Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step Three follows in the footsteps of Steps One and Two for a newcomer to focus on. If we have «walked the walk» this far, we have admitted to the madness of our addiction and have accepted that there is hope that a Higher Power could restore us to sanity. It is now time to make a decision to accept the care and guidance of that Higher Power. A sponsor can be helpful in this process, which we take at a pace that we determine works for us—yet still steps forward.
Made a decision, because a decision is necessary to consciously act. If we don’t make a decision to move forward, we risk sliding backward. When active in our addiction, many of us may have avoided decisions. Our addiction determined much of what we did, and certainly much of what we didn’t do. Any decisions that we faced typically required a dose of nicotine, but still may have been followed by more procrastination.
Making a decision can feel daunting and frightening. NicA members find that they can more readily handle this decision one day at a time, even moment by moment. That is not a problem. In fact, to renew this Step Three decision on a regular basis can bring deeper insights into one’s spiritual experience. This decision is not just a mental exercise, but an emotional and spiritual experience.
3-1: Am I already looking for a way to avoid, postpone, or refuse to make a decision to surrender my nicotine addiction?___Explain.
3-2: To what lengths am I willing to go to in order to stop using nicotine?
3-3: Am I willing to make this decision «just for today»?____Explain.
3-4: What do I need, or what resources do I have, to help me make this decision? List.
3-5: What actions am I willing to take to turn my will and life over to the care of a Higher Power?
3-6: What have been the results of my decisions and actions?
Turning our will and our lives over is the action that empowers the decision. Action creates commitment. Commitment is a force that can turn resistance completely around, fuel perseverance when demoralized, and change what once was thought as impossible into a possible reality.
When we turn our will and our lives over, we surrender and we let in a Higher Power. At Step Three, we are allowing a Power greater than ourselves to care for us, not control us. While working Step Three, we maintain responsibility for our lives, yet accept that we are not in charge of everything. The Serenity Prayer is a comforting guide that can also restore us to sanity and help us to realize a peace from letting go of trying to control what we cannot change.
3-7: What feelings arise for me in response to the guidance of Step Three?
3-8: What, if any, reservations do I have about making a decision to turn over my will and my life, or to change?
3-9: When and why do I revoke this decision or resist change?
3-10: How does understanding Step Three further my ability to accept care and surrender?
3-11; How does working Step Three further my ability to surrender, and what is its purpose in my recovery?
3-12: Can I describe times or ways that I turned my will and life over to the care of a Higher Power before joining Nicotine Anonymous?_Describe.
3-13: Do I feel differently about turning my will over than I do turning my life over, to the care of a Higher Power?_________Explain.
3-14: What specific actions will I take, and what attitudes will I nurture, to support and maintain this decision?
Our will and our lives need guidance and care. As nicotine addicts, our will was to use nicotine whenever and wherever we wanted. As nicotine addicts, we likely thought using nicotine was our source of comfort. As nicotine addicts we had turned our will and life over to nicotine. Left to our own devices, self-will resulted in using nicotine. The wise and responsible decision within our control is to accept a higher guidance and life-affirming care. We do not seek to be passive, or aggressive. We want to be assertive with constructive acts that improve the quality of our lives.
At Step Three we do not need a complete understanding of what our Higher Power’s will is for us. We are at the initial phases of this recovery process. However, sanity would suggest that our Higher Power’s will for us is to make life-affirming decisions such as those that keep us free of nicotine.
As a member moves along the recovery path day to day, it is not unusual for him or her to slip in and out of self-will. He or she might take complete control, pushing only a self-focused agenda, and ignoring a Higher Will to guide himself or herself. These are times to use our slogan Look for the Lesson so that we can gain value when we stray off course. At Step Three we may not know all of what our Higher Power’s will for us is, but we accept that it includes not putting nicotine into our bodies and remaining an active addict.
3-15: Do I agree that my will power has long been focused on “I will use nicotine, no matter what»?______
3-16: Am I able to recognize selfishness in my self-will?___Explain and give
3-17: In what ways have I used nicotine to take care of myself and «get me through the day»?
3-18: Do I currently have other ways to care for myself, and if so, what are they?
3-19: What does «to the care of» mean to me?
3-20: What attitudes of mine have been affected by self-will?
