Mental Health conversation centered around 12 step recovery and related topics. We talk about spiritual living, living with addiction and growing in the 12 steps. Find us on our home at https://recoverysortof.com/. If you want to join the conversation, email us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoverySortOf, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/recovery_sort_of/, or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Recovery-Sort-Of-112376247161866/?view_public_for=112376247161866. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/recoverysortof/support
We talk about step 3. Breaking down the ideas of “making a decision” and “turning over our will and our lives to the care of god” for someone who might have never heard of recovery or addiction. Helping someone who might not understand the process of the 12 steps to possibly relate it to how they could use it in their life. We include some 3rd step takes from social media, and conclude with our personal takes on step 3. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RecoverySortOf or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/recovery_sort_of/.
Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/recoverysortof/message
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/recoverysortof/support
3/1/20 We talk about step 3. Breaking down the ideas of “making a decision” and “turning over our will and our lives to the care of god” for someone who might have never heard of recovery or addiction. Helping someone who might not understand the process of the 12 steps to possibly relate it to how they could use it in their life. We include some 3rd step takes from social media, and conclude with our personal takes on step 3.
recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss the recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature
hey welcome back to recovery sort of I’m Jason I’m a guy in medium term recovery and my name’s Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery and what that means for me is I haven’t used any illegal substances since August 23rd of mm I don’t know I’m sure there’s something illegal I’ve done since at some point in time so we’re on episode 20 that’s kind of exciting just because for some reason round numbers that have a zero somewhere in them are really cool or five sometimes two I’m not sure what that is with life but it is a thing and today we’re talking about step three which is super exciting because step three is pretty powerful and if you’ve ever worked it you definitely understand that we did not get a whole lot of feedback about what is addiction and where does it come from I don’t know if people thought their opinions were too ludicrous for us or maybe they just I think they all liked my personal theory and so they just figured there was no point in commenting but we do want to talk about step three so that there’s a lot to talk about it’s a great step let’s jump right into it so step three if you’ve never heard of it is made a decision to turn our will in our lives over to the care of God as we understood him and of course if you are of the NA variety that is we made a decision because we like to be we we’re French I think and so just to break that down kind of like we did for step two we want to explain that for people who’ve maybe never been introduced to the concept of steps or recovery or maybe never even been introduced to addiction at all who might not understand it and so it sort of breaks down into little pieces and the first part is just that we made a decision and I think for me that understanding is more about it’s not so much that the decision is the crucial part of it it’s more about the we made the decision right because it talks about in our literature like nobody made this decision for us because for so long an addiction the judges were making my choices for me people who had power over me in some way shape or form anybody who had the money I was trying to scam out of them like they could get me to do some things and coerce me so it was very important that I truly made this decision that I wanted something different what about for you yeah and exactly that was one of my favorite parts of that was we made the decision you know I had been introduced to counseling and therapy I think by my parents when I was fifteen or sixteen you know trying to quote-unquote figure out what was wrong with me yeah and you know then it was the courts and probation and then it was you know jail and you know through all those times any wanting to get me to stop was was more forced you know I wasn’t deciding to do it so it never worked you know for me um even being in jail when I was in jail I didn’t want to stop I just had to stop because I didn’t have a choice but then as soon as I got out or as soon as I had the opportunity to use I went used again right right another thing I’ve heard mention is the idea that the decision implies action right and that we could make a decision in the morning to go to the store and get a sandwich for lunch but if we don’t get up off the couch that decision really meant nothing more than a passing thought that we might have had and trying to figure out how to relate that to maybe you know somebody who’s never been introduced to recovery and doesn’t really require it how would they look at the whole we made a decision idea like how does that apply to someone’s life I guess maybe somebody who you know maybe you make a decision that you want to clean your house up this weekend and then when the weekend comes you’re really tired from work and don’t feel like it and you never get around to it it’s kind of like yeah that’s great you made the decision but if your house is just as messy on Monday when you go to work like what good did it do yeah and you’re here with people you know I know like around say my work around the office you hear people talk about it with dieting all the time to eating healthy you know they’re say oh yeah I really know I need to eat better and you know what I think I’m gonna start next month or whatever and then they don’t ever do anything with it so they might intellectually know that they need to do the road when you don’t follow it through with any any action you know it really just comes just a thought right it is that is decisions are much easier made in the mind than they are through like something that follows through with doing something I you kind of hurt me right there talking about the decision to go in some form of diet just recently it’s been brought to my attention that that may be going on a certain form of diet might help some of my skin inflammation and things like that and and rashes and along those lines and so it’s interesting to I’m trying to sort of make some decisions in that area and it’s super tough to like make a decision to give up things I like right right now I’ve managed to give up a lot of the processed sugar for the last week which is tough it was easy for a couple days and then it was like [ _ ] them cookies look good right but I really do want the benefits of like not having you know dermatitis breakout on my face and so it’s kind of it’s like man if this can help I at least want to try it but it is hard to do in action as opposed to just making that decision in my head so the next section of it would be to turn our will in our lives over to the care of God and that’s a that’s an interesting section so I you know I’m sure I think we even talked about it here one point how some people say our will is one thing in our lives is something else like our will is our thoughts and our lives is our actions or something along those lines I’ve never really differentiated for for my recovery the difference between them I don’t know that it you have to but I think the idea that I get out of this really is more to the part of over to the care of God right I’m not turning my will in my life over to God it’s not like I need to move to Tibet and shave my head and never talk to people again like that’s not my goal it’s not oh god runs my life now it’s just allowing something to care for me right I spent so long thinking I wasn’t worth care and and just hating myself and treating myself accordingly right putting poison in my in my body daily um and so the idea of just let me let something care for me yeah I’ll try to make some good decisions but even when I don’t let me just let this thing show up and like kind of give me a hug this power and be with me no matter what yeah and that was a big part of trying to understand that care of for me in the beginning was looking at it as like a parent with a child like that was kind of how I got early what I would call understandings of like God in general because yeah and I was raised Catholic and what I knew of God was I was this terrible person that had done all this wrong so you know God didn’t love me I was going to hell you know that was sort of my upbringing and so getting past all that to develop some new new understandings to kind of let go with some of that old stuff um you know it was easier for me to kind of look at God as being a parent you know a good parent and not a shitty parent a good parent that you know was was providing for the needs to try to give you the best life available like