Step 3: Turning Over our Will

Is it just me or did February just FLY by? It feels like only yesterday we were starting this month off.

To be honest, I had planned to write this big thing about love, and how love could be a higher power to drive us. Then I had a pretty terrible week at work, and not going to lie, I got very jaded about the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t believe in love. I’m just saying, my whole post on “love can fix us all” got drowned out by real life being not so-cheery-sweet.

Then I realized…that moves perfectly into March and our 3rd step.

In January, for step 1, we recognized the things we are powerless over and accepted some of them as being uncontrollable

In February, for step 2, we recognized that there is a higher power, much greater than ourselves, that can save us from these problems

This month, step 3, is probably one of my favorites (and also the hardest for me to readily accomplish):

 

“Make the decision to turn our will and lives to the care of God as we understand him”.

 

Now: some of you may be thinking: wouldn’t this not be your favorite? It’s another step that is completely focused on religion. And yet, from the meetings I’ve attended, I see this step in a completely different light.

First, I see it as a willingness to relinquish control. The ability to acknowledge that we cannot control every situation. Whether it’s other people in our lives, whether its fate, whether it’s our own thoughts, we cannot ALWAYS be in control. This is something I struggle with daily and something that most of my posts will probably focus on. I am a huge control freak, and my type A personality makes it very difficult for me to accept I don’t have control over something. But step 3 urges us to accept that there are some things in life that we cannot control. By turning our lives over, in whatever way works for us, we acknowledge that we cannot be blamed for the things that happen. For addicts, this portion of the step could allow them (as it did my father) to stop using alcohol as a means of drowning out guilt. For non addicts choosing to live life through the steps, it is an opportunity to give ourselves just a little break.

Secondly, I see this step as an opportunity to take a conscious role in our own lives. There is a huge feminist movement right now to “lean in”, but I think it goes far beyond that and just women. It is the idea that, but taking an effort to relinquish control and give ourselves to something beyond just our selves, we are in fact taking a conscious step forward in recognizing ourselves. We are investing ourselves in our own lives through divesting of the unnatural boundaries we set on ourselves. We are better able to evaluate who we are, why we do the things we do, why we react the way we react when you take a forceful step back and evaluate your own will.

Lastly, I see step 3 as a very harmonious outlook on life in general. It is a chance to see life through rose tinted glasses, in a way. You relinquish control over the things you cannot control. You consciously step into activeness in your being and your lifestyle. Finally, you see things in a way you didn’t before. Step three makes you more susceptible to the beauty in your life that may not have been there before. It sheds away the things that hold you back. It removes some of the stigma and negativity that surrounds you. When blame falls away and your tough grip gets loosened, things get a little bit brighter.

As we move through step 3…and really take the time to turn our will to God as we understand him (again, this step for me will focus very little on religion…but maybe God is the answer for you!), I’m sure I’ll have more weeks like this one, where every single thing went wrong. Where my cheery posts aren’t prevalent to what’s really going on in my life…and I want to stay as transparent as possible here.

 

Quick side story, because I haven’t done one in quite some time. This weekend I am going on a pub crawl to fundraise for a great charity called St. Baldrick’s. I’ve done it before, and I’m super excited. However, as a child of an alcoholic, being around drunk people (and getting tipsy myself) is always a double edged sword. I have a good time, but I also look at people and wonder about their families, think about whether this is standard for them or just a one night thing, look at myself as I stay more sober than most and wonder if that road is inevitable for me. I’ve been trying really hard lately to escape my own head when it comes to drinking, and yet it seems like even 7 years later I’ll always stay a child of an alcoholic…

-Joanie

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