Welcome to the 3rd step.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

When I work with my sponsee's and they are at this step, they have worked alot.
We have spent countless hours together by now, and have gone to several meetings.
And they have asked all sorts of questions to get a better understanding of this program by now.
They have heard the line, honesty, openmindedness, and willingness at least once.  In this
step, we'll learn exactly what that means and how to apply it daily in our lives.

I'll say it now so your sponsor won't have to later...
Woe... SLOW DOWN GRASSHOPPER! More will be revealed soon enough be patient.

The first thing I have them do is fill out the worksheet on this step here in this section.
 This helps me to see where they are in their belief system. It also makes them look
at it as well. Feel free to do this now if you like. I suggest you Print it out or copy
the question in your notebook so you can show your sponsor your progress so far.

Now then, before we go any farther on this step, you need to read from the front cover page
thru to page 57 - that includes the forwards, and those funny xxiii  pages at least 3 times.

Why?  Because these pages have alot of meat to them to digest. 

When you read them over and over, you will start to understand who you are, and
why you think and act the way you do. I'll help ya get started reading it,
here's the link to The Big Book on line or if you like
you can listen to the book here in audio format either way, get the first part down pat.
Your sobriety hangs on this like you would not believe.

Ok, so by now you should be able to explain a little about the history of AA and how it started.
The Doctor's Opinion, and What the alergy is, how it affects our thinking.
You'll understand where the these terms The Actor and the Director, and the Bull in a China Shop.
You should be able to explain what self will is and why it is useless when it comes to alcohol.
You should be able to identify the major types of drinkers and the differences in each.

You should also be able to discribe what the following words truely mean:
Obsession, Compulsiton and Craving and how they esculate
and the words sanity, insanity, and Serenity, and know what they mean.

Reguardless of your religion, or lack of.. we suggest reading the chapter to the agnostics
This explains the term Spiritual Program in great detail for you, and it also suggests reading
the Appendix II on the "spiritual experience" this is found towards the back of the book.
Alot of my sponsee's also have read the 12 and 12 on the first 3 steps as well. It may answer
some questions you may have as well. click here to read it in pdf or here for web view.

Step 3 is the first real action step done on our part.
"The first two steps were just thinking steps"; I've heard that so many times it's not funny. 
But it's true.

In step 1, we surrendered, and we asked for help. Presto next thing you know you're in AA.

In step 2, we made a dicision to believe, and then we "Came to believe" after that. 

And now in step 3, we are going to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as
we understand him". WE may not trust it yet, but that's ok. 

We now have an idea that there's something out there thats making this world spin,
that the flowers bloom when they do. Something helped us to get to AA.  So we let go
of our ego for a little bit, and pocket our pride; and we started to trust in this thing. 
By now, We have managed to keep from drinking for a few days so something
must be working for us. And we now know the serenity prayer by heart, lord knows
we say it often enough.

So what's involved in step 3 you ask....

Well for starters, you need to have truely surrendered, and have a clear understanding of step 2, that's having some faith that this power can restore us to sanity.  Remember it took us forever to get to this point in our drinking carreer.  So it's going to take some time to get your head back on streight.  So EASY DOES IT  it will all come together soon enough. Just keep going.

If you are serious, and I mean dead SERIOUS that you have faith in this power and you truely believe that what we have is a direct result of believing in it; and you want what we have.  Then, and only then, 
take this next step. 

But.. if you still think that this is all a joke.  Or this isn't going to work.  Then you need to go back to step 1 and really look hard at why you are fighting so hard. All to often, it's at this point that many newcomers pull away from AA and do that all to familure step 1,2,3 shuffle and shuffel their butts right out the door. Then they will blame AA for not working for them.  Why because they never surrendered in step one to begin with.  As I said, these first three steps are the most important steps you will take.  From here on out, you will be building your recovery program upon them.  These steps are Your Cornerstone to your program. 

So ask yourself, Am I really ready to do this step? 
Is there any reservations that I can someday drink like a normal person? 
Do I want Sanity or Do I want to be miserable still?

Take a look at the following:  Its found in the agnostics chapter pg 44 - 51.  
Listen to Bill W tell you how this works streight from the book.
When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you. At the start, this was all we needed to commence spiritual growth, to effect our first conscious relation with God as we understood Him. Afterward, we found ourselves accepting many things which then seemed entirely out of reach. That was growth, but if we wished to grow we had to begin somewhere. So we used our own conception, however limited it was. 
      We needed to ask ourselves but one short question. "Do I now believe, or am I even willing to believe, that there is a Power greater than myself?" As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is on his way. It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built.*

That was great news to us, for we had assumed we could not make use of spiritual principles unless we accepted many things on faith which seemed difficult to believe. When people presented us with spiritual approaches, how frequently did we all say, "I wish I had what that man has. I am sure it would work if I could only believe as he believes. But I cannot accept as surely true the many articles of faith which are so plain to him." So it was comforting to learn that we could commence at a simpler level.
 And that's all that we're asking of you, a little faith - it will grow in time.

I had an old timer tell me once , God helped him to find AA, and AA helped him to find God.
So now that you've read the first 57 pages, and you've read this are you really ready?
if so turn to 58 and read thru to pg 63 and Then follow the instructions found there..

Say the prayer, that Doctor Bob used if you like. 

A word of caution,  Before you go any further on your step work, seek out a sponsor who has a sponsor.  Meet them, and get their phone number as well. This way you can call them when you can not reach your sponsor.

By now you should be able to see who has worked all the steps at your local meeting.
You have been listening to what the old timers have told you, and have made some good friends there.  Start taking a notepad with you and get some names and numbers and call them just to say hello on a daily basis.  This is how we build up our recovery network of friends in the program. 

It's real easy to find a sponsor, simply ask them for thier phone number and call them. Let them know you've worked the first three steps and have read the first 57 pages so far.  And now I need a sponsor to work with me on step 4.  I want what you guys have, and I hope you can help me with it.  Some may say no, while others will gladly help you if you're serious. 

That's why it's so important to go to the meetings daily.  It gives them a chance to know you and you a chance to know them.  When you are there, keep in mind that you will need a sponsor.  Ask yourself,  Out of all these people in here, which one do I want to be like when I grow up.  Who can I relate to.  Who's done the things I've done and lived to talk about it.

By know you should have heard just about every story they have to say.  If not, pay attention, try out other tables, or other meetings.  It's been said that when the sponsee is ready the sponsor will appear. Ask God to bring that person into your life this week, and pay attention to those there at the meeting. Watch, Look, and Listen to how they act outside the meeting as well. Are they carrying the message or just playing at recovery. Are they active in recovery or do they bolt out the door and go home. When you find someone you like, ask them for help.

Just don't go any farther with your steps until you have a real face to face sponsor.  The next few steps are labor intensive, and you'll learn real quick that there are instructions with in the instructions that are not really clear.  If they are not followed correctly, it could and often times will result in a relapse. So please save yourself the grief and follow my suggestion to you now.