“Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”
By Vince DiPasquale
The month of July is always dedicated to the theme of freedom and responsibility. Freedom is something we all take for granted to enjoy but really involves work and responsibility. Our 12 Step Program is the most spiritual formula to help us achieve serenity and peace. So many times we trap ourselves in our past. I want to let you in on a secret – yesterday is over. It’s history! We have all experienced many lessons and yesterday is our teacher. We need to fully face our past – in the present. A long time ago my dad, God rest his soul, taught me a powerful lesson. He was an immigrant and brought his customs with him. We had a simple row house in Camden and my dad had a garden in our yard. He would only use fresh horse manure in his garden and his plants were beautiful and productive. One day when I was young I was with him in our yard. He said to me, “Vince, come here!” In those days when your dad said come here, you listened. He told me to pick up a handful of soil and taste it. He said there is no more manure; it’s been completely changed into life-giving vitamins and minerals for the plants. This lesson has helped me realize that our history is simply our experiences. If we face them and learn from them and let them become our strength we will be able to bring our past into the present. If we follow this theory there is no such thing as a bad experience, they are just lessons for us to learn to help us face and enjoy today. If we have an open mind and learn to share our history, we will be able to let go and let God.
Our 12 Step Program gives us a formula for settling and realizing our past. Steps 4 through 9 teach valuable lessons in the process of healing. Life is such a beautiful process if we can trust that we are being guided on our journey.
STEP 4 – We are taught to do a fearless moral inventory of our life, to face our past without fear or guilt. We are also told to write our history. Writing is a way to make it concrete and real. This is the first process of healing.
STEP 5 – We are told to share our story with ourselves, God, and another person. This is a great lesson in humility and trust. Through sharing we are once again releasing. Healing only takes place through sharing. On a deeper level, when we share our history and the lessons that we’ve learned with others it allows them to share their history. At this moment we are participating in the great human library. Our story is a book in process of being written one chapter at a time.
STEPS 6 & 7 – Teaches us to acknowledge our defects of character. It reminds us that we are human. It’s special to be a simple human being, yet we need to realize that for every defect of character we have an asset. For every negative there is a positive. If we are open our defects become our greatest gifts. We are all gifted and special creatures, created by God in his image. If we are open to the process of life we will continue to discover how powerful our assets are. We have to invest in life and steps 6 & 7 remind us of our humanity, humility and our need to stay connected to our Higher Power.
STEPS 8 & 9 – Teaches us to make peace and settlement with all our life’s experiences. Especially to make peace within ourselves. The one person we have hurt the most is ourselves. We all have a tendency to be tough on ourselves. The real secret of life is to be at peace within. Serenity is a gift to be earned. I truly believe if you are at peace with yourself your energy will go forth to heal others if they are open to the process.
To release our past is the wonderful art of seeking personal freedom. Each one of us was sent on this earth by our Creator and we were told that we would receive guides to show us our way. If we can face life and be open to the spirit, we will be shown the path starting with our parents and family and extending to all people, places and things, even the trauma, hurt and pain. If we can trust in God’s plan, learn our lessons, celebrate and enjoy the journey, we’ll be led one day back to our Creator. God wants all of us to experience the real gift of freedom. Yet to begin to experience it we have to experience our dysfunctionality to learn how to grow.
As we celebrate the month of freedom, let’s remember to be open to face our past and its lessons which will give the secret to success and inner peace.
Enjoy the summer season and may God Bless You!