Step 3

Step 3 in First Person

My sponsor, Henry, asked me to read this text out loud. The change is from 3rd person, (we, us) to first person (I, me) starting after the A, B, C’s (page 60.2) to the end of page 63. The AA text is in the 3rd person, so he has me read it out loud in the first person. Below is what I have changed in the text to read the text in the first person. The part that I changed in the brackets [ ]. I also emphasized the deity references and pronouns in red.

I was asked to give references that occur in my day of me being selfish. Oh my, there are so many.

60.3 Being convinced, [i was] at Step Three, which is that [I] decided to turn [my] will and [my] life over to God as [I] understood Him. Just what do [I] mean by that, and just what do [I] do?

60.4 The first requirement is that [I] be convinced that [my] life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis [I am] almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though [my] motives are good. [I] try to live by self-propulsion. [I am] like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in [my] own way. If

61.0 [my] arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as [I] wished, the show would be great. Everybody, including [myself], would be pleased. Life would be wonderful. In trying to make these arrangements [I] may sometimes be quite virtuous. [I] may be kind, considerate, patient, generous; even modest and self-sacrificing. On the other hand, [I] may be mean, egotistical, selfish and dishonest. But, as with most humans, [I am] more likely to have varied traits.

61.1 What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well. [I begin] to think life doesn’t treat [me] right. [I decide] to exert [myself] more. [I become], on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit [me]. Admitting [I] may be somewhat at fault, [I am] sure that other people are more to blame. [I become] angry, indignant, self-pitying. What is [my] basic trouble? [Am I] not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? [Am I] not a victim of the delusion that [I] can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if [I] only manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things [I want]? And [does not my] actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? [Am I] not, even in [my] best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?

61.2 [I the] actor is self-centered—ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. [I am] like the retired businessman who lolls in the Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the nation; the minister who sighs over the sins of the twentieth century; politicians and reformers who are sure all would be Utopia

62.0 if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost all and is locked up. Whatever [my] protestations, are not most of [my concerns] with [myself], [my] resentments, or [my] self-pity?

62.1 Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, [I] think, is the root of [my] troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, [I] step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt [me], seemingly without provocation, but [I] invariably find that at some time in the past [I] have made decisions based on self which later placed [me] in a position to be hurt.

62.2 So [my] troubles, [I] think, are basically of [my] own making. They arise out of [myself], and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though [I] usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, [I as an alcoholic] must be rid of this selfishness. [We] must, or it kills [me]! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. [I] had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but [I] could not live up to them even though [I] would have liked to. Neither could [I] reduce [my] self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on [my] own power. [I] had to have God’s help.

62.3 This is the how and why of it. First of all, [I] had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. Next, [I] decided that hereafter in this drama of life God was going to be [my] Director. He is the Principal; [I am] His [agent]. He is the Father, and [I am] His [child]. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which [I] passed to freedom.

63.1 When [I] sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. [I] had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what [I] needed, if [I] kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing [I] became less and less interested in [myself], [my] little plans and designs. More and more [I] became interested in seeing what [I] could contribute to life. As [I] felt new power flow in, as [I] enjoyed peace of mind, as [I] discovered [I] could face life successfully, as [I] became conscious of His presence, [I] began to lose [my] fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. [I was] reborn.

63.2 [I am] now at Step Three. [I] said to [my] Maker, as [I] understood Him: (! Step 3 Prayer) “God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!’’ [I] thought well before taking this step making sure [I was] ready; that [I] could at last abandon [myself] utterly to Him.

63.3 [I] found it very desirable to take this spiritual step with an understanding person, such as [my] wife, best friend, or spiritual adviser. But it is better [for me] to meet God alone than with one who might misunderstand. The wording was, of course, quite optional so long as [I] expressed the idea, voicing it without reservation. This was only a beginning, though if honestly and humbly made, an effect, sometimes a very great one, was felt at once.

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