine -- and said, they didn't need to do the other steps because in Step Three "they turned their will and life over to God". Some, even went on to say that "They couldn't drink even if they wanted to drink -- because God keeps them sober." My question is: "IF God keeps them sober (as in once sober -- always sober) ... then was it God's fault that they returnred to drinking?[/quote]

Not in my book. If I let this addiction convince me this new way of life God has given me is not as good as the old way of life, the insanity has returned. The only part God had in my relapse, was keeping me alive while I let alcohol beat me into a state of resonableness. Man, I thank God and A.A. today that I'm sober, and not sick.

Hub
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Postby Dallas » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:38 pm

I totally agree with you Hub.

God's will is for me to stay sober.

If I turn my will (which is my thoughts) and my life (which is my actions) over to the care of God -- I'm simply making the decision "to do and to think" as He would have me "do and think" (life and will) and that I trust Him for the outcome of doing this.

To do this is not an over-night event, or a one-time event for me. I MUST strive to make this decision every MOMENT that I'm alive -- for the rest of my life.

Can I stop doing it? Yes. God is not going to force me to do anything. He never takes our "free will" and our "free choice" away from us. He wants us to love Him and to do His will -- by our choice -- not by His force.

IF He took away our free will and free choice -- then, yes, we could say "It's God's fault they returned to drinking. But, we can't say that -- and we must accept 100% personal responsibility for: our thoughts and our actions.

Yes, I do believe He encourages us to do the right thing each moment. I know this, because... when I don't do the right thing in the moment... typically, I will experience guilt or fear and know (my conscience?) that I am not doing the right thing. And, yes... I can go against my conscience, and against His will -- in any moment.
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Postby sparklek » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:59 am

This has been a very interesting discussion. I have found that as I look back, I never did let up on my spiritual program. In fact, being in the amount of pain I was in trying to do the same thing over and over again and getting less than thrilling results, led me deeper into Step 10, 11 and 12.

I actually find my more "lazy" spiritual practices come when things get real good and peaceful. It's crazy! So, I am glad I have you all to keep reminding me that Step 3 must be a way of life not a one time act!
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Postby Pebbles » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:08 pm

For me I have found that(after looking back) when I was drinking, I didn't have God in my life. So, by keeping God in my life and by "doing the do" as in working THE program and working with others, I am not powerless anymore. I have to keep it simple, because when I start thinking and analyzing things, I get in trouble. My troubles are of my own making. Thank you Dallas, for your patience, tolerance, and love--by having this forum for sick people like me. :)
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Postby Dallas » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:02 pm

Thank you, to each of you who make this forum. :wink:

For me, looking back -- I can see how God was in my life before I was "conscious" (aware) of Him being in my Life. He has always been with me, during the good and the bad, during the times I loved Him, or was angry with Him, when I acknowledged Him, or when I denied Him. He was ALWAYS there for me and He was doing things for me that I couldn't do for myself. And, He always loved me and cared about me -- regardless of how bad I did. That's what brings a tear to my eye when I think of it and think of all the times that He was there for me and I either didn't know it, or I denied it. God is Love. And, God is Life. I can't have Life -- without having God.

One day, while I was meditating on Step 11, it hit me like a ton of bricks. "Sought to improve -- my CONSCIOUS contact, with God..." Then, I looked at Step 12, and put it together... "having had a spiritual AWAKENING..." I awoke to the reality of God. I became aware of how much my Life is God, and always has been God.

Sought to "improve my CONSCIOUS contact WITH God..." Not OF God, but WITH God. :lol:

I spent a bunch of my Life thinking OF God, and TRYING to UNDERSTAND Him and to know about Him -- and, as I look back, I see now, that this was part of what was blocking me from thinking WITH God.

I began to see that THROUGH the 12 Steps, I was learning how to life my Life WITH God. To accept the fact that He IS the Great Reality. I was learning how to Practice the PRESENCE of God -- in living Life. And, it led me to understand that He has ALWAYS been Present with me -- the only problem was, that I was not Present WITH Him.

Then, I thought of something else. In regards to "I
saw that will power and self-knowledge would not help in
those strange mental blank spots" ~pg 42, Big Book... I began to see that "will power and GOD-knowledge would not help" either.

Then, it clicked... "GOD-knowledge is NOT the same as Knowing God." To KNOW God, I must live WITH God and not just think about God.

And, now, when I focus my awareness and understanding on the Reality -- "God IS WITH me... what can be against me?" God is WITH ME... so, this thing that I might have been looking at as a problem... is no longer a problem, because God is WITH me. :lol: And, God Loves me. God cares about me. God is taking care of me... my job is to LET Him. :lol:
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