Step Three states: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
The counter-intuitive truth to surrender is that it provides us freedom! When we daily choose to surrender and let God do His job, it can be transforming. We experience less stress, because we recognize we are not responsible for other people. We experience peace as we build trust in God’s plan for our lives. We find serenity as we are able to define what is ours and what is God’s. We become more confident as we see the transformation on our lives, day by day. The very thing that often holds us back from surrender, our desire for freedom, is the very thing we receive when we surrender! Step Three becomes the foundation for every day of our lives. It isn’t something we do once and then move forward. It is something we do everyday and sometimes several times a day. Our willingness to surrender and trust God is our very ticket to freedom.
Often times the one thing that stands in our way, is ourselves. Our mind begins to churn, analyze, intellectualize this step and we get caught up in the thinking piece and completely miss the experience piece. Keith Miller states it like this ::
But this idea of surrendering, of releasing authority and control of outcomes to another, is a very difficult notion for thinking persons. Not only does surrendering go against all our childhood injunctions to “do it ourself” and “don’t give up” but as long as we can keep our minds churning, we can keep from facing and understanding our own part in causing our painful feelings.
He goes on to say ::
Evidently some people try to control even the process of healing by “understanding” them. I am one of those. But this so-called understanding is often a way to avoid experiencing the emotional meanings released and involved. Paul Sten, a psychiatrist at Harvard University, said twenty-five years ago that the most difficult defense to overcome in therapy is “intellectualization” that is, attempting to control therapy by analyzing our problems and articulating the reasons for them. Therefore, a person who thinks he or she really understands how Step Three works may have the greater difficulty actually taking the step.
Let’s pursue the experience of freedom in our notebooks today ::
- Have I begun to see changes in me since you started working the steps? Describe those in detail.
- Can I think of specific areas that I do not trust God? List them in detail.
- Why do I think I am able to handle my addictions/compulsions on my own with no help from outside?
- How am I ready to be taught?
- What characteristic(s) interfere with my willingness and ability to be taught?
- How do I define the word surrender?