Once one has hope that there is a solution to the problem of addiction, it’s important for that person to keep an open mind moving forward. The traditional wording of step three, according to AA, is:

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

The book, The Alternative Twelve Steps: A Secular Guide to Recovery frames the third step in the twelve steps as:

“Make a decision to be open to spiritual energy as we take deliberate action for change in our lives. “

This process is one that is often daunting to those who are coming into the twelve steps for the first time. Step three is the first active step in the twelve steps. It requires that an individual do an action – deciding.

Pushing Ahead

The third step asks us to look at our situation and to push ahead to get outside of it. Rather than giving into the old patterns of handling hardship and challenges, we now rise to push back, take responsibility, and move forward.

By “letting go and letting God” or being open to the existence of a higher power, we can release those everyday worries. In step one, we admitted there was a problem. In step two, we saw that there was a solution – turning to a higher power. Now, we turn to that higher power and start learning how to let things go.

Life Needs More Direction than a Self Can Provide

No person lives alone in solitude. Instead, we live in a community of others. If every person always tried to enforce his or her will over others, there would be constant collision and struggle. We, however, cannot control other individuals. Each of our friends, coworkers, family members has his or her own agenda and goals. Rather than trying to micromanage every action of another person, we must release that and let it go.

Letting Go Doesn’t Mean Neglecting Ourselves

Instead, it means that we’re embracing the words of the Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Thy will, not mine, be done.”

Rather than neglecting our own needs, instead, we let go of the things that are beyond our control – who someone votes for, what someone else does at work, the gossipy girls in the cafeteria, the past. Instead, we embrace the strength and power located within each one of us, and we rise to act on the things we can do something about – our addictions, our daily work, the way we relate with the world.

Making the commitment

Once step three has been reached, it’s time to make the commitment to turn your fate over to a higher power. Whether that higher power is God in the Judeo-Christian sense, an AA community, nature, or something else, what matters is that you are taking steps in the direction to take responsibility for things you can do something about and letting go of those things that are in the hands of others. If you need help taking this step, you can count on us to be there for you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your recovery efforts.