It actually says that in The "Twelve & Twelve". It just goes to show how language and the meaning of terms can change over the years. But on page 34 it says, "Like all the remaining steps, Step Three calls for affirmative action."
Now I have read this book many times. I have my first copy still and it is underlined, dog-eared, scribbled in and I bet there are tears soaked into these pages. Always the question, "How?" How do I take the Third Step?
For so long I had this idea of Step Three being an inner action, a deep commitment, a moment when we surrender internally--maybe from a holy instance or maybe form hitting a wall of some kind--sort of a loud "Uncle!" moment. And I have had those and surrendered. But here is says, "It is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God into our lives."
(I must point out that it is not saying we do this to get sober but rather our goal is to get God into our lives--the fair assumption is that when we do get God or HP into our lives the drinking, drugging, shopping, sexing, eating and working will work themselves out.) Hmmmmm.
So what is the action? The next nine steps have us writing, calling, meeting, making lists, setting up chairs, going to meetings, confessing, sharing, praying, meditating, and lending a hand in many big and small ways. So what is the action of step three? We can't just think, or even feel. We have to act, and affirmatively.
I'm chewing on this step this week. Let em know your affirmative actions and I'll share mine with you.