10/14/08 BB How it works p 63 (Third Step)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

10/14/08 BB How it works p 63 (Third Step)

Postby Karl R » Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:13 am

Good Day all,

A big thank you to all who have helped me by sharing your ES and H here.

A prayer for beginning.

"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."


Yesterday we looked at what a gift it is to honestly turn our will over to a higher power.

Today's reading, short and sweet that it is, is the one place that I keep coming back to in the big book over and over. The first time I said this prayer in earnest it was a huge relief to realize that I could now develop a manner of living based on building rather then wrecking. What a gift!

Anyone wish to share their ES and H of what it means to "at last abandon ourself utterly to him"?

have a terrific Tuesday,
Karl

We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him: "God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.
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Re: 10/14/08 BB How it works p 63 (Third Step)

Postby Blue Moon » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:27 am

Karl R wrote:Anyone wish to share their ES and H of what it means to "at last abandon ourself utterly to him"?


To my knowledge, I've not yet met anyone who's done so. Some claim to, but are clearly still acting on self-will in many areas of life. Others may do for a while. But we were born with free will for a reason. One of the biggest dilemmas in recovery seems to be working out how to separate "God's will" from "rationalising self-will" - the "wisdom" bit in the serenity prayer.

The trick is to "realign" self-will, through taking other-centred actions as prescribed in the Steps. What I did do is put recovery first. Sobriety, and recovery, became the top priority. I set realistic goals, such as that early "just don't drink for 24 hours" goal.

So we can surrender our old self-will run riot, admitting that "our way" didn't work, make a decision and take action to pursue recovery. But to "abandon ourselves utterly" seems a recipe for procrastination.
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Postby Karl R » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:00 am

Thank you Ian. You've helped me today.

cheers,
Karl
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Postby jujub » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:48 pm

hi all,

i liked what ian wrote. it reminds me perfection is not the goal. these steps aren't a once and done deal. i wish i could say the things i'm doing now are a wonderous, spiritual, altruistic journey for me. that god and i are on this mission together. truth is, i do what you guys do because i don't want to do what i've done. nothing really magical or spiritual in that. i want to get well. if that means helping someone along the way, great. maybe someday i'll do these things for the sole benefit of someone else. right now, i'm just sick of being sick. trudging--good description of what my program looks like right now.

judi, alcoholic
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Re: 10/14/08 BB How it works p 63 (Third Step)

Postby leejosepho » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:47 am

We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him ...

Does that particular report indicate some of us prayed to someone or something other than "our Maker", so to speak, does it mean we can simply set the matter of "Each individual ... [describing] in his own language and from his point of view the way he established his relationship with God" (page 29) until later on (in his or her own personal story), or is it simply a reflection of this following statement we can read from the same page:

"The wording was, of course, quite optional so long as we expressed the idea, voicing it without reservation." ??

Who knows. But what we do know is the following being the essence of Step Three for each of us:

"... I offer myself ... [to be relieved] of the bondage of self, that I may better do [Good] will ... that victory over [my difficulties] may bear witness to those I would help of [Good] Power, [Good] Love, and [Good] Way of life. May I do [Good] will always!"

And of course, "I thought well before taking this step making sure I was ready; that I could at last abandon myself utterly to Good."

Sure glad the actual wording was (and still is) "quite optional" there! ;)

===============

To those with knowledge of Scripture, here is the essence of its entire "message" as seen in the exodus and since experienced amongst ourselves:

"Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power [to deliver], Thy Love [in provision], and Thy Way of life [in right fellowship and worship]."

And along that particular line, Bill had said this:

"To Christ I conceded the certainty of a great man (with no mention of him being 'God'), not too closely followed by those who claimed Him." (page 11)

My own experience is identical.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 10/14/08 BB How it works p 63 (Third Step)

Postby PaigeB » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:22 am

We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.


Being an atheist, I thought well about this step and the 3rd Step Prayer. I was, of course, glad to see this portion:

"The wording was, of course, quite optional so long as we expressed the idea, voicing it without reservation.


AA, I offer myself to you - to build with me and to do with me as you will. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do good will to all who I come into contact with. Ease my difficulties & defects, and know that victory over them helps others. I may share these with others as my experience, strength and hope. That I would help those who suffer, discover sobriety in AA, real Love, and a new road map for life."


My actual "prayer" - more like a daily meditation - is shorter.
More like "Help others with, Love."

Feel free to express your own idea.

This program is effective in managing my life.

It works when - and to the extent - that I work it, study it, am surrounded by it and try to live in Love and right action.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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