Author Archives: Starting Point

Save The Date! ~ for The Starting Point Golf Classic 2023

To reserve your spot, download and print the event form* here, then email the completed form to . Alternately, please call Loretta at 856-854-3155 Ext 179 should you have any questions.

(*To download a free PDF viewer for your computer or mobile device, click here.)

Venue:   Ron Jaworski’s Valleybrook Country Club

Venue Phone: (856) 227-3171
Venue Website:
Address: 200 Golfview Dr, Blackwood, New Jersey, 08012

Ron Jaworski’s Valleybrook Country Club

The golf course at Valleybrook has been voted the best public course in South Jersey by readers of the Courier Post and it is easy to see why. Its impeccable condition is a reflection of Ron Jaworski’s dedication to excellence and his devotion to making sure that time spent golfing is all about the experience.

The course is a classic design that includes a mix of flat and hilly terrain as well as lush teeing greens and tight fairways. Water comes in to play nine times throughout the round and golfers will find that the challenging elevation changes make proper club selection off the tee and to the green a “must” in order to score well.

In addition to challenging and rewarding play, the course offers some truly stunning panoramic views and beautiful scenery. No matter who you are or what your style of play, Valleybrook has something to offer you on course. Come let us show you how great a round of golf can be!

*UPDATE: Vince’s VIRTUAL Lecture Series : Virtual ONLY via Zoom ~ Wednesday At 12 and 7

Please join us for Vince’s DiPasquale’s weekly lectures held live every Wednesday at 12PM and 7PM (on Zoom.)

(For more info about Vince, check out his bio at .)

Wednesdays 12PM:

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Wednesdays 7PM:

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Many of Vince’s previous lectures can be found on  Vince’s YouTube Page. Please take a few moments each day and visit Vince’s Facebook Page and The Starting Point’s Facebook Page for more of Vince’s content.


Vince’s Lecture Series 2023

Positive Inventory Series

    • April 5 – Four Basic Life Questions
    • April 12 – How Do I handle Situations In Life
    • April 19 – 12 Spiritual Words
    • April 26 – The Power of Positive Thinking

Relationship Series

    • May 3 – What is an Addictive Personality
    • May 10 – How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Self
    • May 17 – How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Others
    • May 24 – A Special Conversation
    • May 31 – Relationship & Sexuality

The Codependency Series

    • June 7 – What is Codependency
    • June 14 – Family Systems
    • June 21 – How to Play & Have Fun
    • June 28 – Codependency & Relationships
    • July 5 – Roles of Codependency
    • July 12 – Six Stages of Recovery
    • July 19 – Self Parenting & Affirmations
    • July 26 – Family of Origin
    • Aug 2 – Discovering The Inner Child

Shame Series

    • Aug 9 – The Many Faces of Shame
    • Aug 16 – Shame Reduction
    • Aug 23 – Healing the Shame That Binds You





Thought For The Month April 2023 ~ “What Does It Mean to Be a Spiritual Person?”

By: Vince DiPasquale

I would like to dedicate this month as a time to reflect on the special word, spiritual.  April is a time of change, a time for transition from winter to spring.  It’s a time of new birth with gardens returning to their beauty.  We also experience the beginning of baseball season.  The weather can get confusing, delivering a little bit of everything.  What happens to us during this seasonal change?  I would like to share with you how the word spiritual has developed over my life’s journey.

As a child, the word spiritual always meant church and religion.  The God of my understanding was a negative God filled with fear and guilt.  In some ways a sad God centering on struggle and pain.  The fear of God was put into me by the church and school of my generation.  When I entered the seminary at age 14, I still did not understand spirituality.  I was taught rules and forms of punishment if the rules were not followed.  I was taught to be all things to all people.  It was considered heresy to make time for yourself.  We were taught to give not to receive.  My spiritual journey took me on a real and crazy ride.

In 1966 when I was ordained a priest, I had no idea who I was.  I spent many years running myself into the ground doing for others.  I was on a journey to save the world.  For many years I completely forgot “me”.  It took a lot of pain and almost ruined my health on this journey.  Little did I know that God was leading me with the help of many teachers and messengers, to come to my awakening.  In1978 I was visiting a rehab center in Northeast Philadelphia for drugs and alcohol.  One of the staff members invited me for lunch.  While we ate, he asked me to stay and give a lecture to the patients.  He told me to speak on spirituality. Don’t ask why, but I said I would and gave a talk for one hour.  At the end he told me that it was really good and asked me to come back and give that talk once a month.  I told him I didn’t remember what I said.  He had taped it and gave it to me, and I listened to it on my way home.   I got a lot out of it.  I know today it wasn’t me giving the talk, it was my God reaching out to me.  I truly believe today that God speaks to us through his people.  This is a summary of that experience where I learned the true meaning of spirituality.  It means to awaken to a discovery of our spirit.  Each of us was created by God for a purpose.  Now I know that to be a spiritual person is just to enjoy being you.  Below are the four spiritual questions.