that was the easy understanding of that for me in the beginning yeah I think maybe uh maybe for an Earthling that would be just allowing yourself to be human really is I think a really good understanding of that portion for me it’s like look man mistakes are not that big a deal I don’t need to berate myself over it I can just allow myself to be human and and know that I’m trying hard and kind of like you said like a really good parent you know if you make a mistake they don’t scold you they say hey okay well would you learn from that right like hey maybe we can do it next time but be easy on yourself as we do it yeah and from using and that lifestyle and all the sort of things that come along with that the you know all the lying and the crime and the stealing from people that you love and and you know because when you’re doing those things like I loved my family I really did I love my parents I loved my brother and sister um but I still stole from them I still lied to them I still did what I had to do to get my own and when you’re caught up in the grips and doing those things it’s it’s not like you at least for me personally it’s not like I did those things and was just okay with it like I still felt like a piece of [ _ ] broke I still felt like a bad person it’s just I was so overwhelmed with the drive and compulsion to you who’s that I just you know it was like [ _ ] I gotta do it you know and I know I shouldn’t and I feel bad about it but I’m sorry I’ll make it up to you later and then I review it you know so when I got clean I really did feel like a worthless piece of [ _ ] no I did not feel like someone who was deserving of God’s love and mercy you know that was a foreign concept to me no absolutely and it and it kind of talks about something along those lines in the in the basic text it says uh I don’t I can’t remember quite how it puts it but basically that like at some point the time comes when we no longer had a choice we had to use right and really what it’s almost the opposite of this step I had turned my will in my life over to drugs like that that had complete control of me and like you said it wasn’t that I didn’t care about people or want to do the right thing every time I finally got to a place of comfort with drugs right like I had used enough that day where I was okay my first thought was I’m gonna get my [ _ ] together tomorrow and make this up to all the people I’ve hurt right it was just that when the time came that I was actually not okay and didn’t have drugs and and I needed to get them to be okay again that thought went out the window because my life was in the hands of drugs at that point so this is like the anti step for that like I need to turn my will in my life over to something that’s helpful for me and not just taking me downhill yeah and for me using you know towards the end was just like I had no long-term plan of ever getting better like I never thought I would stop use and I just thought I would use until I died is more or less what happened I thought well I’ll be dead by the age of 25 you know that’s what’s that’s just what’s happening to the people around me that’s what’s going on and that’s where I’m gonna be so you know I really wasn’t too concerned with with getting better later or what was gonna happen later in my life there’s survival for that day to get to the next day to get high again and then you know eventually it’s gonna end you know through jails institutions or death you know those concepts have been introduced to me early on when I was like 17 I ended up in my first treatment there and I just kind of resolved – that’s what was gonna happen to me right right and so and you know you keep saying stuff and I hate to keep just bringing up literature stuff but it does bring it up for me it says we were trapped by our need for instant gratification and that’s what you just reminded me of like I couldn’t focus on what might be the consequence later I needed to fix this now and make myself feel better and I I think that kind of ties into the tournament will in my life over to the care of God is that I’m turning over the idea that okay hey maybe whatever I’m going through now doesn’t feel good right but I’m gonna trust the fact that if I just sit here and allow you to care for me this will get better somehow without me having to go seek these instant gratification moments and I think that might apply for like a person who doesn’t struggle with drug addiction in the sense that we you know what we seek companionship when we get out of relationships that hurt or when someone leaves us we immediately seek a new partner or even just a sexual partner to kind of change the way we feel immediately or there’s the old cliche of like going out and getting drunk when you’re hurt over a you know a romantic breakup or I’m trying to find things that people could relate to that might also stimulate this instant gratification instead of waiting for like the feelings to pass and be cared for yeah I tend to think in this I don’t know because I’m not an earth person but I tend to think earth people kind of already you know sort of feel there’s a greater power greater purpose out there in their lives you know that there is a Power greater than them that’s caring for them I mean and I mean that was a weird way to say that what I mean is you know I would say a normal person like they go through a breakup or whatever maybe they do go out and have a one-night stand but that doesn’t turn into like a sex addiction where they’re you know doing all these things or or they find some way to you like a shopping thing like oh I had a bad day I’m gonna go out and buy myself some things and they buy themselves some things and they get that little fix but then they get over it they’re able to to kind of move on and not be stuck there and as addicts we seem to get stuck in that instant gratification piece you know we have no trust that it’s going to get better or that if we just leave it alone that time will heal these wounds or that a Power greater than us will come in and restore us to sanity like we we miss those concepts and it’s just all about how we feel right this moment I’m fixing that so interestingly enough shocking to everyone I’m sure I would completely disagree I so I do think in in the sense that people who use retail therapy as they call it to make it nice and pretty and package it up as if it’s a positive thing right or people who do the one-night stands or consecutive short-term relationships I do think their consequences are much less than the then maybe the sex addict or the drug addict or the gambling addict like maybe their ends and their bottoms aren’t as low but I don’t I don’t necessarily think they’re like trusting that this process is going to work itself out I think they’re consistently doing these things that are putting them in bad situations whether that’s living in a an amount of debt that’s just not healthy to live in regularly or that they if they had the choice would not live in that debt but yet they continually do these little purchases here there and everywhere to feel better so they end up in that debt whether they want to be there or not or the person who continuously is in the 3 to 6 to 1 month or one year relationships who that just keeps not working out like I get the feeling that they probably don’t want that but they feel powerless over the choice to make a different decision and so that that’s my take on it maybe I’m wrong maybe they are getting healthier but I just see people living the same life day in and day out and not really counting on some higher power to take care of it they’re trying to have some control over making it feel better regularly yeah maybe I should have said that in the way of there are healthy healthy ways to it’s not necessarily so terrible if you have a bad day and you go out and buy yourself a new pair of shoes or a new jacket like action in and of itself isn’t a horrible thing you know trying to sort of get through a tough time by rewarding yourself with whatever some sex or some you know a retail thing in and of itself isn’t a horrible thing um that I would say there are normal earth people that would do those behaviors and not wreck their life or cause a lot of damage by that right but then people can take them to extreme I mean anybody can take them to extremes or I think I’m just bitter that anybody would ever think they might be better than me maybe that’s my issue I don’t know it just all sounds to me it all sounds like the whole alcohol big alcohol phrase drink responsibly right like you’re still throwing drink out there is the first verb in the sentence right it’s like shop responsibly right like I don’t know that that is a thing I think once you start doing it you’re maybe it’s not as bad as but I don’t consider it to be healthy regardless I just might not be as bad I don’t know I think it can be healthy I think there are waste yeah oh yeah people that have a glass or cool wanna know they say that’s healthy for you anyway to have that I wanna do that’s actually a really fake-ass [ _ ] big I hate for study know basically they just found out that it doesn’t kill you if you do one or two a day and so they’re like oh great yeah it’s good for you guys they threw some [ _ ] I think it’s really sad actually it is poison so you would think hey any kind of poison right it’s some pretty sketchy stuff once you really look into that it was it was kind of messed up um anyway I digress so the last part of this step is as we understood him and I don’t think this is a very confusing part I think this is literally thrown in there just to allow for us all to have our own understanding of a higher power I don’t think there’s any confusing part it’s not tricky it’s just hey look we’re not gonna force any type of God on you we need to make sure we throw this in the step so we don’t throw our Christianity in Jesus at you and make you conform like you’re open to find your own power right yeah I don’t yeah that’s pretty it’s pretty open so I wonder do you think uh maybe earth people feel as free to find their own higher power I would kind of was just you know let my mind wander on that idea I think people probably feel maybe even subconsciously the draw that they must conform to whatever it is that’s around them right like that’s generally what we do is we’re growing up oh well everybody’s wearing you know tight pants now we got all wear tight pants so everybody’s wearing baggy clothes now we all got to wear baggy clothes so we do just tend to conform to whatever’s going on I noticed I look at my daughter’s and like their generation is the generation that just likes the [ _ ] that no other generation is ever like right they’re like oh my god mullets are so hot I’m like really everybody has thought mullets [ _ ] sucked from the beginning of time my daughter’s they both want Crocs right they both have pairs of Crocs I had a pair of Crocs like ten years ago and they everybody has always thought Crocs were [ _ ] disgusting and now they’re in right so I think we just tend to buy into whatever everybody else is doing and through that I think people probably feel pressured to do Jesus Christian God whatever you want to call it you know where cross around your neck like I think this is generally subconsciously the peer pressure of you need to believe in this God and if you don’t something’s weird about you oh yeah absolutely and I think that’s the you know what we get as a result of that is all your you know quote-unquote Sunday Christians who are you know they go to church every Sunday but then when they go out and live their lives that means much to them it’s money doesn’t snot when you look at how they live their morals and values or the decisions they make don’t seem to be in line with what you typically see of what would be considered Christian values you know right and just to clarify here we’re not talking about most christians or all christians by any means this is just there is a variety of people who they believe that church is the part of christianity they need to adhere to and the whole maybe how they live throughout the week isn’t the part that they’re adhering to right and there can be you know there’s plenty of a very uh what i would call like dedicated into me Christians who do live by these values but we also all know the ones that dress up for church Sunday to make the you know to make the show of it that they’re doing the right things and then you know the rest of their life yeah I don’t I don’t want to branch too far off the step three into this but it does it does sit wrong with me the it seems like the entire point of Christianity when I was a part of it was like we need to be loving and accepting of all right and yet at every turn I feel like I see Christianity in the media or just in the world well yeah we’re accepting and intolerant and loving of all but we don’t like gay people right you can’t actually come to our church there’s something wrong with you and then I you know even at a more global scale hey we’re accepting loving and tolerant of all cuz we’re Christians and we’re good at that and but you know what you [ _ ] people who are an American you just stay out of our country because there’s something wrong with you too right and I just I don’t know it makes me angry for one but it really also blows my mind like the whole point of this was loving tolerance of everyone how are we discriminating against all these different people in the name of Christianity yeah and it’s so weird you know I think of this a lot like we are you know I wouldn’t say in the Bible Belt for sure but we are definitely in white middle-class Christian Ville you know here in Cecil County like I don’t I don’t even think maybe there’s a synagogue in Cecil County I don’t even know if there is there’s definitely not a mosque you know and yeah but there is a church on every other corner from every different denomination right next to the bar you know so there isn’t a lot of outside influence other than Christianity you know and that like it or not you know works its way down into the school system and the you know subsystems of government and you know because that’s the prevailing ideology absolutely absolutely so I think this is a good point since we’re kind of done wrapping up defining the step which again made a decision to turn our will in our lives over to the care of God as we understood him and I’m sure plenty of people would argue about the him in their I don’t think it needs to be him it could be them it just probably was convenient at the time it was written in the 1930s yeah that was probably pretty fitting and that’s actually what I heard why they used the word God in the first place was it was just a convenient word that kind of fit you know a troy the idea of a higher power or a Power greater than ourselves and they didn’t like to repeat the same words in the steps so they just used God because it seemed to fit pretty well yeah I think it does fit well I I kind of struggle with that too because I feel like whenever I say the word God people pictured Jesus and that’s really not my intention at all but it’s one syllable versus you know for higher powers four syllables and I’m lazy in my speech so and as you said this was written in the 30s so yeah holding it what our worldly outside religions was at that time in the United States in the 1930s right well and I’m glad you said nineteen because I was just thinking of people listen to this twelve years from now we’re definitely talking about the 1930s not the 2030s which were only holy [ _ ] only ten years away from but yeah so here’s a good time to take a break you can listen to our voices add voices you know we do love those people they’re close to and near and dear to our hearts they help people in the local community so you goes to our ad and then we’ll be right back with the rest of this this episode has been brought to you by voices of Hope Inc a non-profit grassroots recovery community organization located in Maryland voices of Hope is made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the dignity and respect of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment support resources and mentoring please visit us at
one of the first things we got off a Twitter Britney said I love step three my biggest hurdle here was finding the willingness to surrender my need to have control in life but it became easier after two things one I realized I had already done this before I surrendered my will and life to drugs a long time ago – it didn’t matter how much I wanted to be in control I never would be once I realized that allowing the universe to take care of keeping balance was simple and I would say that’s that’s pretty accurate like it there is some hurdles – what do I control and and and working the step that’s one of the things i found is that some areas were easier to let go than others like some areas either a where things were going well and i had the illusion of the fact that i was letting it go or just some areas that maybe weren’t as important to me or didn’t carry as much weight or that i had already realized my powerlessness in like it was easy to turn over the fact that hey i can’t use drugs successfully that’s just not [ _ ] working right did i want to turn over the fact that god would present me with the correct romantic partner at that point in time which was like hugely important for my life for whatever reason had a lot of power over me no god wasn’t having that [ _ ] i was gonna find the right partner for me and i was gonna figure out how to work the relationship and make it go and keep going so it was tough until i saw the futility of my efforts right when i saw that what my attempts at control were actually just an illusion and I really had no [ _ ] control was when I was able to let go and surrender yeah for me early on in the steps you know my first round his steps I didn’t know what God was or what that even meant for me and you know my sponsor said that was okay you know that I didn’t need to know what God’s will was at the moment I was really just making a decision to try something different other than my will you know and that building off that first two steps you know that that you know because I’m an addict I don’t make good decisions for myself and as long as I keep trying to run the show myself I’m going to be in trouble and so if I look for outside of myself that are greater than me that can guide me and give me some direction and insight into life that my