Step Three

3:- “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our Higher Power, to help us to rebuild our lives in a positive and caring way.”

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A core principle behind the Third Step is becoming willing to trust our higher or helping power and to make a decision to follow its guidance. We are willing to begin letting go of our old ideas.

Members share their thoughts on the Third Step

My own best thinking got me nowhere. Well, it got me drunk and back on the street. Once I decided to start listening to the experts and began trying the things that other members in my Group were doing, I started making headway. I had to become ‘Willing to Cooperate.’Anonymous (
Step Three sounded really big to me at first. I thought, oh hell, here is where they trap me into going to church. Instead I found out that all it asked me to do was to make a decision. A decision to give up my old ways of doing things and start trying new ways to cope and heal.Anonymous (
Here’s how my sponsor put it:

  • Step 1, I can’t.
  • Step 2, We can.
  • Step 3, I’ll let my Higher Power help me.
Anonymous (
Step Three is about making a decision. A deadly serious decision. I think if you still have doubts about anything in the first Two Steps you better go back and work on those Steps some more.Anonymous (
I have to work on this Step on a continuing basis. It is part of my daily meditation and prayer routine, but a lot of times it is almost a minute-by-minute struggle for me. I have a heck of a rebellious streak and I tend to automatically want to discard many suggestions just because they sound too simplistic or I hear them from sources I consider non-valid in one way or another. That’s how I have to handle this “turning it over” stuff. It is a matter of progress and not perfection.Anonymous (
In Step Three, we “make a decision” between living in the problem or living in the solution. The only thing left is putting that decision into action. This action is using the tools of recovery and working the rest of the Steps.Anonymous (
I had problems with the idea of turning my will and life over to the care of anyone or anything. I didn’t like the implications of loss of control. My sponsor asked me if I would consider letting my higher and helping power simply care about me. I knew my doctor and some people at my home Group really did care about me already, so I could go that far. Then my sponsor asked me if I’d consider at least listening to their advice and weigh their experience when they shared it. I said sure, I’m a reasonable person. I mean, I was already doing that pretty much anyway. Then we discussed letting them help me when I needed help since I was already at least weighing their advice. Yes, of course I could do that. And that’s were we left it for a few weeks while I continued to go to meetings and deal with all the normal issues of early recovery.Anonymous (
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