Do you love yourself?  I know that unless I really love myself, I can’t give love to others.  I pray every day that I can learn to love and accept who I am.  We are not mistakes. Every human being is connected to our Creator.  The greatest adventure is to invest in loving and being positive to yourself.  An old song says. “Getting to know me is getting to love me.”  Let’s all take time to celebrate who we are.

Do you like yourself?  Today I can say that my name is Vince DiPasquale, and I am the only one there is of me on this earth.  The only one who has to like me is me.  We must all learn to be comfortable in our own skin.  Celebrate yourself today and every day.

Do you respect yourself?  This is a special question that tells us to take responsibility for our lives.  I am responsible for my journey which means to no longer play the blame game or the victim game.  Each one of us is the architect of our life.  To be responsible is to be free.

Do you care about yourself?  Each one of us is God’s creation.  We need to ask ourselves some questions.  Do we treat our bodies as something sacred to be honored?  Do we take time to respect it with exercise, good food and adequate rest?  Do we have gratitude for the body God gave us?  Here are some beautiful principles that if we live by, will give the secret to spiritual growth:

  1. Live life just for today. Yesterday is over, it’s part of our history.  Your present experiences are our lessons for today.  To live and celebrate life one day at a time is to keep life simple.
  2. Stay in the presence of positive people, places and situations. We will catch their positive attitudes.  We will learn from their healthy examples and experiences.  Ask God to help us release anything negative.
  3. Stay connected to your Higher Power (the God of your understanding).  Let’s all join the 4-H Club, the Higher Power Club, with honesty, humility, humor, and h  To be honest is to be free and is one of the strongest links to the God of our understanding.  Humility is the gift to be open and teachable.  It’s to have an open mind to all things along life’s journey and to be connected to God, our greatest teacher.  Humor is the power to be able to laugh at life even when it’s not funny.  Laughter is the greatest form of therapy on the face of the earth.  Look in the mirror when you first get up in the morning. That’s funny!  Loosen up, relax, and go with the flow.  Healing is learning to make settlement with all areas of life.  It gives us a sense of peace and serenity.  Our Higher Power wants us to learn from all of life’s experiences.  In healing we develop new strengths and lessons for growth.  Let’s all walk the journey of life with our Higher Power at our side.
  4. The most beautiful definition of God is Good Orderly Direction.  We all need direction and guidance on life’s journey.  Let’s be open to listen and learn.  Our spiritual guides are all around us.  Let’s listen and learn.
  5. Never Give Up. We are on life’s journey.  We are never done.  Life is a beautiful process of ever-changing experiences.  I hope and pray I will never be done.  There is so much to discover.

So, to be a spiritual person is to be a participant in the process of life.  Let’s all continue to discover the wonderful gifts our Creator gave us.  To be a spiritual person is to be open to life with a positive attitude.  Enjoy life, it’s a precious gift.  May God bless you.

A Prayer For Tolerance

Higher Power, help me to know that the most loving quality I can possess is tolerance.  It is the vision that enables me to see things from another’s viewpoint.  It is the generosity of spirit that concedes to others the right to their own opinions and peculiarities.  It is the bigness of heart that enables me to let people be happy in their own way, instead of my way.

Thought For The Month March 2023 ~ “Spiritual Principles For Living”

By: Vince DiPasquale

Let’s take some time to reflect this month on the most special word in the English language – spirituality. Each one of us, from the moment of our birth was sent on our personal spiritual journey. In my early years this word was taught to me in a negative way. Most of us connect this word to some form of religion yet if you look at the real meaning, the word has nothing to do with religion. Many times, we consider someone spiritual if they belong to a church and attend services. Yet what does it mean to be spiritual? The definition of the word means to awaken to who we are. A spiritual awakening means to rediscover a little bit at a time the energy and spirit that our Creator gave us at birth.

My own spiritual journey began with the family and parents God gave me so I could begin my journey on this earth. They were dysfunctional of course, like every family, because of their humanness.