life can get better and then step 3 is going and I’m gonna decide to let go of myself will and you know try to practice something different in place of what I’ve always done in the past you know to try to try to just do something a little bit different and early on you know that God was exactly the good orderly direction that they talked about it was a few basic things well I would think God doesn’t want me to use drugs you know I would think God wants me to stay in this process of recovery you know and there was just some real basic simple things and I really didn’t over complicate it with what I need to be doing for a job and where I need to live and who I need to pick as a sponsor like none of that I didn’t try to over complicate it with those decisions God requires me on the third Sunday of every Blood Moon to make a blood sacrifice in my backyard involving a golden knife and like that that freedom to not have to decide what God was at that time has allowed me to continue to explore different gods and understandings of higher power throughout my recovery you know early on it led me to church and I went to Christian based church and did that for a number of years and and really gave myself the freedom to let go of a lot of the what I’ll call the misconceptions that I had being raised as a Catholic you know right so I was lucky to have a sponsor that that didn’t hold me to some understanding of God it is very helpful so the next part was serenity press which I guess maybe they do a website about addiction and I kind of feel bad at this point for not knowing I should probably know more about them but they they related a story a very short story that I’ve loved and I had forgotten about three frogs were sitting on a log and one of them decided to jump off how many frogs are left on the log and of course the answer is three because the third frog that made the decision to jump didn’t actually do anything which i think is just an incredibly important story it’s a kind of fun little joke about it and so we we ended up there’s another gentleman later on and Mark off of Facebook said that you know we should look up the word decision it means action is required with commitment it means when you think about doing the wrong thing and you know it your doing your will not gods and so just to you know we did actually look it up we took that suggestion and unfortunately that’s that’s really not the definition of decision a decision according to good old Google the first definition is a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration and so by definition the third frog did make a decision right it’s just that for our process in this third step it wasn’t a very useful decision if we don’t do anything to back it up right there’s still the three frogs on the log and I just think that’s a good way of looking at it when I make a decision then what okay great I’ve made that now what am I gonna do with it right and that’s the way the step process I believe is designed you know each step is a is a baby step you know and I mean it’s a micro step you know towards the end goal and we don’t end it three you know what I mean we make the decision and then if we want to continue and and make that decision of any value or to be a meaningful decision we follow it up with steps four through 12 you know you don’t it making the decision I will for now on refer to Narcotics Anonymous as the twelve baby steps but it’s you know if you dumped all this on someone all at once you know it would be a hard struggle like hey you don’t know what you’re doing with your life and you better just turn it over to God like I hate to say what that sounds too much like Church you know like I went to church and heard that [ _ ] all the time right you know just turn it over to Jesus and he’s gonna fix it all for you man it didn’t work you know I went and sincerely prayed for that to happen at times and that it didn’t work for me I’m sure it’s work for some people I think for me there was no explanation of the process like what would the [ _ ] do you mean right so I was like I went in am i cool it’s yours Jesus right next but then I never understood what else to do yeah and so I think this kind of not that that couldn’t work it’s just that I needed this broken-down baby step process to allow me to understand it and follow it so we then would come to Mayday we’re still on Twitter and this one is very poetic sounding but I didn’t completely grasp all of it but it says all by himself and in the light of his own circumstances he needs to develop the quality of willingness spend your energy focusing on correct use of will stop the debate about the practice of principles or gods or any other obstacle stop finding no and lean in and so I guess what I take out of that is a you know there’s a lot of things that can get in the way of me you know continuing on this path I can say oh I don’t believe in a Christian God and that’s what everybody and my home group believes in so I don’t want to keep going or you know I don’t know about this principle it might not fit in this area or what principle should I apply here or there’s a whole lot of debates we can have that hold us up from just allowing this to be just allowing life to be what it is right we can fight things along the way and that’s kind of what I take out of that just stop trying to fight it and sort of lean into the process of it all yeah I was a little confused by that – I didn’t quite understand I mean for me willingness is one of those spiritual principles that you know it’s introduced to me first in the beginning and it’s you know it grows in meaning over time I don’t know that and I guess that is how you develop it you know what I mean you learn about alright so in the beginning well I’ll stop using drugs and maybe I’ll go to these meetings I’m willing to do those things you know but if you’d asked me at that time whether I was willing to meditate everyday or you know be of service to other people I probably wasn’t I couldn’t even take care of myself let alone and go help other people or you know early on even willing to go to work so you know we developed this willingness over time and understanding absolutely at a kind of reminding me little bit for Robin on Facebook said I live step three by doing the next right thing no matter how I’m feeling I go to a meeting pray do service right steps and connect I was told my character is not defined by my feelings or thoughts my character is defined by my behavior step three I do it suit up and show up no matter what and that kind of reminds me of willingness and it’s I mean it’s definitely easier said than done right and I think you’re right it comes in stages and I think all these spiritual principles are probably on a spectrum of like my ability to practice them in any given situation at anytime I don’t know I guess it does bring up a debate though can we do something we’re incapable of doing right can I just show up and suit up no matter what if I’m just not able to like is that even possible that’s the I think that’s one of the age-old debates of like can you get clean before you’re ready or who gets you clean is that you’re finally done using and tired of consequences or there is a spiritual power that does it or what happens there yeah and in this step you know it really is just making a decision it doesn’t say we started following God’s will you know turned our will in life we just made a decision like until we come to develop a relationship with some of these principles and learn things like okay what are like I didn’t know what my character defects were when I work step 3 so how was I supposed to know what the spiritual principles to counteract those character defects even were like none of those concepts even existed in my life when I worked step 3 I know it wasn’t until later on all I done at that point was said all right I’m gonna continue in this process I’m gonna keep working on myself I’m gonna keep you know I’m gonna show up um and and try to do my part and then you know later on now I can have a deeper understanding a step 3 to know you know how to not act on my character defects now I feel like today you know sometimes I get to make choices between acting on a character defect and acting in God’s will but early in recovery I didn’t understand any of that right right I was just here and I think most of that comes with actually an eleventh step you know it’s it’s even after working through six and seven and learning all my defects and all that stuff it’s not until I developed that relationship with a higher power figure out how that power works in my life and how to utilize it to the best of my ability you know then I’m in a position to start to make decisions on whether I act on character defects or not right I think we were supposed to say spoiler alert before we talked about it so definitely I when I worked three I was confused for sure it felt like what 11 says was supposed to happen in three for sure I’m like oh I’m turning my will in my life right now I’m gonna you know racial person right everything’s gonna be great I’m gonna be good all the time yeah I just assumed my whole life was from now on gonna be dedicated to positivity and helping people and not being about me and so