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


"Many of us have confused ideas about what it means to surrender to the care of God. Anyone who has battled with control issues may have a hard time giving up, giving in, and letting go. Sometimes we surrender too much. We become victimized, we refuse to take care of ourselves, and we blame that on God."

"In Step Two, we acknowledge that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. In this Step, we do what needs to be done to let God do that. We turn ourselves over to God's care. Then we do our part by learning to take care of ourselves."


"Making a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understand God, is making a decision to live our life with God's help, and we each have a life to live."

"We make a conscious decision to place ourselves and our lives, our internal affairs and external circumstances, over to the care of God. Then, we take responsibility for our lives and allow others to do the same for themselves."

"In Step Two, we acknowledge that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity. In this Step, we do what needs to be done to let God do that. We turn ourselves over to God's care. Then we do our part by learning to take care of ourselves."


"Some of us struggle with the concept of God as a result of what we have been through before finding our way to these Steps."

"Most of us find that if we stay open, we find our own path to spirituality. Most of us find things work out if we begin with whatever amount of belief, or disbelief, we possess."

"There is a great deal of relief in taking this Step. God is going to help us take care of ourselves."

"It is safe, now, to let go of our need to be in control."

"We can go to God as our source, our Creator, our inspiration, our guidance, our direction. And we hold ourselves responsible for our behavior and choices."

"It is a relationship based on trust - trust in God and trust in self."


"This Step declares that God is an important part of our recovery and our lives. It also states specifically that we are each free to understand God as we choose. This Step is not about religion - although a particular religion may be important in our lives. This Step is coming to terms with a personal relationship with God, as we understand and define God."

"God is not malicious. Not punitive. Not a trickster. Not out to play jokes on us. God may ask us to wait longer than we want, but only if waiting is in our best interests."

"God knows our hearts and God understands our healing needs. God understands the good that is waiting around the corner for us, the good that we can't see yet. God sees the benefit in the lessons we're learning, not just the turmoil, which is what we so often focus on."

"God can help us bring out the healer in ourselves."


"This Step is about willpower, and the limits and the consequences of plowing our way through life running on our own fuel. Many of us have found that we haven't gotten too far or have not arrived at the destination we liked by using our own will."

"We do not have to look around us too long or too hard to find God's will for us and our lives today. It is not hidden from the eye. God's plan for us today is taking care of ourselves the way we want and choose, within the framework of what's happening in our lives today. When it's supposed to be something different, we'll know. We'll get interrupted. We'll be lead into a new circumstance. Or a new circumstance will find us."

"Usually we find God's will by becoming quiet, trusting God and listening to and trusting ourselves. It is a place found in peace and trust, not urgency and intensity."

"It is by surrendering to the present moment that we reach the next moment in our lives."


"Gratitude has immense transformational powers - for ourselves, our lives, and our circumstances. Gratitude helps make things work out well. It helps us feel better while stressful things are happening. Then when things get good, it helps us enjoy the good."

"Focusing on the negative, focusing on the "what's wrong with this picture" is a large part of our codependency. Gratitude empowers and increases what's right in our lives. It helps make things right."

"Gratitude can help bring us to a point of surrender. It can change the energy in us and our environment. Gratitude diminishes the power of the problem and empowers the solution. It releases us from the tight, negative grasp of our present circumstance. It releases fear. It helps us move out and move forward. It breeds acceptance, the magic that helps us and our circumstances change."

"Next to the Steps and detachment, gratitude is probably the most helpful recovery tool available. Like any tool, thinking about using it isn't enough. It works only when we pick it up in our hands and actually begin using it."


"This is the surrender Step. Once we surrender, we become free to take care of ourselves, with the assistance of our Higher Power."

"Surrender doesn't mean we're helpless. It doesn't mean we surrender to abuse or intolerable circumstances. It means we acknowledge these circumstances, then ask God to help us take care of ourselves in these circumstances."

"We will have to learn to say no; how to set boundaries; how to listen to our feelings, wants, and needs; and how to respond to external circumstances in a reasonable way, one that exhibits self- care, self-love, and respect for others."

"Surrendering is how we become empowered to take care of ourselves."

"Turning our will and life over to the care of God takes the control of our life away from others. It also takes the control of others' lives away from us. It sets us free to develop our own connection to our Source and to ourselves, a connection free of the demands, expectations, and plans of another person. It can even set us free from our own demands, expectations, and plans."

"When we stop controlling others and allowing them to control us, we become free to take care of ourselves. The First Step is about powerlessness. This Step is about owning our power to take care of ourselves."

"We can use this Step when we are beginning recovery or when we run into an impasse. We can use it in the big moments of our lives or in the smaller, quieter moments. We can use it in times of confusion or despair, or when we feel stuck and trapped."

"When we have neglected ourselves to the point of despair, confusion, exhaustion, and sometimes self-abuse, we can take this Step. We can surrender to the Highest Plan and Purpose for our lives - the one that includes self-love."

"There is another way besides ours, a better one. Taking this Step helps us find that way, even when the next move is a simple one like doing the dishes or watching television."

"This Step isn't about mindlessness or selflessness."

"Stepping into God's care is a gentle step, one that brings peace and harmony. That doesn't mean our actions will never cause discord, hurt feelings, or a reaction in others. But there will be a rightness, a naturalness, and a harmony to what we do."

"Taking the Third Step is a starting point for setting our new life in motion. We can do it when we begin recovery. Then we can do it as needed."

"Once we have placed ourselves in the care of a Higher Power, the act is complete. Our lives and our wills belong to God."

"People from our past may have abandoned us. God won't. When times get rough, we don't have to wonder whether God is there or whether God cares or whether God knows what is going on."

"God is there. God cares. God's plan is one that we can participate in, one that lets us use each event and circumstance in our lives to bring about our highest good."

"Surrender renders us teachable. Humility and giving up make surrender possible. Becoming teachable allows us to learn what we could never have learned, had we not become willing to become students."

"Sometimes we surrender to anything and everything and call it God's will, and then we feel angry and hurt and get mad at God. But this isn't about God, it's about our codependency."

"When we use this Step, we understand that we cannot control others, so we stop trying. But we also realize that we no longer have to let them control us."

"This process of surrender happens not once, but again and again and again as we master a succession of lessons - lessons of healing, liberation, and love. Each time we may think: That's it. Now I've learned. It's free sailing from here on! Then we realize to our relief and delight that we are starting over as beginners again."

"Trust this process. It will take us where we truly want and need to go - in Divine and Perfect timing. Trust God's plan, for it is better than ours. Trust ourselves, for we have now tapped into a power and source infinitely more powerful than anything we've known."

The source for this Step Three outline: Melody Beattie's: "Codependents Guide To The Twelve Steps"

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