Think about it, my parents came through two World Wars, a depression and settling into a new country. Yet through all of their struggles God sent me to learn lessons from them. The religious system they gave to me in the early years was one set around fear and guilt, and I’m still learning. I also learned from them the spirit of family and community while living in the Italian section of Camden. They also put me in touch with my identification and history. From my Dad I learned how to be the ultimate caretaker to a fault. Today I am learning how to say no and how to set boundaries. The fear and guilt are still there but a little at a time I’m learning to be stronger. Mom taught me to be in charge and control. Slowly I’m learning to delegate and release control. These are all great spiritual lessons that I hope to continue to learn. Like any other lesson we all have to learn through the school of hard knocks, the no pain no gain message. Through the years I’ve been blessed with many great teachers. Like anyone else it took me a long time to start to open my mind to these life lessons. In 1969 I was exposed to a very beautiful and powerful spiritual program that taught me so much. As I continue my spiritual journey, I’m learning there is no one way. The secret for me is to keep an open mind and always be willing to change and grow. Even though I have a degree next to my name in Theology, I didn’t learn anything about spirituality until I was exposed to the wonderful spiritual principles of AA, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and the twelve beautiful steps of life.

Just think, in 1935 two men, Dr. Bob and Bill W were drunks who met each other and taught the great spiritual principles. They supported each other and began their journey on the spiritual path of recovery. In the early years with the help of other recovering drunks, they gave us the steps, the principles of life and the wonderful suggestions from the Big Book. Today as I pray and try to live by these principles, they are helping me to become a better person. Below are some simple spiritual principles we can all live by.

  1. The only requirement for personal growth is to have the desire. Do the best you can ~ one step at a time.
  2. Have an open mind. I pray every day that I can learn something new from each person I meet.
  3. Progress not perfection. We are never done. Each day brings new discovery.
  4. Have an attitude of gratitude. We have so much to be grateful for. Each day is a gift, even with our struggles.
  5. Learn the four principles to live by, Honesty, Humility, Humor, Healing, the 4H Club of personal growth.
  6. Let go, Let God. Let go of control and get into the flow of life. Have faith and you will be led by the Higher Power. So nice to know we are not in charge, we are equal and simply servants to each other. We have to learn to let go of our egos.
  7. Patience. Everything happens in God’s time, not ours.
  8. Simplify. Don’t worry about exteriors, things continue to grow within. The simpler we make life the more peaceful it becomes.

There are just a few basic spiritual principles. Life is precious. Make time for the most wonderful experience, if only one day at a time, learn to love ourselves. The energy of love within us will spread to others. The real definition of the spiritual journey is basic. Love of God, love of self, love of neighbor. We can only share with others what is going on within us. Enjoy life, it’s worth living.

May God bless us on our spiritual journeys.

Thought For The Month – February 2023

By:    Vince DiPasquale

February is always considered the “love” month and the unpredictable month.  What a combination!  During this month we celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day, the patron of love.  Just as the weather in February is unpredictable so is the meaning and understanding of the special and most powerful word, love.  In our world today we use the word love to sell products and to make it into something to control people. Let’s examine this word from an unhealthy way first and then spend the majority of the article on the healthy meaning of this word.

Unfortunately, many times we confuse the word love with the “L” word, lust.  Love doesn’t mean ownership or possession.  So many times, when it comes to relationships, we tend to have many expectations.  An old song went like this, “You are my life, my everything, my all”.  This means that you have no sense of self.  Love doesn’t mean to control or expect, love is the energy of freedom and growth.  Our TV, movies and especially our soap operas use the word to control and manipulate others.  Love is not just an emotion; it is an energy that was God give to each of us at birth.  We use love as a fantasy.  There are three types of love.  Falling in love is simply attraction to someone.  Even a healthy person falls in love on the average of three times a week. Attraction is normal but only based on external looks.  Romantic love is wonderful and great but only for moments.  You can’t be in romantic love 24 hours a day because it won’t work.  It is only for special moments.  Love of the spirit or Spiritual love is the most powerful energy that involves growth for ourselves and is then to be shared with others.

I truly believe that at the moment of our birth God gave each of us the special gift making us all lovers.  As we go on our life journey, we begin to forget this powerful energy that we have been given by God.  As a result, we have to make time in this dysfunctional world to relearn how to love ourselves.  The ultimate relationship that we have in life is with ourselves.  Even our 12 Step program tries to teach us this valuable lesson.  The first 11 Steps of our program remind us to work on ourselves.  The 12th Step says to share our love with others after we have a spiritual awakening.  Everything we do in life reminds us that we are on a spiritual journey.  Remember the definition of the word spiritual.  It comes from Latin and Greek, spiritus actualis, an awakening or a discovery of our spirit.  Our spirit is who we really are, our body is human, it will grow old and one day it will die.  Our spirit is the part of us that will live on forever.  Our Creator gave each of us the great energy and power so that once we are able to gradually learn how to love, honor and respect ourselves, the energy side will flow out to others.  Norman Vincent Peale’s famous book, The Power of Positive Thinking, reminds us that we can accomplish anything if we just believe in ourselves and continue to grow.  The great investment we can make in life is the journey of self.  Growing in the spirit and energy of love is an ongoing adventure that will take us beyond our wildest dreams.

