Step Three: ‘How to’ enjoy the ride

One afternoon, while working on Step Three with a sponsee, we were discussing what it feels like to “Let Go and Let God” guide our life, to turn our will and our life over to His care. Our conversation led me to recall an experience from many years ago, when I first started dating my husband. We were still in high school. He had a motorcycle and I had no experience riding motorcycles. I wanted to ride because I wanted to spend time with him, but I had a lot of fear. I had no idea how to be a passenger on the back of a motorcycle.

We lived in a small town where the primary weekend activity was cruising up and down Main Street. All of our classmates would cruise from one end of the street to the other. Cruising included circling around the town square, which like any other square, had four rather sharp corners. Each time we would make our way around the square, I became extremely fearful of falling over sideways. My boyfriend very naturally eased into the turns with his body, while I sat very rigid behind him on the seat. I completely resisted his guidance around the corners.

After a few weekend outings on his motorcycle, he explained to me that if I would trust his body language and leaned into the turns, in unison with him, I might enjoy the ride. He was right. As I gradually let go of my fear and began to trust him to guide me into the turns, I was able to relax and enjoy the ride.

I related this long-forgotten motorcycle memory to my Al-Anon program and working Step Three. In the beginning, I was full of fear and very resistant to the idea that change had to come from me. I began to understand that if I continued to resist the guidance of a Higher Power, as suggested in the Third Step, I would not experience the freedom and joy that acceptance would bring to my life. If I wanted to experience life to the fullest, I would need to entrust my will and my life to the care of God.

Turning my will and my life over to the care of God does not mean throwing my hands in the air and giving up. Today, my understanding of this Step is to work in unison with God: to hold on to Him, to lean into the curves of life along with Him, and to allow Him to guide my life’s journey, trusting that He will care for me.

By Paula W., Arizona
The Forum, March 2013