A Decision To Inhale and Embrace Sobriety
I used to think that making a decision was taking the action. I now know that a decision is only an affirmative declaration of commitment to action that is about to follow.
Step 3 – Made a decision to turn our will and our lives to the care of God as we understood him.
All Step Three requires of us is to make a decision. No action is required in this step. The decision we are being asked to make is to turn our thoughts and our actions over to the care of God (as we understood him). There is a second part to this step that I strongly suggest. Once you have made this decision, be sure to keep this decision in check for the rest of your life. Most people make the decision and promptly forget about it, and of course that won’t work. We need to make the decision and then fly with that decision like our lives depend upon it!
In other words we do NOT make the decision just for today or one day at a time, we make the decision for keeps, for good, for the rest of our days on earth. There is a permanent foundation of depth and weight in making a decision for the rest of your life compared to making a decision just for one day. We keep that decision in check one day at a time.
Once again please do not misunderstand this step. Step Three is NOT asking you to suddenly achieve the impossible by turning your will and your life over to the care of God this very moment. This would be almost impossible to achieve even for those who already have some kind of faith in a higher being. Step Three only requires you to make a DECISION to take the action necessary to turn your will and your life over to God as you understand God. And once again the program is designed to enable you to make this happen through the action you are about to take through all the steps.
For the purposes of Step Three a decision means to make an affirmative declaration of your intent to turn your will and your life over to new management. Our lives had become unmanageable and therefore we required new management and had to become willing to place our thoughts and actions under the governance of that new management.
There are however a few requirements before we take step Three:
First of all we needed to be convinced of these 3 crucial facts about ourselves;
A/ That we were indeed alcoholic.
B/ That no human power could relieve our alcoholism.
C/ That God could and would if he were sought.
If you are not convinced of these 3 pertinent ideas then there is no use in you proceeding any further. It’s that simple. By now you either are convinced you are alcoholic or not. You are convinced that all the so called human solutions to your drinking problem that you have tried in the past have failed. Things like only drinking beer, or clear spirits, only drinking in certain places with certain people, only drinking on a full stomach, spending more time in the gym or at work, or playing sport, or sorting out your relationship problems first, or going to church, or seeing a therapist and visiting your doctor more. The list could go on and on!
And having discovered that no human solution has worked for you, are you now convinced that God can relieve you of your alcoholism?
The other crucial idea that you need to be convinced of is that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.
First of all we have to understand what the term “self-will” means:
The New Oxford American Dictionary definition is: Obstinately doing what one wants in spite of the wishes or orders of others.
A 50 Pound Ball of Self-will White Fanged Muscle
I love to use the African Honey Badger as an example of a life run entirely on self-will, fearless self-will to a level that’s hard to believe to be true.The Honey Badger is a fearsome and fearless creature of monumental proportions. He takes what he wants, when he wants without question. I have seen video footage of a pride of Lion bumping into two honey badgers face to face on the same pathway, and the Lions deliberately changing their direction and avoiding the fearsome two at a healthy distance. Self-willed beyond belief These monstrous animals are virtually indestructible and will survive even the venom of a Cobra’s bite, come back and kill the Cobra after they have had a 2 minute pass out period from the venom. They are prepared to be stung by hundreds of bees swarming to protect their honey from this relentless predator. Covered in a blanket of stinging bees the Honey Badger will relentlessly raid the bee hives without a hint of fear.
The Honey Badger will kill or destroy anything that gets in its way in its ravenous quest for survival and dominance. It not only steps on the toes of its fellow creatures, it is a tornado ripping through the lives of others around it leaving a wake of destruction behind. A more profound example of selfishness you will be hard pressed to find.
These creatures are highly intelligent and very manipulative in the animal kingdom. They will leverage anything at their disposal to get what they want. They control their personal kingdom with fear and shear belligerence, and have no respect for who or what they destroy along the way.
This description of the Honey Badger sums up the nature of the alcoholic perfectly. In fact the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot. In my experience self-will was my desperate need to dominate and control anyone or anything that entered the arena of my life including the outcome of any given situation. I would go to any lengths to get what I wanted. If you are genuinely willing to go to any lengths to recover, then take a deep honest look at how you have run your life up until this moment.
Self- propulsion – What Goes Up Must Come Down!
Most people live on self propulsion. It’s all about my wants, my needs, my desires, my plans and designs, my pain and fear, my dictating how other people should behave towards me and others, it’s all about me controling the final outcome of all circumstances and situations that revolve around my existence.
Any life run on self-will really boils down to “my life my rules”. My life was my kingdom and no one dare alter or change that! This thing called life has to be run my way and the odds must always be stacked in my favor even at the expense of those in close proximity to me. My life, my kingdom, my rules!
In other words I was God of myself, of my life and those around me. The only master I was willing to serve was alcohol. Everyone and everything else in my life eventually became irrelevant. I lived to drink and drank to live. If anyone attempted to threaten my alcoholic way of life they were either manipulated, controlled or expelled from my life. I took no prisoners along the beaten track of my morale disintegration. What a hopeless way to live!
The resultant behavior of a life run on self-will is driven by extreme self-seeking. We become obsessed about how we are feeling at any given moment in time. I came to realize that I had spent my life running away from the situations and circumstances that didn’t make me feel good. I had never learned how to face and take on the situations that made me feel bad, fearful or disturbed. As a result of this behavior I had no idea who I really was!
Selfishness, self-centerdness that we think is the root of our problems, driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-pity and self-delusion. The nature of this disease called alcoholism has no option but to promote selfish behavior, as the only way it can exist is to feed off the joy and happiness in the lives of the alcoholic and his loved-ones. It has to feast off something to survive.
Above all we must get rid of this selfishness, if we don’t it will kill us. Through our selfish and self-centered actions towards others, we had stepped on the toes of our fellows until they retaliated. This left us hurt and feeling unwanted but didn’t we set ourselves up to be hurt at a later stage even if some of our intentions were good?
In this state the wrong doing of others imagined or real had the power to kill us. When hurt or offended did we not reach for the bottle and engage in yet another drunken spree?. And to drink is to die. All along it was our own behaviour driven by self-will that upset others around us to a point they had no option but to take the required action to stop our selfish onslaught on them.
So we think our problems are of our own making, they arise out of ourselves.
Remember the requirement here is to be convinced that our lives run on self-will can hardly be a success. How do we become convinced? The answer to that question comes in Step Four as we take a fearless look at the truth of our reality and where this all went wrong for us. Step Four paints a vivid picture of how selfishness, self-centerdness and many other defects of character came to manifest inside and threatened to destroy us.
Paul Nobes – Author and Addictions Specialist