Even if I don't believe in a Higher Power the way other people do, how can I apply Step Three in my life?
By consistently reminding myself while I am a part of God, I am not God. I cannot change others. I do not have the omnipotent ability of changing people or people's thoughts.
By standing still and listening for that small voice in my subconscious, that part of God that is within me. If I can hear that part of me that is still undamaged, then I can hear God.
By knowing that it isn't prayer or loud Hallelujahs that get the Great Divine's attention, but that small, private "help!"
God is a part of me, and I am part of the 'verse. By remembering that I am not the center of the Universe, nor am I something to be ignored. "I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar." God's will is the wind.
By reminding myself every day, every instant, that I am not the one at the helm. God's the one steering this ship. If I try to take the helm, I might miss out on something wonderful and gorgeous the Great Divine had planned.
The anxiety of turning it over to the Great Divine, I'll admit, is still there. At the same time, in turning it over, the anxiety lessens to a manageable chunk. I keep reminding myself that this God is not the one I held a grudge against. I keep reminding myself that this Great Divine hasn't, and won't, abandoned me when I need that calm voice the most. This God will not punish me. He surrounds me with serenity and calm, even in the storm, and it is my choice on whether I breathe it in.
What role did the support of other Al- Anon members play in helping me find a God of my own understanding?
I mostly took this step before really getting involved in meetings. My sponsor was the one that really helped me dig through the wreckage of my faith for my candle light that was still burning. Her questions and shared wisdom/ experiences really helped me nail it down, and separate it from the grudge I held. Knowing that it really was ok to have a Great Divine thoroughly different from the Christian God I hated so much was a lifeline. While I'm well aware that my sci-fi/ Buddhist/ Wiccan God is not the one common for most, I'm ok with that. My sponsor, with what she shared, and the literature, with the people in there with a nonabramic God, helped me continue to climb my lifeline the way I need to. My God is the God I need.
Oddly enough, hearing others at meeting speak of, and to, the God I refused was something that also cemented my own belief. A sense of "well, it sure as hell ain't that! So what is it?" kept washing over me, forcing me to make decisions and choices that I thought I was happy to leave unanswered. I wanted to be able to say the Serenity prayer and know where it was going. I wanted all the God slogans to have somewhere to go.
How does practicing Step Three help to alleviate my fears?
I'm still working on "let go and let God." It's a daily struggle to just hand over something to my Higher Power. I've tried to handle and control everything on my own for so long that it's a hard habit to break. I'm getting there, though, piecemeal. Trust is also an issue, but I figure if I can trust the people in my life that haven't hurt me yet, I can trust a God who won't hurt me.
When I do succeed in handing over the issue to God, I realize that it isn't giving up on whatever or whoever it is. It isn't saying "fuck it, you handle this." It is saying "I need some help here." It is saying "this is beyond what I can control or handle." It is telling God and myself that this is something more in his court than mine. Do I like Step 3? Not particularly. It still smacks of defeat. I'm still trying to change my thinking that it's not defeat or losing, it's realizing that I was losing until I let God handle it, so now I'm winning. I think I'd like step 3 a lot more if it meant a guaranteed win or that things would work the way I want them to, but that's not how this works. Step 3 also means admitting that sometimes I will lose that battle to win a greater war. Step 3 is a trust that something that is not me, something that smacks of authority figure, knows what's going on and knows more than I what needs to happen. At the same time, it is me, because "I am a leaf on the wind." No wind, the leaf doesn't go anywhere.