3-21: Who in my life were affected by these attitudes?
3-22: In what ways am I willing to accept a new attitude and belief about my nicotine use?
3-23: What behaviors of mine have been affected by self-will?
3-24: What were the consequences?
3-25: Have I been willing to ask another NicA member to be my sponsor?__Explain.
3-26: Am I checking in with my sponsor as often as I can or need?_Explain.
3-27: In what ways am I willing to follow my sponsor’s guidance?
3-29: Are there certain times when I am unable to put my trust in a Higher Power? Describe.
3-30: How do I distinguish the differences between self-will and the will of a Higher Power?_____________________________________________________________________________
A Power greater than ourselves, God, Higher Power, Higher Purpose, Nicotine Anonymous, whichever we decide to turn our will and our lives over to, is completely of our own understanding. Many members find this an evolving process that deepens a spiritual relationship to the principles of our program. At meetings we may hear other members’ understanding, but, as with all we experience in this program, we take what we need and leave the rest… for now. We seek to maintain an open mind.
NicA members determine by what means they communicate with a Higher Power. Our concept of a Higher Power will likely face challenges, and change over time. However, this caring connection evolves to provide a sense of peace and serenity. We find we have more courage or patience to deal with difficult situations.
3-31: Do I have a Higher Power in my life today?__
3-32: What beliefs or feelings have I had or do I have about God or a Higher Power?
3-33: Have I had experiences that led me to mistrust God or a Higher Power? Explain.
3-34: Am I open to receive care from a Power greater than myself? _ 3-35: How have I decided to communicate with my Higher Power?
3-36: When and why am I willing to communicate with my Higher Power?
3-37: How do I tell the difference between my Higher Power’s will for me and my self-will?
3-38: Have my spiritual beliefs been challenged and/or changed since I began working this program?______Explain.
3-39: How might my concept of a Higher Power need to change in order to support my recovery process?
3-40: Are there times when I take my relationship with a Higher Power for granted?_______If so, when?
3-42: If I have a craving for nicotine, how can my spirituality keep me from using nicotine?
3-43: What are my thoughts about the Third Step Prayer?
3-44: What are my thoughts about the Serenity Prayer?
Our own understanding is crucial to have and feel the freedom to determine our own personal connection with a Higher Power. By having a self-determined understanding we also take responsibility for that understanding. At first, we may only understand what God or a Higher Power isn’t. What is important is that we stay open to a process of understanding.
There are no rules for this. God or a Higher Power can be an inner voice, nature, other people (such as one’s NicA group), a special object, or whatever a member determines works for him or her. The program can work only if we are free to explore our individual paths and realize how the caring experience of a Power greater than ourselves helps us, one day at a time.
Our fellowship is worldwide and has a diverse membership. The only requirement for membership is having a desire to stop using nicotine. There are no requirements to have any specific spiritual beliefs.
3-45: Am I comfortable with determining my own definition of a Higher Power or do I prefer more traditional concepts as given from my family and / or culture?_Explain.
3-46: Can I accept that other members can have their own understanding of a Higher Power, different from mine?___Explain.
3-47: What does «faith» mean to me?
3-48: How may my understanding of a Higher Power influence how I interact with people in my life?
3-49: How may my understanding of a Higher Power’s care influence how I care for myself?
3-50: Does my understanding of a Higher Power generate hope?___If so, how?
3-51: To what degree do I currently trust, or distrust, my Higher Power?
3-52: Does my understanding of a Higher Power provide me with peace of mind? If so, how?
3-53: Can I identify how there has been a spiritual progression from hope to faith to trust as a result of working Step Three?___Explain.
3-54: How does the Third Step Prayer influence and affect my life today?
Third Step Prayer
Relieve me of the bondage of self.
Help me abandon myself to the spirit.
Move me to do good in this world and show kindness.
Help me to overcome and avoid anger, resentment, jealousy and any other kind of
negative thinking today.
Help me to help those who suffer.
Keep me alert with courage to face life and not withdraw from it, not to insulate myself from all pain whereby I insulate myself from love as well.
Free me from fantasy and fear.
Inspire and direct my thinking today; let it be divorced from self pity, dishonesty and self-
Show me the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.
1 pray for all of those to whom I’ve been unkind and ask that they are granted the same
peace that I seek.