in that I might as well just be one of the clergy for some religion somewhere because that’s my [ _ ] purpose anymore yeah and this belief that if I just you know quote-unquote turned it over that it was supposed to just go away or resolve itself right or or the solution was just supposed to come out of magical thin air you know because God was taking care of it now that’s the way that works I give it to God he fixes it right and unfortunately it didn’t work that way and it didn’t work for me that way early on either and I the way I would have pictured that then of like you know the magical answer actually literally appearing and materializing in my hands and fixing my life to whatever I thought that meant at the time never happened but God mysteriously magically fixing my life the way I see it now is exactly what happens kind of interesting in that dynamic so next we had a Kim who said my higher power is my friends the old God speaks through those that know and love me type of thing so step three for me is to pay attention to what my friends say and try to do what they say especially when I don’t want to and I’ve always found this to be really really interesting right because I’m a guy who ego has run my life at times and I’ve struggled to think that other people could possibly think as greatly as me and I’m like I don’t give a [ _ ] that the three people who have no vested interest in this accept that they love and care for me think I should do this I’m definitely doing the opposite right because I am obviously smarter than that and that has never gotten me anywhere of course and it’s just so interesting to realize that it’s kind of like the concept of we can solve everyone else’s problems but our lifes are wreck right we can solve other people’s problems because we have no emotional attachment to the outcomes or or once in their life except that we love them and care for them look this is what’s best for you it’s obvious and easy to see from our view the reason I can’t solve my own is because I’m emotionally invested in what I want and that becomes my problem so generally yeah if two or three of my close friends that love and care for me say something’s a bad idea I really need to take some heat and listen to that because it’s probably a really terrible [ _ ] idea right and and with that advice you know what I learned through recovery was I should be looking to people that have the things I want in their life you know for the advice on the things that I’m trying to work on you know more example and and maybe this is wrong to say but you know I don’t want to go to the guy who’s been divorced five times to ask him about how to work things out of my marriage like maybe that’s not the best source of information I don’t know he’s definitely well I’ve times the wrong advice and I knew that was a Tuck Yew because he may have some you know but here’s what not to do I’ve done this right I’ve done my ways this work you know it’s it’s the point of you know if you’re going to meetings and and you hear a lot of different opinions about a lot of different things from a lot of different people including mine which may not be right for you and your life yeah that I have to develop a network of people that I trust and that I believe have my best interests at heart and even then they might possibly be wrong but you know that and I’m willing to listen to other people and consider ideas outside myself because it’s always for me like I think my ideas are great and my ideas might get me what I want but I tend to have tunnel vision and not be able to see the big picture or the outside consequences or you know another aspect of that decision that I wasn’t looking at no absolutely I think you touched on something one of the old sayings I used to love that I don’t ever hear anymore is that working my program will get you high right like the whole idea that what I do is right for me and I’ve been able to live with it and work through it in that way but that definitely is not right for everybody and other people would probably not stay clean trying to work the way I do they need other things to make their recovery work and it’s interesting that that used to be such a widely spoken principle or cliche so to speak and then today we have such debate over whether we have a monopoly on the way to recover or not and there’s maybe these other recovery modalities out there that like you know yeah maybe their method of recovery would get us high but maybe ours would get them high too right maybe we need all these different modes to work on I guess it just felt more open and accepting back then and not so much now yeah and I I don’t actually remember hearing that a lot in fact early in recovery I was the other way around I was like well if you do what I do you’ll get what I get huh you know I had really strongly held that brush and I don’t anymore you know what I mean I did some things in early recovery that maybe wouldn’t work for other people or that maybe weren’t even the best advice for me at the time I stayed clean through it but it doesn’t mean I made my life easier or better you know maybe created some struggles I didn’t need to have right right no but I so going back to the part you said about you know getting a sponsor who has what you want basically to try to get the suggestions of how to get there where they did they talked about that a lot to where I got clean at it was like look if all you want is a you know an expensive car and three girlfriends and a nice you know wardrobe find a guy who’s got that because he’s in the meetin’s tune right like and it’s an interesting concept I I unfortunately think some of us probably took that too literally at points in time I think it was kind of a joke about like find somebody who has what you want but maybe that did keep some people clean until they got to the steps I don’t know yeah but definitely for me like early on that concept of like my higher power working through other people and God working through other people was a huge thing for me like I thought that was a really important piece that I needed yeah I definitely I I’m with you on that just the idea that we would for me I mean I even say we for me I would pray about situations that I didn’t have the solutions to and I wanted answers about and I would go talk to people and randomly without them even knowing the situation I was in would somehow give me exactly what I needed to hear that led me where I needed to go and it was just like this is too much to be coincidence for me at times right like this power whatever this [ _ ] power is it’s working even if it’s just the power that I believe in it’s working or you show up at the meeting and someone shares about it that you don’t even know oh yeah absolutely every time I’m exactly what I needed right when I moans right and step three I go to eight step three meetings so moving over to Facebook we had Lee who responded and and so some of these Facebook ones it was interesting to see the dynamics Twitter was very like kind of in line with one theory about step three and then Facebook seemed to be aligned with this other theory that Lee started off he said I was taught that the third step was the beginning of me taking responsibility for my recovery and that turn that the turning over process is not me giving it to God but applying spiritual principles to the areas where defects exist and I know you kind of already said something little contrary earlier on in this episode but what I found so interesting about this was that many people on Facebook followed in Lee’s opinion of the sense that step three really was not so much about a higher power or God and I just found that kind of mind-blowing right not that I don’t think there’s an aspect of something we need to do in the step but this step really kind of says made a decision to turn our will in our lives over to the care of God as we understood him we sort of think a lot about God and in step three right but really maybe the emphasis could be clearly on the fact that we are making this decision and what does that mean for us and and likelies pointing out it wasn’t about God doing something magical in his life this step was about hey I need to apply spiritual principles right I need to do something I need to take responsibility for my recovery I need to show up and do the work yeah this step 3 allows me to let the outcomes be gods but I need to show up and do the work in the process and I just thought that was pretty cool yeah I like that a lot I uh if I said something contradictory to that I didn’t mean to you I’ll just you know defects part where you didn’t know what your defects were in step 3 and all that oh yeah so yeah but I agree actually a lot with that that idea what he’s saying there in that whole concept and for me what it meant was you know I’m really just gonna trust that my way doesn’t work in dealing with life that I’m gonna look for other solutions to life versus what I want to do and like say early on I didn’t know what my defects were but you know there was some obvious self centered behaviors that I knew were not working very well for me right but at that point in my life um and it is about you know it is when I hear that step I do think it’s way more about me taking