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

In our last blog post we spoke about the idea of becoming selfless, which is, essentially, or what appears essential, to the core of step 2. Becoming selfless puts the concerns and wishes of others first or, in view of the 12 steps, allows us to conceive of a higher power that can restore us to sanity. We also talked about how God is not something to be defined, as the spiritual journey is something that we can continue to go deeper with, a journey that has no boundaries or ending.

Gaining the above intuition allows us to move forward in the steps. Now that we have an understanding of what is needed in step 2 we need to put that behavior into action. Step 3 requires willingness to do so, it is the key to opening the doors to spirituatliy. It is one thing to say that we understand something, but putting that understanding into action is another step in and of itself.

Hope is a feeling or an expectation that something will happen. Nothing about having hope, though, is anything that can be guaranteed. However, having such hope is common in all walks of life. It is a way of letting go of the things we may not have control over and accepting the fact that future outcomes may or may not happen. Having this in mind, then, we can put our formation of a higher power into action. We may not have the immediate answers, but that is not for us to worry about. What is most important is putting the perspective of others or our higher power first in the same way that we put hope into action.

Taking another page out of Alan Watts' literature we come to understand that faith is not the clinging to a higher power, but a letting go. If we cling to a belief in God, we cannot likewise have faith. The idea of wrapping a higher power up into a unique package to be sold to the world and us misses the point of Step 3 entirely. Belief is the accepting of something whereas faith is putting complete trust or confidence into something. Faith is based on spiritual apprehension rather than it having to be proven.

This is a difficult concept to approach in our empirically laden society; however, there is something beautiful in the unknown. There is something uplifting about not needing all the answers and, even more spectacular, when we realize that it is not our job to worry and hold the world's troubles on our shoulders, we can then be present in every moment. Only when we find this peaceful presence can we then develop new coping mechanisms for a life without drugs and alcohol.

If words like "God" and "Him" are not apart of your spiritual path, simply remove those words from the verbiage of Step 3 and replace them with what makes sense in your spiritual journey. Your job is not to prove anything to anyone, but to have faith and put your recovery first.

Continue reading our series on a 12 Step Recovery | Step 4