By: Vincent DiPasquale
The month of December speaks to us of new birth and new beginnings. It reminds me of three words that come from AA literature: “Yesterday, today and tomorrow”. As part of our history, we have so many attachments starting with our families combined with all the experiences we have gone through. We can look at them in two ways. We can hold onto them and stay stuck, which is attachment, or we can face them, process them, and let them become our teacher. All of our experiences are the fertilizer for new growth. The program teaches us to. “Let go and let God.” We are taught that nothing is ours. Everything we have in life has been lent to us by God so that we can use it to share with others. We call this the gift of gratitude. Every day when we awake, we are given God’s greatest gift, life for another day. This means that we are being asked by our Higher Power to walk the earth as the Higher Power’s ambassadors. Everything that we experience happens to us to teach us how much we have to “Let go”. Do not stay attached to anything material because it will not last. All of our experiences are simply there to help us to discover our strengths which are our gifts and talents. Our life experiences are really gifts that are given to help us and challenge us to discover the positive lessons we are being taught. The Higher Power reminds us not to get too comfortable. Struggle is part of the journey and the process of life. Remember the Higher Power didn’t bring us into this world by chance. Each one of us is God’s creation. We are taught that our main journey in life is to be both teachers and pupils each day of our journey. Our time on this earth is limited. That is why we are taught not to be attached to material things. Remember the more toys we have the more our lives are centered on them. The real gift is our spirit, our core, the parts of us that will never die. This is the part of us we should be centered on. In order to face the journey of life with the gifts of gratitude and openness, these gifts teach us that there are no absolutes. Life is a continuing journey of new beginnings. Nothing in life stays the same. Change is the secret of new growth. If we practice the spirit of openness, we are listening to the music inside each of us. We have so much potential. Look at the experiences of like through positive eyes. Life is such a great teacher if only we have the vision to look at all of our experiences as strengths. We are taught that for every negative there is a positive. The 6th and 7th steps in the program tell us that from every defeat we will discover our assets. My Dad taught me years ago when he would say, “You don’t know what it is to get up until you fall down.” Recovery teaches us that sometimes we have to go through hell to discover heaven. We are all born with God’s music inside us. As I look back on my life’s journey, I realize I’ve been sent so many teachers in my life. They are spiritual guides helping me to look at life in the true spirit of gratitude and openness. My teachers are my music. They play the tune of sharing their experiences which help me discover my lessons and then to pass them on the others.
One of the great videos I feel everyone in recovery should see is “The Lion King”. It speaks about the beautiful circle of life to which we all belong. Let’s take a few moments to meditate on the spirits of all who have gone before us. From Doctor Bob to Bill W. to the early members of recovery who were inspired to give us the gift of the 12 Steps, the greatest spiritual principle of life. They include the wisdom and experiences of the ages, 2500 years ago a Chinese philosopher named Lao-tzu gave us the 81 principles of the Tao Te Ching. These simple principles are found in the steps. So many teachers have gone before us. If we open ourselves up to the energy of their spirits, they will continue to carry the messages of recovery through us to others. Please remember to listen to the music in your heart, share it and it will be returned a hundred-fold. Each person in this world is God’s creation. Be open to hear the music of each person and only then we will be connected as one orchestra playing God’s song. Each experience will be our strength which will then become the hope for others.
Enjoy this season of new birth and may the Higher Power be your guide.