responsibility for my recovery right um it’s it’s not I’m not asking God to do something for me I’m saying I’m gonna do something for myself right and so I think one of the things that reminds me of and maybe this really would have fit better early on we were defining it is that the third step isn’t turning everything I do over to God is and I need to do God’s will all day long every day right it’s turning over whatever happens and the outcome to God let me just show up and do my best in this situation and then however the [ _ ] it turns out it turns out if I show up for the job interview and I’m dressed and shaved and I present myself nicely and I don’t get the job that’s what the [ _ ] was meant to be right it’s not about the outcome anymore it’s just about let me do my part and I think that is a crucial part of step 3 and I was glad for Lee and a couple other people who mentioned that it’s yeah and and here’s what I it so just to be a little clearer Lee is an old buddy of mine and messaged him on messenger after he posted this because I was just curious and I thought I knew and I was like Lee you are like pretty strong in your belief in a god right he’s like yeah absolutely I was like I thought so but it’s interesting that anytime I hear Lee talk about steps we used to be in a home group that was a step meeting and so I got to hear him you know talk about it quite frequently he generally puts the step in terms of you would never have to believe in a God in order to work it the way he gives an understanding of it and I just think that’s kind of beautiful because many people early on still resent God and don’t have one like you were mentioned and you didn’t know what the [ _ ] God was in Step three and I just think it’s super useful for anybody that’s not ready to accept God it’s like oh well his understanding of the step really didn’t involve God at all it was just about what I could do and I love that he does that it almost makes recovery more accessible for a lot of people yeah and the way you know again what I heard early on was worried about you you’ll figure out what God is by the time you get to step 11 and when you really start needing to figure out you know 11 and 12 you can develop that relationship with God and you can really start figuring out what God is for you so just worry about getting there right now you know and I was like all right you know and for most people to make it to 11 and 12 at least in our program is and say rare but it’s not so there was a guy Jimmy quite a long time ago I mean he’s still around but I just remember a long time ago his he had a pretty big sponsorship family and his sponsorship family’s belief was a step a month for the first year get people through and the theory was people who worked to 12 steps have less chance of relapse and I don’t know if that’s [ _ ] true or not I have no idea right I don’t know if you can get the same thing out of 12 steps in one year that you’d get out of doing I’m in five I don’t know if I’d have no clue right but it was an interesting take on maybe enough people don’t even get to 12 and we need to get him there so it was cool so the next person on here was buddy Brian I’m deciding I’m going to try something new and allow my higher power to work in my life by practicing obedience and submitting to his will his way thinking and actions and I I did respond to him that the whole obedience and submitting so I know I know Brian he’s uh he’s pretty strong in his Christian beliefs and I not knocking him at all for that he’s a super nice dude and a good guy at just when he said submitting an obedience it almost made my skin crawl right because I don’t like the whole idea of smearing or being obedient or any of that and I said something in my response about it being about a you know particular spiritual belief and he said something else and I reread it and I’m like alright I could kind of see how it’s not you know maybe it’s just submitting to the program being obedient to working spiritual principles I I don’t know it definitely it kind of rubbed me the wrong way and I could see I see some people in line who talked about how everyone in their area of 12-step fellowship is all into one you know religion or another and how they feel if they share anything that’s different or contrary to that they feel really judged and persecuted and I can see if this is the kind of thing they’re sharing right not that there’s anything wrong with it but how it definitely feels like it’s about one thing and it made me feel strange about it you have a take on that yeah so I immediately think of you know the idea that we come into recovery and we hear you know God and turn on our will over to God and so you know what I pictured in my mind at that point was like you know just sit on my hands and don’t do anything bad and just try to be really good and then my life will get better if I just be good alright and I’ve learned that that’s far from true not that my life won’t possibly get better in some areas but that’s not the purpose of this or the idea behind it for me I had a sponsor explained to me one time the way I would interpret this is you know if you picture a pendulum and it swings all the way you know one extreme side of that pendulum is God’s will and the other extreme side is self-will and throughout our recovery you know that pendulum will swing kind of back and forth you know we go them serving our will two servings we’ll and what we’re really shooting for is right in the middle where our will is in alignment with God’s will and that what I want is the same thing as what God wants for me so it’s not that I want one thing but God’s will tells me to be good so I don’t get what I want it’s that I work on my spirit until my alignment is in line with I mean my will is in alignment with God’s will I like that so it’s not really so much about denying the things I want in life to do this other thing it’s more about learning to appreciate the value and the way I feel in doing these other things right and kind of it comes back to the whole idea of a life beyond my wildest dreams right when I walked in the door I was still pretty young man and I said life beyond my wildest dreams that’s gonna be yachts with half-naked ladies and lots of money right that’s my idea of partying and life beyond my wildest dreams and then the concept of today like I believe my life is beyond my wildest dreams and really the part that is beyond my wildest dreams is the fact that it’s a pretty mundane FAMILY GUY life and I love it that’s the part that it’s crazy to me right the fact that it’s nothing like what I thought it would look like and I’m so in love with my life anyway so yeah I do I do think it’s more about it’s not about denying myself if I had to live my life raising five kids and with my wife and feel like I was denying myself on a daily basis I would be [ _ ] miserable right and that’s just it we you know we don’t get in recovery to feel like we need to deny ourselves of things you know there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be financially successful in life you know there’s nothing wrong with with maybe you don’t want to but maybe you want to be some monk who gives away all their money and runs around does charity for people and that’s fine too like that’s you know for me isn’t the point of this isn’t to become some spiritually enlightened person that lives on three dollars a week and donates all my money to charity like that’s not what you know I live on $3 we go Islands just about but you know it’s it’s defined what is what is in my spirit what is in you know inside of me and and even that best version of myself yeah I don’t want to spoil a April’s step but for sure that is the beginning of the process of what you’re talking about right there and I will save more conversation about that until we get there all right so moving on to Amy Amy says that her friend Ken used to say it’s pushing all your poker chips to the center of the table and saying all-in and I like this idea to some extent definitely I had a buddy who used to say I asked myself that on a daily basis am i all-in on my recovery right and the concept is good I think I went to post something along these lines on social media and kind of realized I probably shouldn’t put the visual of poker chips in case there’s some gambling addicts that might be really [ _ ] up visual for them right that’s almost like posting a picture of a dude like with a girl am i all in like that could [ _ ] up sex addicts you know maybe a needle being injected for drug addicts would be the wrong visual like so anyway now that I’ve [ _ ] everybody else today the point being a trigger warning that’s funny there’s just that on social media this one but yeah so trigger warning whoops backwards the I do like the idea of like step three kinda is a am I really committed am I really all in on this process of recovery like I’ve gotten here right we hear a lot of people that work the foundation one two three steps and then stop like life’s alright I’m good here but am i all in and committed to doing the rest of this process yeah yeah I like that too it’s yeah making that decision of like am I gonna do this am I willing to do this am i ready to do this you know right and