By: Vincent DiPasquale
As we get ready to celebrate the wonderful month of Thanksgiving, we pause to reflect on three very special and beautiful words: Gratitude, Acceptance and Love. I consider these the most spiritual words in our language. Growth can only take place when we can develop gratitude. Someone who views life in the spirit of gratitude becomes open to accept one’s self and the lessons of life’s journey which then allows us to view life in the spirit of love and healing. Let’s look at these special words as they apply to our life’s journey.
Gratitude – To be grateful is to live each day as a gift from God. The first prayer I say each day as I awake is prayer of gratitude of life for one more day. Each day is so special as I get older and hopefully wiser. I try to view each day as a chance to do service to others and to reflect on how precious and how wonderful life is. I pray I do not take things for granted and to say thank you to God for even the little things in life, as I feel I have been given so much on this life’s journey. I thank God for my family, my upbringing, all the beautiful teachers in my life, especially my wife, my stepdaughters and my grandchildren. I am grateful to be called “Papa”.
I feel gratitude for my recovery family, for the 12 Step program and for all the direction it has given me. I am grateful to every person God has sent into my path, for the struggles I have undergone, and even for the negative experiences. They may one day become my strength. Hopefully I’ll not take for granted the gifts He has given me and I will share them with others. God has given me so many rewards – they are my real riches.
Acceptance – Such a simple but powerful word. To come to acceptance of self is to be at peace. ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change’. To be powerless is to be powerful. This is the secret of the first and third steps. Powerlessness leads to surrender which leads to acceptance. Learning to let go of control is such a gift. It takes great courage to work on yourself. The core of spirituality is acceptance of self. We are not an accident; we are God’s creations. Only when we can accept the reality of who we are can we grow into what we can become. We are all on a special journey that one day will lead us back to our Source, our Creator. Acceptance of self and life allows us to live and enjoy each moment. ‘Courage to change the things I can’, tells me that if I focus on my own personal journey, the positive energy I receive will flow naturally to others. We carry the message by example. ‘The wisdom to the know the difference’, and wisdom is experience. Each experience I’ve gone through in life has brought me strength. Our experiences were necessary for us to grow and learn. Don’t run from life, rather we must accept each day and situation as a means to bring us closer to our Creator.
Love – Gratitude and acceptance are powered by the divine energy of love. What a special word. I’m convinced that in our world it is the most misused and abused concept. We are told in the Scriptures that a little child shall lead us at the moment of our creation to God who will give us the power to love. We were told by God that we were to enter the world as His messengers. Our world with all its chaos and craziness can only be healed and brought together by this special energy. Greed, fear and our egos are the opposite of love. Mother Teresa tried to teach us that only when we live by the rule of life will we learn to love ourselves and then be able to share this special energy with other. Remember there is only our Higher Source and the rest of us are all equal. We are God’s children bonded and connected to each other. Love is the energy of healing. Let’s stop looking for the answer in politics and external things. Empires come and go but the healing energy of love and service are forever. Try to live each day with the positive energy of love and hopefully you’ll be able to share your gifts with another.
This Thanksgiving take the time to pray a prayer of gratitude. Open your heart to the Source of all love, reach out and touch someone and know that by giving you receive back a hundredfold. Enjoy this special time of gratitude, acceptance and love.