As we continue to discover this great energy within, we will go on the greatest journey of life to connect our love to others.  Remember we are not islands.  We have a tremendous need to share our gifts with others.  This is the nature of all relationships.  Our first natural relationship is to parents and family.  Even though they may be dysfunctional at times we will always have a need for family.  It’s through family that we have a place to share and develop our own gift of love.  Since we are natural lovers, if we can work through our struggles and hurts, we will grow in this wonderful energy.  Love teaches us to forgive, to heal, to be open to experiences as a place to discover our strengths.  Remember we are taught in our 12 Step program that every experience we have gone through in life if faced through the spirit of love will bring us the gift of strength, hope and growth.  This is our purpose in life, to continue to learn and grow one day at a time, always remembering that we are never done.  People, circumstances, and situations will come into our life to be our growth.  To me this is the excitement of life.  As I am in my 83th year on this earth, I hope and pray every day in the spirit of gratitude to be open to the lessons that are still in store for me. Let’s all take time during this love month to recommit ourselves to spending time each day learning how to love ourselves.  Let’s remember we are each God’s creation, made in His image since our Creator is the ultimate lover.  He teaches us to love each person on our life’s journey as we would love ourselves.  Each one of us is exactly who we are supposed to be.  We are not an accident or a mistake.  Let’s all look in the mirror and marvel at God’s creation.  Make our theme for this month and our life, “to discover the gift and energy of love within us, then that loving spirit will flow to others.”  Relationships are the gifts of life.  Let’s value each one; even the negative has a positive.  Let’s be open to love and growth.  Stay warm, open, and celebrate the month of love with self and others.

God bless us all on our journeys.

I Have a Mission

Dear God, you have created me to do some definite service.  You have committed to another.  I have a mission; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.  You have not created me for nothing.  Therefore, I will trust you, whatever, wherever I am.  If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve you.  If I am in doubt, my doubts may serve you.  If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve you.

You do nothing in vain.  You know what you are about.  Though friends be taken away, though I feel desolate, though my spirits sink, though my future is hidden from me, yet will I trust you, for you know what you are about.


Thought for The Month January 2023 – “Embracing Gratitude!”

By:  Vince DiPasquale

As we begin the New Year with its new experiences and new strengths, we are filled with the gift of hope and wonderment. Yesterday, 2022 is over; it’s history. Let’s take the time to do an inventory of the past year with all of the lessons God has tried to teach us. As I reflect on the past year there are so many lessons, I hope I can learn from my experiences. It was a year of change and growth for me from the weather to my 82nd birthday. God works in mysterious ways to remind us that we are never done. Change is the secret of life. We are being taught that there are no absolutes. We are always in the process and hopefully always growing and changing. Life is such a great adventure. From the miracle of birth to our final journey back to our Creator.

Over 82 years ago, God and his angels had a meeting with me before my birth telling me they were sending me on a journey into the world. They warned me that the world was dysfunctional, and I would be a part of it. They gave me my first teachers, my parents, and my family. They told me that as part of my creation they would give me guardian angels to protect me along the way. I was also told I will be given the gift of free will so I will be able to make choices. I was also told all I had to do was ask for help and it would be given to me. In my early years I was a simple, beautiful, little child still connected to my Creator. As I got older my ego began to take over and I forgot my connection with God. My intellect actually thought I was in charge. God sent me to a very interesting Italian family with its craziness and love. I began to live in fear instead of love. This is the ultimate lesson that I would have to face on my life journey – the choice between fear and love. The world I was born into was trapped in the fear and craziness of war and hate. Each time we experience the lack of love, we are faced with labels, judgments, and more struggle. Even God, our Creator, is put into the middle of the battle over who is right and who is wrong. The words fear and love create more guilt and fear. As the great mystical teachers always tried to tell us there is no winner in battles, just lessons to hopefully be learned.