answering that you know if you complete that step it’s a yesterday with yes and so it’s kind of tricky for me so I kind of believe even though we do work these steps formally at least in our program we write them out and do things with them I know that’s not in every program but I kind of believe when we pick up step one we have started one two and three already right like in order for me to come to a meeting except that my way is not working anymore maybe this process of the program can help me let me try it out by writing steps that’s like one two and three to me right there right in its most basic sense so once I’m writing step one I’m kind of already working step three in my life a little bit so I definitely think while we’re formerly doing it yeah that’s great but once I’m really committed to doing it at any point in time and you know we talked about or maybe we didn’t talk about the idea that this is a decision that needs to be made regularly right daily maybe hourly depending on what we’re going through at the moment and so even though I can make that decision and start writing step one what am i doing after I finish writing step three am I making this decision again to write step four right or am I putting step four down and not picking it up ever again like then I’m making a different decision than at any point in time I can make that different decision yeah and like say it’s a decision that you know we sometimes we don’t just make it once and be done with it you know I have I’m in a home group I don’t always feel like going to my home group every week you know what I mean some days you know I have had service commitments that I don’t want to go to and it’s you know that’s where like I made this decision to do this I’m gonna follow through on that decision you know it’s not what I want to do but I’m choosing not always you know at times I’ve made a decision too I’m just gonna skip my home group and stay home tonight I don’t feel like it right you know so some days I’m not all in you know I’m not committed to my recovery and you know it’s it’s important to check those motives and check that decision on a regular basis no absolutely I asked myself that question every Sunday night am I going to my home group tonight like I think that’s a value in one being accountable to people like when they know like I tell people look if I miss here it’s probably because I’m bullshitting right and so they can call me out on it so they know that so that makes me want to show up there’s also for me get a commitment because that keeps me involved in showing up there’s a reason for it like right now my commitment is to get speakers but we only have speakers once a month so I’m really only committed to the first Sunday of every month which thank God is tonight so I don’t have any excuse not to go but also thankfully like at this point in time I make the decision pretty regularly to show up every Sunday right does it happen that I don’t every so often every three months or something abso-fucking-lutely it does I’ll get a wild hair up my ass as they say and and not go and unfortunately it doesn’t ever make me feel better to not go right so and it’s the same we don’t beat ourselves up over the decisions we made yesterday running on I mean we just moved forward it’s about what can I do what is my decision today that’s all that really matters what my decision is today I can say what I think my decisions gonna be tomorrow or the next day but what am i doing today am i showing up for my commitments am I committed to my recovery am i doing what I need to do no absolutely kind of one of the concepts I was going to bring up later but it seems to fit here just the whole next right thing idea right and how this decision kind of for me applies to that a lot like yeah okay say I skip my home group last night because for whatever reason I just wasn’t feeling the decision to go well all it takes for me to feel better today is a couple of next right decisions right to make the decision again hey you know what I did miss that but today we’re gonna get back on track with the next right things and one or two of them in a row and I just start to feel better immediately right I don’t have to live in that guilt and shame and self-pity over the one you know bad decision or a couple of bad decisions I made yesterday right so back into Kevin kevin says selfishness self-centeredness that is the root of our troubles driven by 100 forms of self seeking only 100 I thought there was like a thousand or at least you’re about to see all the truth in that when you start writing your four-step all right slow down Kevin we’re only talking about step three here today but no I agree kind of going back to your pendulum idea like a lot of you know selfishness self-centeredness the next few steps definitely tap into some of that and allow me to see it more clearly but a lot of my life up until the point of starting recovery and plenty of it after – but a lot of it leading up to that was just what do I want to make me feel good right now and it had very little thought about what comes after that or what happens after that this whole step was just a new concept to me of like oh there’s other [ _ ] besides what I want right now in this moment right yeah and I used to think you know if I wasn’t giving in to that self-will that I wasn’t being true to myself you know that I owed it to myself to go after and get the things that I wanted right and that’s the way that I lived and I thought that was you know this is who I am this is what I want I owe it to myself to go try to get these things and indulge and then this concept of you know a higher power and something greater than me and you know spirituality was introduced and I you know was beaten enough and willing enough to give it a shot [ _ ] my [ _ ] anyway yeah my [ _ ] ain’t working so good so then we talked to Reni Reni said I like the name Reni by the way I honestly have no idea if that’s a guy or a girl I didn’t look into it for any is a cool name I just thought it was Ronnie honestly then that tells you that I’m getting old and need glasses it says we let go of trying to control everything with the realization that the universe works at its own pace we begin to accept that all we can do is our honest best and beyond that holding on to things outside of our control others expectations etc will only hamper our growth and happiness and this I don’t wanna say sums up the third step but it definitely hit home with a lot of my beliefs about the third step where it’s sort of like we mentioned earlier man I just need to really let go of how things turn out of what life is handing me maybe even buy into the if life gives you lemons make lemonade concept I’m sure there’s a whole lot of funny takes on that but really the the principle behind it of just let me just work with what I’m given and what I got in front of me instead of constantly trying to fight it and make it something different yeah and you know there’s a line in our literature that says turning our will and our lives over to the care of our higher power provides a solution to the problems created by a life based in self will resentment and control you know and it’s almost exactly what Rennie saying there it’s like as long as I try to manipulate life into being what I want it to be and control outcomes and and you know fulfill self will I create more problems than I solved at least my pattern maybe it’s different for other people but for me that’s the pattern and until I can let go of that and trust that there is a some power greater than me maybe in the universe that that is guiding life and that you know if I just show up and and be the best person that I can be that it’s gonna turn out better than me sticking my fingers in it and trying to make it some other way yeah definitely I think we have a tendency to fight like there’s another quote in our literature that says you know in working this step we are no longer fighting fear anger guilt self-pity or depression and we’re just kind of allowing things to be even the things we necessarily have looked at as bad things before like I don’t want to be guilty or feel angry or depressed or be scared well let’s just let them be because that’s what they are right I am [ _ ] scared I am angry excuse me I am depressed let me just allow myself to be that for a minute and I think there’s a lot of one of the things I heard recently they kind of notice they blew my mind but it was definitely interesting to me and it kind of applies a lot to this third step is this if you are familiar with any math it’s the concept of this math equation that suffering equals pain times resistance right and so we know the idea of in math if you multiply anything times one it is only itself and if you multiply anything times zero it is zero right and so I think the idea this is that pain will always exist in our life it’s just part of life right there’s pain painful things happen things hurt we’re scared we’re angry we’re depressed we’re guilty but the suffering comes the actual true like misery of it all happens when that pain is multiplied by how much we fight it how much resistance we have to allow it to be so if I just feel pain and I literally have no resistance there is literally no