Giving up the whoopee blanket

th-21

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

It’s all about control. So far I have been in control of my own life and I have already admitted that I have been doing a lousy job of it. It’s my own control that has gotten me into the addictions I rely on because I’m not meeting expectations. Whatever I am addicted to is what helps me cope with what I can’t manage. It’s the way I maintain a facade of adequacy. My addiction is whatever makes me feel strong when in fact I am weak and miserable, tired and alone. I don’t have enough fingers to plug all the holes in my life. My addiction is the way I cope with this discrepancy and the false sense of control I hide behind. The thing that has gotten me in the door of the twelve step program is the realization that this pattern of control and cover-up I just described is hurting me and those around me, yet in spite of knowing that, I refuse to face into any of it. I’ve always managed this way and I’m going to continue to manage this way regardless. Like a child with his whoopee blanket, I’m going to hold onto this addictive pattern of mismanagement as long as I possibly can.

But alas, I’m here. Not sure how I got here, but I’m here, sitting in this imaginary twelve step meeting shining light into the dark, cluttered parts of my life that need attention. Here is where I have to issue a disclaimer to all who are reading this right now. I am attempting to describe the inner workings of a program that you may not have signed up for. You may think this is not relevant to you because you are not an alcoholic, but I challenge you to reread the last paragraph and see if there is something you can identify in your life — some false sense of adequacy that you rely on instead of stepping into the light and becoming vulnerable. Maybe you belong here after all. I’m beginning to realize that I do. I invite you to come along for the ride for the sake of what you might learn about yourself. If anything, it will make you more grateful to the Lord for all He has done for you.

This brings us to Step Three where we are willing to step out of the darkness and into the light. We are willing to admit to ourselves and others these games we play, and turn our lives over to God. We want to be done with all this manipulation and make ourselves totally vulnerable to the Lord. This is the scary part. This is giving up the whoopee blanket and not knowing what comes next except that we want God to be in control instead of us. We can do this because God has given us the faith to believe He is there and He knows what is best for us. This step is scary, but terrible freeing. We are giving up control and the false sense of adequacy our addictions gave us in exchange for a new vulnerability. We are letting go. We are pulling all our fingers out of the holes in our lives and proclaiming our dependence on God for the next steps. Are you ready?

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10 Responses to Giving up the whoopee blanket

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    To answer: “Are you ready?” Yes, I believe am, yet I have re-read the first paragraph 3 times and to me and me alone it seems to define someone with a poor self image and a bit of a self-esteem problem… As I have often felt a NEED to say to a few Evangelical preachers, Man, the Son of God died for me, I MUST be pretty valuable to Him to have shed His Royal blood! All of my sins are forgiven – STOP this constant trying to beat my self esteem up..

  2. Sandie says:

    Mark – there is a difference between self-esteem and self-respect. The first is man-made and can only go so far in making you feel any worth.It will eventually fall short. I speak from experience – I was trained by the State of New York to run a Peer Leadership program at my high school.There WAS a lot of good in this program, but without God it dies. My personal groups and applications bore fruit because I brought the Holy Spirit into it…without even mentioning God I taught biblical principles. Self-respect…that comes from the knowledge that you were created in God’s image, that He has a special blessing and plan for you that will become a reality into eternity because of what Jesus did for you. Even the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. As for those preachers; you are learning how NOT to share the Good News. Blessings to you always!

    • Mark D Seguin says:

      Sandie TY 4 your input. Appreciate it, yet SURELY u are allowed to speak 4 yourself – So am I. Could that be the one of VERY reason I wrote this: “… to me and me alone…” 🙂

      • Mark D Seguin says:

        Plus my self-esteem IF YOU CARE to re-read my post maybe once again is because the Son God dies for me and shed his royal blood – IT’S not Man MADE!!!!! Maybe 4 yoi it is, but SURELY not for me… Thank-you….<3

      • Sandie says:

        Mark – I think you misunderstood me, and I did not disagree with you at all, in that I believe our God values us as a ‘gem of great price’ and paid the ultimate price to redeem us and bring us to back him. There is nothing I can do to make me feel better about myself…except look to Jesus and remember his sacrifice to restore me to what God created me for…and remember that he will be faithful in accomplishing that. Without Him I can do nothing good…with Him the Holy Spirit can do miracles through any one of us. When I spoke about those preachers you mentioned that you felt were tearing you down instead of encouraging you, I meant they were not sharing the gospel in a caring, respectful manner, toward you or anyone else. I’ve served under pastors like that, and remember how it hurt me, so I try my best not to do that to others in my ministry. I hope this clears up any misunderstanding – it was not my intent to cause you any pain or insult.

  3. TOM says:

    When I got my first sponsor in AA He asked me If I was willing to go to any lengths to get free of my addiction. I said Yes. I’ve heard the definition of willingness is – cheerful readiness. It takes what it takes for any of us to be cheerfully ready to try something new. The Bible talks about bondage to sin. The AA Big Book talks about the bondage of self. It’s what I ask to be relieved of in the Third step prayer. My sponsor told me that the first three steps needed to be solid before I went on to the next step. The reason – I needed to have faith and trust in a God that loves me no matter what I find in self examination. No matter what I find when I put pen to paper – God still loves me.

  4. Lisa in Sunland says:

    John, go to a Celebrate Recovery (CR) meeting. Just one. Check it out. So many churches sponsor them now. It’s VERY much like AA including the steps, but with the admission that the Lord God is our higher power. When you say that many parts of AA are what church should be like, the CR meetings and the attitudes therein seem to have it captured. And CR is for anything you want to work on – all of our “hurts, habits and hang-ups.” For example, my friends and I did a lot of work on co-dependency (and going further into enabling) there. Blessings on ya!

  5. Jesus Aguilar says:

    I am ever so grateful that you have started this study of the steps John, thank you.
    I can totally relate to all of the participants that are willing to follow and share, thank you. It takes an effort and time and willingness to participate. I appreciate this very much.
    Here are some verses that helps me with my Third Step

    Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice
    of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name. — Hebrews 13:15

    And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the LORD’S glory, are
    being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory,
    which comes from the LORD, who is the Spirit. — 2 Corinthians 3:18

    Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide
    me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. –Psalm 73:23-24

    One of the participants recommended (Celebrate Recovery) Thank you, I have participated and found it very challenging for the members to become honest and very hard for them to accept that God has a plan for us.
    Our drink does not have to be of alcohol, today I can drink on lust, or dishonesty, You name it it does not have to be alcohol, but I am alcoholic. Drank alcoholic for 48 years. What happens is that when we stop drinking or drugging we turn to something else. Eating, expending, working, anything besides drinking, all of these can become addictions that will stand between God, the people about God and ourselves. We do not get cured, we only get well and I pray that I never get well enough to leave the rooms of AA. The constant thought of another alcoholic and how to help him/her to meet his/her needs will keep me from drinking today. We only have a daily reprieve. Thank God.
    So we make a decision to turn our will and life over to the care of God. Next is more action, this action will heal our sick thinking. Little by Little Ha!

    • Lisa in Sunland says:

      Very well said!!

    • Lisa in Sunland says:

      Interesting about you finding the CR members challenged to become honest and accept God has a plan. I didn’t find that in the meetings I went to. Certainly I found more honesty than “upstairs” at regular church!

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