My journey took me to the city of Camden which at one time was the jewel of our area. Hopefully as we look at Camden today, we can see what fear and greed can do to a city. This is a lesson for all of us. Fear and greed are like a plague that can destroy us. We need to learn so many lessons from history. From the Roman Empire to our present day, fear, control and ego are destructive. We are reminded every day that each one of us is God’s creation and no one is better than anyone else. Each person we meet was given the gift of love by God. We are all engaged in the biggest battle of life, EGO (Ease God out) vs. GOD (Good, Orderly Direction). Each person we meet is our teacher for that moment. In grammar school I had some interesting teachers that lived in a time of fear and guilt. The 40’s and 50’s were a period of fear and separation. We were all being taught everything in life that is worthwhile must be struggled for and earned. We need to pray every day in the spirit of gratitude and openness so that we can always be in the process of growing.

My Creator with the help of my family and the Nuns led me on my next journey, the priesthood. Twelve years of study and twenty years in the priesthood taught me some great life lessons. These years were filled with confusion, greatness and would one day be part of my personal spiritual awakening. These years were filled with such uncertainty and fear of the unknown. My journey led me to face many struggles and led many teachers and mentors into my life. I guess I can sum up those years in a story that I love to tell. God teaches us in strange ways and sometimes we all must learn the hard way.

When I was ordained a priest in 1966, my ego and fear of losing control led me to face the world alone. I decided I would save the world all by myself. Talk about playing God! This attitude led me to a burn out point and I was forced to slow down. Around 1972 I decided just to save the United States and my life became a totally crazy mess. I was on a run from life. I was so busy doing things for others that I forgot one very important person – me. My body, my hygiene and everything about me was out of control. Like many of us, I was running from life. My real spiritual awakening came in the middle eighties when I had to face my major decision and make changes. I became connected to a very special program that introduced me to so many great teachers. The 12 Steps, the principles of life taught me the real meaning of spirituality. I would need many more pages to share all of the wonderful teachers God sent into my life. They still do to this day teach me so much about this journey I’m on.

I was given the honor of celebrating my 82nd birthday with so many memories and teachable moments. God sent me some beautiful angels like my wife, my stepdaughters and seven wonderful grandchildren. All of these wonderful teachers are gifts I hope I never take for granted. As I write this on an airplane 39,000 feet in the air, I am humbled by the wonderment of life. In gratitude and love, I ask forgiveness of anyone I may have harmed or hurt. Each day I get on my knees and pray in the spirit of gratitude for what my yesterday’s history, and the teachers who helped me to face lessons that have led me to appreciate today! I pray every day to be open to the lessons God has in store for me in the great unknown of tomorrow, which by the way will never come, then it will be today. Let us pray every day in a spirit of gratitude: “I’m grateful for what was, I’m grateful for what is, and grateful for what will be.”

God bless us all in this New Year and may it be filled with gratitude and love!

*Announcing NEW Meeting: Nar-Anon Support Group; Mondays at 5:30

A 12-Step Program for Family & Friends of Addicts

When: Monday Nights 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Where: Onsite at The Starting Point, Inc. of New Jersey

Nar-Anon Family Groups are intended for those who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to them.


Thought for The Month November 2022 – “A Journey To The Child Within”

By: Vince DiPasquale

What a perfect month to just sit back, meditate and reflect on the child within all of us. I would like to share with you two special meditations that helped me to reconnect with my child.

1. Close your eyes, relax, and try to visualize yourself as a beautiful little child getting ready for your journey to the world. The Creator takes us in his arms and says to us, “I am going to send you on a spiritual journey into the world. You will experience different forms of dysfunction, fear, and struggle. You will feel joy and sadness. I will also give you freewill so you can make your own decisions, but don’t worry for I will give you the spirit and energy of love which one day you can share with all around you. I promise you that I will walk right along with you on your journey. In time you will occasionally forget the strength and energy you have within. You will experience the battle between your ego and your spirit. Remember I will always walk next to you. All you must do is call upon me and I will be your guide and strength on the journey of life to help you rediscover the beauty and love you have within. Remember my words, “A little child will lead you…. All you must do is ask and you shall receive.” Our Creator only wishes the best for us. Don’t walk life’s journey alone. If you walk with the Creator, you will be guided back to the child – your love teacher.