suffering to that it is just pain it’s justjust here and then we move on right can I get my resistance to zero probably not right but if I can get it every bit I can get it lower the less I’m multiplying at times pain the less the more I’m lessening my suffering and I just think that’s hugely powerful and they almost like to me it just hides so well into the third step of like just stop fighting [ _ ] life man if I’m the leaf in the current just go where the current takes me right stop trying to push my way somewhere swim upstream or fight against it yeah and I heard a similar saying recently a little more simplified it was pain as mandatory suffering is optional the same kind of thing and it’s you know we’re gonna have pain in life and I think I resisted that for a long time maybe because I didn’t have the right coping mechanisms growing up you know I didn’t know how to deal with pain I thought what you needed to do was avoid it or mask it or make it go away then if I stayed high and numb to life that I didn’t have to feel that pain and that didn’t work out so good because it definitely doesn’t shield you from pain just seems that I don’t I don’t know if prolong it’s the right word because it does I mean it you know sort of the idea of ripping off the band-aid you know is it better to just rip it off and deal with it all at once or sort of do it slow and put well guess what sometimes I choose to pull the band-aid off very slowly and pull each individual hair out right small cuts are better than the one big gash right and you know trusted in the process of recovery or trust them in the process of a higher powers will you know takes some of that control away from me hmm so one of the old analogies I remember here and frequently when I was new and definitely seemed to fit my life was that really up until this third step decision my life was if you can envision a toddler with a little set with the square peg in their hand and a hammer trying to just bang it into the round hole right like that’s what it felt like I was always trying to force something that did not really fit into life to life and it was just such a frustrating process and then with the third step decision I’m able to like hey the square peg goes in the square [ _ ] hole the round peg goes in the round hole I might not like it but when I accept it I don’t need to suffer anymore I can just not like it and move on right and so I just I don’t know a lot of these were really really interesting concepts one of the last things we got off of Facebook was Debra who says you know broke it down to a way we often hear step one I can’t step two God can step three I’ll let them write basically is as easy as it gets and I I do like the simplicity of it I do like sometimes we need to keep it simple we can pontificate on these wonderful ideas about everything and still not get any closer to being able to practice it so yeah hey I can’t he can let me let him do it instead of me trying to do it seems pretty fitting and even as I’ve grown in my recovery you know that step3 decision is still you know pretty simple my understandings of some of the principles has grown and my application and of the principles in my life has grown and changed but the basic idea is that I’m gonna trust that you know I’m gonna make the decision that applying these spiritual principles in my life you know that outcomes gonna be better than what I typically will do self-serving self-seeking behaviors no absolutely I’m totally with you there one of my my final thoughts I think on step three is a story I usually tell when I share about a hike I took so I hike and it’s not like any formal hike and it’s just own trails that have been established I’m not out in the real wilderness or anything but we went out of state my wife and I and we were taking a hike and we were in Wisconsin and we showed up to this place to hike and they had a sign up and said hey we got these kind of animals here and one of them was a river otter or a sea otter I don’t even remember at this point and I was like that’s pretty [ _ ] cool right not something I’ve ever seen on one of my hikes and so when I went on this hike it was basically a large walk around some sort of lake in the middle and the lake was to the left and then on the right was more wilderness type area and so I’m walking around and I’m like well you know river otters are gonna be in the water so I’m looking to the left the entire hike and five minutes in I haven’t seen a river otter I’m bored out of my [ _ ] mind honestly for looking at river otters because it’s just water or like empty water and I’m like this is [ _ ] stupid right why am I like I don’t what do I usually do when I’m hiking that makes me not bored and I’m like well I’m not looking for river otters normally right so let me stop looking at river otters and I’ll look off to the right into the woods and I’ll see some other animals like I usually do and enjoy myself so I spend five minutes more walking and I’m looking to the right now and I don’t really see any animals yet and I’m like ah [ _ ] in my program they always talk about don’t give up five minutes before the miracle right I’m just screwing up now I just gave up but I’m gonna see a river otter if I just hang on right so now I’m continuing to walk pondering this idea and I’m like I don’t know where the [ _ ] to look now right as I’m thinking this there’s like a little dragonfly that’s really colorful it flies right in front of me and I catches my eye and I’m checking it out and it’s blue and green and purple and I’m like well that’s pretty cool to look at but that’s right in front of me and that’s not right or left so now I’m all [ _ ] up right and we’ve talked about this idea before of I over complicate things I’m like I need to know the rightest right so I’m like walking and I’m like where am I supposed to look if the river otters are on the left and what I normally do is on the right and then the centers this dragonfly type stuff what am I really where am I really supposed to be looking where as my focus need to be and through walking I realized that my focus wasn’t supposed to be on anything right I’m supposed to see whatever is presented to me whatever catches my eye and it blew my mind right and I tried to do it for the rest of the hike and it was really if you’ve never if you ever tried to walk and not look at anything or for anything it’s [ _ ] tough right constant reminder of stop focusing on this thing you want but it really reminded me of my third step and I was like I go through life looking for particular things and when I don’t get them I get frustrated and annoyed I have a hard time going through life just looking for nothing and getting what I get and the one thing that always stuck out was like picturing my kid being really in the checkout line while I’m trying to focus and concentrate oh and B you know I want the checkout lady to think I’m super dad and like the best parent ever so what my kids doing something bad or trying to get a candy bar or something it could be something that I could say oh man that’s so cute I’m gonna remember that [ _ ] on my deathbed he’s adorable right but instead I’m like what the [ _ ] is wrong with my kid because I’m looking for this angel behavior so when I’m looking for a particular behavior that [ _ ] my whole third step practice up right and I need to look for nothing yeah and we tend to I think what happens at least for me is that when I get locked into what I want I get this tunnel vision like I can only focus on that and I miss everything else that the bigger picture you know because it this is the thing that’s gonna make me happy this is the thing that’s gonna give me fulfillment this is the thing that’s gonna be the [ _ ] best and I missed the other miracles that are happening all around yes always missing the miracles when I’m looking for my particular desire yeah absolutely and I think that is this third step you know is is understanding like life is a miracle and it can be amazing and it can be [ _ ] wonderful and it can be beyond your wildest dreams but if all you’re ever looking for is that next thing to get that next fix then that’s all its ever gonna be right right I think that’s a good summation of it I don’t have anything more to say on step 3 – you know I think that’s good all right excellent it’s been a successful week go out and live your decision and make it regularly to turn your will in your life over to the God of your understanding and we’ll see you next week that wraps up this episode please subscribe rate and review this podcast on your preferred platform if you have ideas for topics you’d like us to talk about or just want to add an opinion contact us through Anker email us at recovery sort of at gmail.com or find us on Twitter at recovery sort of
- 57: Relationships – To Date Others in Recovery or Not? (Sort Of)
- 56: Adverse Childhood Experiences – Knowing When to Hold Your ACEs and When to Fold ’em (Sort Of)
- 53: What Is Relapse and What Can We Do About It? (Sort Of)
- 49: What The Program’s Really Saying In Its New Informational Pamphlet About Mental Health (Sort Of)
- 59: Are You As Open-Minded As You Think You Are? (Sort Of)
- 52: Adult Children of Alcoholics – Everything You Wanted to Know (Sort Of)