Thought For The Month – January 2018

         By:  Vincent DiPasquale

God, our creator, gives us two special gifts ~ struggle and pain that help us to become open to our own powerlessness and to surrender to the lessons of life.  We are on a journey that involves struggle and growing pains.  At the moment of birth, we begin this journey of struggle.  Inside our mother’s womb, we were warm and comfortable.  As we develop and became too large to stay in the womb, we had to leave, yet we didn’t want to leave.  The journey into the world led us to our first encounter with struggle and pain.  Even the doctor had to smack our rear-end to get us going.  The beauty of birth is a powerful spiritual experience ~ we then, as a child, had to surrender to our family and community for our needs.  At an early stage we were dependent on others.  As we went on life’s journey, our family, community and schools would ~ hopefully ~ guide us in our growth.  Because of their humanness, not only were we dependent on them, but they became dependent on us.  As we continued our growth, many of us went through some hurt and disappointments.  In some cases, our journey becomes dysfunctional and we experience traumas either on a major or minor level.  These are the battle scars of life which hopefully ~ in time ~ will become our teachable moments.  But many of us began our journey into control and developed survivor skills.

Some of us didn’t feel safe and were not given the basic skills of life, such as learning how to play, socialize and trust.  Many of us felt confused and decided to deal with life by growing up too fast, into little adults thus forfeiting our childhood, or by isolating and running from life.  We used addiction or even institutions and work as places both to hide and to have anonymity.  The seminary and priesthood were great places to hide.  I never realized that I had no idea who I was.  It’s amazing how you can go through life empty and lonely and think it is normal. So many of us are scared to deal with life’s experiences.  Personal growth is hard work and coming to an acceptance of them takes time and investing in you.

Isn’t it sad that so many of us have to do things the hard way first, trying to control life, staying stuck?  In 1969, at the young age of 29, people tried to tell me to work on myself, but I was too busy taking care of everyone else.  It took me almost 16 years and a lot of struggle and pain to finally come to my awakening.  Thank God that along the way, God sent me many great and special teachers.  Thus began the ultimate journey we must all take, from the ego of survival to the spirit of life.

The major enemy to our journey is both fear of the unknown and feelings of guilt and shame.  For so many years, I lived in a world of absolutes, (control), until I awakened to the awareness that there are none.  The Principles of our twelve spiritual steps opened my eyes to the power of God’s Love, which overcomes all fears.  It is such a gift to be able to face our fears with the healing power of love, which is within us all.

All of us have to go down life’s road to grow.  Whenever we experience powerlessness, we are in touch with life’s lessons.  There are so many times each day we experience powerlessness.  Nature is a great teacher. Only when we surrender to it, will we then ~ in God’s time ~ come to accept the healing power of love.

We have choices to make in life. We can live in fear and denial and stay stuck in control and anger, or we can face our fears, embrace them, admit to them and, in time, accept that they are part of life.  Allow the healing energy of love to open our hearts and minds to the power of positive thinking.  We can face all of life’s struggles as teachable moments.  Always remember to face life with an attitude of gratitude.  Surrender and acceptance of yesterday will allow us to grow today, so that we can face the unknown.  Live the motto: Have the willingness to be in the constant process of changing and growing.

May God bless us in each day that we are given. Sending prayers and love to all!

Have a blessed and peaceful New Year!