2. Let’s now continue the journey back to our love child. Visualize yourself going on a journey and entering a beautiful golden corridor. Walk down the corridor until you come to a huge golden door. Reach up and touch the door and it magically swings open. As you look inside at the darkness you notice in the distance a small but beautiful golden light shining. Walk towards the light. As you get closer the light becomes more beautiful until you find yourself bathed in the golden light of peace and serenity. If you are surrounded by this special light enjoy the positive energy of peace, serenity, and calmness. As you bathe in this special light, notice coming towards you in the distance, a beautiful pink light. It becomes so strong and powerful until it surrounds you. You are now engulfed by the golden light of peace and serenity and the pink light of love. As you immerse yourself in this special energy, you notice coming towards you in the distance, a little child. As the child gets closer you look and notice the little child is you! The child leaps into your arms, hugs you and tells you, “I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. I have come to give you the energy and power of love. I am that energy for I am your child.” Hold your little child in your arms and walk back to the golden door. As you do, notice if you embrace your child the golden light of peace and serenity and the pink light of love will follow you. Bring that child with you on your life’s journey and you will be able to see the child in all that you experience. Remember we come into this world as a simple, beautiful little child. As we walk the journey of life, let’s pray we will all be restored to the simplicity of a child. We are God’s children. We walk and talk with the Creator and one day we will all come home to our Creator. No matter what you do or where you go try to face life with a positive attitude. The golden light of peace and serenity and the pink light of love will be with you.

During this month take time to relax, meditate and be open to all of God’s messages. He speaks to us through all of life’s experiences. He is our guide.

Enjoy and may the child continue to share the gift of love with all of us!

Thought Of The Month Sept 2022 ~ “Reality and Responsibility…”

By Vince DiPasquale

Welcome to the fall season, a special time of the year. It’s almost like the world comes out of heat hibernation and returns to reality. We are reminded during this season of two special words, reality and responsibility. These words are both scary and beautiful at the same time. We spend a good portion of our lives avoiding reality. Many times, we play the “someday” game, i.e., someday things will be better; someday I’ll do this; someday I’ll do that. It reminds me of the famous Peanuts cartoon characters, Charlie Brown and Lucy. Remember when Lucy held the football for Charlie Brown to kick? When he went to kick it, Lucy would pull it away and Charlie would fall on his rear end. Charlie would then get up and attempt to kick it again with the same result. The Peanuts gang would ask, “Don’t you know she’s not going to hold it?” Charlie responds, “Someday she will.”

So often our lives become unmanageable because we refuse to face reality. We also play a game called the “blame” game. It’s so much easier to blame other people for our failings than it is to take responsibility for ourselves. One thing I have learned is that life becomes so much simple and more beautiful when you live each day by facing reality. It’s such a gift when we learn to accept reality, learn from it, and get on with life. I’ve also learned that I only hurt myself when I hold resentments. Let them go. Face them, heal and move on. Letting go with forgiveness is to allow us to heal from our hurt. It takes a special person to face the reality or our life with spirit of forgiveness. We need to look at all the experiences of life as gifts. Our experiences are God’s way of teaching us and making us strong. If we only take the time to realize that the greatest spiritual word on the face of the Earth is acceptance.  Nothing in life happens by accident. From the moment of our births our families and life experiences are our greatest teachers, and hopefully we face each experience with a positive attitude. Everything we do in life depends on the way we face reality. I’m a big believer that if we have the courage to face our history, it will become our greatest teacher. Please don’t be afraid of reality. It will give you the strength to look at each situation in a positive way. Remember you are your attitude. Our attitudes are learned. Take the time to make sure your attitudes are positive so life can be lived in a healthy way. Be open to the wonderful lesson’s life is dealing us.

Along with reality comes the great gift of personal responsibility. Remember to be responsible is to be free. So many of us have become so dependent on so many persons, places, and things that we have forgotten how important it is to have a feeling of independence while we are learning to become responsible. It is a process that takes time, effort, and personal investment. Responsibility is something we can’t take for granted. It’s so easy just to sit back and be dependent on others. We all remember the famous slogan.

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Life is such a beautiful process. If we accept it and are open to it, we’ll be able to grow into mature, responsible people.

To mature and accept personal responsibility isn’t easy, but it’s so rewarding. Please let’s all come out of hibernation and face the reality of life. Remember you can run, but you can’t hide. Sooner or later reality and responsibility will find you. Take time during this fall season to ask ourselves if we are willing to walk our spiritual journey called life, facing reality and responsibility.

Don’t forget to face all these moments that help us grow through the eyes of gratitude. Hopefully, one day you’ll be able today,“I am grateful for what was, what is, and what will be. I’m willing to face all the realities of life with spirit of personal responsibility.” Enjoy the fall season. As the leaves change and mature let’s hope we can all do likewise. Be thankful for all the experiences life has given us and let’s pray that we can see their reality through positive eyes.

Thought Of The Month August 2022 ~ “A Sense of Belonging…”

 By Vince DiPasquale 

Embrace Silence:  Perhaps one of the greatest rewards of meditation and prayer is the sense of belonging that comes to us.  Bill W.

