The “G” Word

13408558_sI think the 2nd and 3rd Steps of AA are challenging for many, because of the “G” word.  Yes…the word God.  The “G’ word carries a lot of charge, some negative and some positive.  I understand.  Many individuals have grown up with negative messages about what “God” wants for their lives and what is considered immoral.  There are individuals who have been taught of a God in the sky looking down to all of us to judge if we have been naughty or nice.

I look at the 3rd step in a different way and I don’t focus on the word “God,” so much.  The 3rd step states:

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

What would happen if I replaced the word “God” with “Love,” and took out Him?  The 3rd step would look like this:

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Love, as we understood it.”

What would the 3rd step mean to you then?  How would you respond?

Replacing “God” with “Love,” I would interrupt this step to mean, you need to let go of your need to be right or to control a situation or person.  You need to learn how to let go of control and turn your will over to love.  Love being hopeful, expansive, peaceful, and full of joy.  Let go of being right and controlling and give into freedom of the need to control.  Love means different things to different people.  Over time and different circumstances, your definition of love will change.  This is what it means, “as we understood it.”  Today, I might see love as a person, but later I might come to believe that love is much bigger than a person.  Sometimes there’s no words to describe love.  Sometimes it’s a feeling.  It can be invisible, but you know when it’s there.

The 3rd step is about surrendering to something bigger than yourself.  Love is bigger than all of us.  When you let go of your need to control and turn your will over to love, things begin to fall in place.  You stop controlling and start loving.

How would this step change the way you look at recovery?  Maybe someone in recovery would be more likely to be forgiving to one’s self and others when negative experiences happen.

It’s helpful to look past the “G” word and try to understand what the steps are telling us.  I’m excited to hear your feedback.  Do you have negative feelings when you hear the “G” word?

Elana Clark-Faler
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