Kim wrote:Looking forward to hearing what Dallas has to say.
Gee, Kim. I wasn't going to say anything!
If it were me, in your situation: I would look for another sponsor. And, I would get a copy of the Charlie & Joe Big Book Study tapes (or CD's or MP3's whichever)... and I would make sure it was the Old Joe and not the new Joe with Charlie.
Then, I would follow along reading the BB, with those BB Study talks.
Since you haven't had an effective sponsor I would start at the beginning.
That's what I would do.
Each Step leads logically and in a particular format to the next Step. Example: The information for Step 2, is in Step One. The information for Step Three, is in Step 2. The information for Step 4, is in Step Three.
Each Step prepares you for the next Step, if they are taken like the BB instructs.
Here's another example: In reading the info about taking Step Three, Step Three is more than just a decision to turn our will and our life over to the care of God, as we understand God.
On page 60, it says "we thought well before taking this Step" (Step 3).
How many people do you know that "thought well" before taking Step Three? And, if they did -- "what was it that they thought well about?"
Step Three asks us to make a decision to change. And, the information to "think well" about -- before taking Step Three, is on pages 60-63 BB.
The idea is to carefully -- read those pages -- and carefully "think well about what changes -- you will be required to make -- "if" you decide to make a decision for Step Three.
Take a look at this, www.step12.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=740
and ask yourself how well you thought and prepared to take Step Three.
And, in Step Two "
a. Came to believe...
b. That a power greater than ourselves
c. Could restore us to sanity.
What do those a.b.c.'s mean?
Notice on the bottom of page 58... before taking the Steps, it askes you to do one thing... absolutely... or else, your results will be nil. What does it ask you to absolutely do?
1. If you did "let go of your old ideas absolutely"... that means you are starting out with a fresh "blank" of ideas.
2. "Came to believe"... assumes that you are starting out at that blank idea... (starting out to develop your own concept of a power greater than yourself that you will come to "understand."
Question: what is "a power greater than yourself?" And, you might notice that in Step 2, there is no mention of God -- just a power greater than yourself.
3. In Step 3, you will be making a decision to change... and becoming aware of what it is that you need to change... before you leap to make a decision....
4. "God as you understand Him".... Ebby suggested to Bill, that he come up with his own idea about God, an idea that made sense to him
and an idea that he could understand. I'm not suggesting that the God that you already understand is insufficient and needs to be changed...
and I'm not suggesting that one needs to change their religious ideas... what I am suggesting is: if you have a particular belief in God, to ask "why do I believe this way?"
In developing a "faith that works" under all conditions and in fair weather or foul... I believe it's imperative that we take the time to have another look at what we believe and to become convinced "why we believe this."
I've never met an alcoholic yet -- that didn't have God problems. While most of them will first say "Oh, I have no problems with God" later, under close scruitiny and possibly through an inventory -- they discover they do have problems and those problems have caused them significant conflicts. Once the conflicts are worked out -- a relationship with an enduring faith can be commenced.
Are you relying on your previous thoughts... or thoughts that someone else taught you about God... "as your understanding"? If you are -- you didn't let go of your old ideas absolutely.
5. As you move forward in taking the Steps, inside each of the Steps, you are instructed as to "what" the change is that you're experiencing. And, some results are given, that you can use to measure your effectiveness in taking the Step.
This is just a partial reason -- that I sugges taking your Steps with someone that is familiar with the BB and familiar with the Steps.
I don't want to get any longer than this in this message... but, do you see how confusing that this can be?
I have tried to stay as literal as the Steps are. It meant laying aside all my wonderful ideas about things -- that's what I had to do.
I had to "do it well" because the BB is going to ask me "how I did it."
Does that help?