August is a month dedicated to the wonderful word, retreat.  People have often called it the dog days of summer.  It’s a time to take a break from the busy, crazy activities of life, stand still and learn to enjoy the quiet and solitude.  Many of the great teachers have always taken time to be quiet and learn to appreciate the gifts and creations of life.

In our 12-step program we are taught some very special words that invite us to experience the wonders and beauty of life.  Let go and let God, gratitude, prayer, meditation, openness, spiritual awakening, service, acceptance, sharing.  I consider these words to be the secret to inner peace and serenity.

Let go and let God allows us to decrease tension, stress, and anxiety.  It helps us to realize that we are not in charge.  Once we allow ourselves to release control, we become free to experience the journey of life.  Each experience is allowing us to discover the lesson our Higher Power is trying to teach us.  When you allow yourself to let go you can connect to the God experience within.  Each one of us as God’s creation is the channel through which the Higher Power speaks to us.  Be quiet and listen.

Gratitude is our way of saying thank you for the experiences we have been given. If we live in gratitude each situation will open a new door for us in our life’s journey.  Each day as we awaken say a prayer of gratitude for the gift of life.

Prayer is our life source, our way of sharing with our Creator our feelings.  The Higher Power and our Guardian Angels are always there to be our guides.  All we must do is ask for their help and guidance.  I truly believe they walk with us throughout our journey.  The 5th step is to share our true feelings with God, the greater healer and teacher.  Our lives should be constant prayer.  At all times let’s share our joys, sorrows, and the realities of life with our Higher Power.  Prayer is the foundation of faith.

Meditation is God’s way of teaching the value of being quiet.  When we are in stillness, we can hear the teachings and messages of life.  We live in world of noise, activity, gadgets, games, and business.  These are always what we run from in life.  If we stay busy, we don’t hear the lessons of life.  Take time to be quiet.  Try each day to be open to the messages God gives us every moment of life.  Many of us think if we are not doing something we are wasting time.  Quiet and solitude are the foundations of settlement and inner peace.  When we are quiet, we can hear God’s messages. Meditation is the gift of listening and learning.

Spiritual awakening is the core of our spirituality.  The word spiritual comes from Latin and Greek and means to be open to discover the potential and beauty in all of us.  Our purpose on this earth is to be on a constant journey of self-awakening and discovery.  We are all spiritual creatures.  Each day be open to the lessons we are learning in life.  Every one of us is a book.  Each day we add a new chapter in our life’s journal.  Let’s all try to look at life through positive eyes.  Each awakening allows us to grow a little bit more.  Remember we should always be moving forward on our journey – progress, not perfection.

Service and sharing allows us to continue our progress of growth.  We are not islands.  If we take the time to share the book of life with others, we will receive back a hundredfold.  To give is to receive.  We are part of a world community.  There is so much to learn.  Diversity is the key to life.  In service we share our experiences, strength, and hope.  Don’t isolate or hide your gifts.  The more we share with others the more positive and rewarding our lives will become.  Let’s hope and pray every day to be examples to others by carrying the message of life and recovery and by the way we live our lives.  Live life to the fullest and the energy from us will touch others.  Service also teaches the gift of humility and connects us to all of God’s creatures.

Finally, we come to the most beautiful word on earth – acceptance.  When we can accept the reality of who we are we will be able to accept others.  This gift allows us to look upon each of God’s creations with unconditional love, it allows us to be totally alive and celebrate each moment.

During this peaceful month of August when the world quiets down, take time to reflect, be quiet and listen to all the messages of life with gratitude and openness.  Remember it’s a gift to be able to experience our aloneness.  To be in solitude is to be in touch with the secret of life, inner peace.

May God bless all of us as we walk our life’s journey’s.


Thought Of The Month July 2022 ~ “Celebrate Your Independence ~ and Live Free!”

 By Vince DiPasquale 

When People lack a sense of awe,                                        Do not limit the view of yourself. 

There will be disaster,                                                   Do not despise the conditions of your birth. 

When people do not fear worldly power,                     Do not resist the natural course of your life. 

a greater power will arrive.                                           In this way you will never weary of this world. 

Therefore, the sage knows himself, but makes no show of himself, loves himself but does not exalt himself.  He prefers what is within to what is without. *  

    The month of July teaches us the lessons of freedom.  To be truly free we need to spend time learning to live in the spirit of awe and acceptance.  In these two simple words we learn the special secret of life.  We have been given the gift of life from our Creator.  When we stop and look at God’s creation we must be in awe.  Each day let’s learn not to take life for granted.  Each of us has a purpose in this world. Each of God’s creatures are both teachers and pupils to us if we can learn to face life’s journey with the gift of acceptance. 

     We are told not to limit the view of ourselves, remembering how special we are.  Each one of us is a combination of talents, feelings, and thoughts.  Our spirit and energy give us the spark to look at life in a special way.  Let’s use the words of the Tao to examine our spiritual journey through this world.  

     How you view yourself doesn’t limit what you can accomplish.  The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to learn to embrace our history.  Instead of trying to change our history, let’s learn to embrace it, accept it, and let it become our teacher.  Our story, our history is the greatest book in the process of being written.  Each day we write a new chapter.  We are told in the Tao not to despise our history because it is the natural course of life.  If we come to accept life on its’ terms, it will pay us back a hundredfold.  We are taught by the process that we will experience the real meaning of freedom.  To be truly free we must embrace life in its’ fullest. To be free is to become responsible for our journey and not become weary of life.  To be fully alive is to look at the world through the eyes of nature.  The world we live in is a great adventure.  It’s God’s gift to us and must be treated with respect.  If we respect ourselves, if we honor our journey, we will be able to help others honor themselves. 

     The Tao teaches us that if we take the time to do our work the energy of our journey will reach out to others.  The 12th step of our program teaches us that if we have the courage to work on ourselves, to experience a spiritual awakening, then we will be able to carry the message of life to others by example.  Remember, if we live in the spirit of life, try to look at all things through positive eyes and continue to be open to growth, we will be able to look at all things in the spirit of gratitude. 

     If we can face life with its’ struggles and joys and never lose the spirit of awe, life becomes an adventure.  Let’s try to accept it on life’s terms.  Try to look at all experiences with a positive attitude and life will show us the way.  We are on God’s journey and our goal is to learn the lessons of life and one day hear our Creator say.  “Job well done.  Welcome home. 

     Being free is to be responsible for our life’s journey.  This is the month of freedom.  As you celebrate Independence Day, take time to reflect on all the gifts we have.  Don’t take life for granted.  Get out there and live it.  God bless you on your journey. 

*Chapter 72, Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi)

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Vince Talks Purpose

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Thought Of The Month June 2022 ~ “Choose an Attitude of Gratitude!”

By Vince DiPasquale

As we enter the month of June, we think of graduation, school closings, baseball, and the official beginning of summer. It’s a time to reflect and look at the life with a spirit of gratitude. Let’s all take a moment to reflect and look at the life in a positive way.

Take a moment to meditate on your personal spiritual journey. At that moment of your birth, you came into this world as a pure, beautiful child. At that moment you had all that you needed for life. You entered five different family systems, with each system having some form of dysfunction.

  1. Our family of origin, blood family.
  2. Our neighborhood, cultural, or environmental family.
  3. Religious family system.
  4. Peer family
  5. Society family

Each of these family systems are supposed to be our teachers and mentors to guide us through life. Unfortunately, most of us must experience many negative or dysfunctional areas so that we can awaken to the positive lessons in life. I know that my higher power, who I call the Boss, has sent me many beautiful teachers. Some I listened to and some I didn’t. However, I know now that if I try to look at all parts of my life with the spirit of gratitude, I will attract what I need for my life. Even our mistakes weren’t really mistakes. They were a result of our negative messages and thoughts. A long time ago a protestant minister had the courage to write a book called, “The Power of Positive Thinking”. Norman Vincent Peale decided that we all have the power given to us by God to look at each experience through positive eyes. In 1935 the founders of AA and its early members understood this. They gave us a beautiful gift, “This 12 Steps”, which is our guide to the spiritual awakening and the discovery of the beauty and strength that we all possess. Each one of us is a miracle in progress. Each day we need to say, “thank you” to yesterday for all its many lessons and be open to the new lessons of today. As you wake up each morning say “thank you” for another day. Take time to pray for the gift of openness and whatever we experience will then come into out lives and we will attract it with the gift of gratitude. Did you ever think that one day you’d be able to say, “I’m grateful for today, grateful for yesterday, and already grateful for what will be”?

Take the time to look at the life through a different set of eyes. Don’t talk about anything negative. Think positively. Look at life as a gift to be shared. Hopefully you’ll be able to see the rainbow at the end of the storm. One day you’ll be able to look at life in a simple way. There’s a beautiful saying, “a child shall lead them.” There’s a little child inside all of us. Celebrate that child and get out there to play, share, and enjoy each day. If you invoke the power of positive thinking, good will follow. Remember each one of us is a gift. Please don’t take it for granted.

Each day reflect and celebrate all the lessons of life. Enjoy life, it’s worth living. Enjoy the special season of summer. Get out and have fun. Think positively and all good will come to you.