Love is the energy

I have yet to find the perfect balance. You know, the balance between just enough caffeine and having my hands turn into cell phones as they vibrate from the tremors.

 

 

I honestly don’t even know why I drink the stuff. Well, for the “energy.” I guess thats one way to see it. Or maybe its just that I’m addicted to the feeling of the warm coffee in the morning.

Energy. Getting things done. Moving forward with work. It’s freaking tough.

Sometimes, life can just get drab. Yes, I like that word “drab.”

In these drab moments it’s hard to pick ourselves up and move forward. It takes so much effort to see the end goal in sight. Our legs become beams of lead and our eyes seem to drift off away from precisely what we need to be doing.

How do I get more energy?

Where is my zeal? 

Why can’t I get this done now?

These are questions I ask myself and I am sure you ask yourself. We get so frustrated in ourselves because the tasks we need to finish are not getting done. Our goals, our future, our responsibilities are in our hands and we are not succeeding. Discouragement comes next. Then maybe a social media break or two or three. It’s a vicious cycle.

This is a common problem I have noticed in my life. It shows it ugly face when I am focused on myself in my tasks. When looking in I have zero energy. Meaning, when My schoolwork, and My tests, and My homework need to get done I lose all the zeal. There is no love in the task. It just feels like a waste of time.

However, when changing the focus, it becomes easier to focus.

This is a simple habit we can develop when studying for exams, doing homework, or really anything.

 

We need to put love into everything we do and the energy will come.

It might be as simple as offering up the pains of your studying for a family member or a friend as a prayer. If you are a healthcare student, it may be thinking about all the patients you will help in the future.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Dorothy Day. It may seem intense at first but really meditate on the truth of it.

“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”

Friends, it is time to rid yourself of the lie of discouragement. Focus on the love in the task and offer it up as a prayer. Do not be hopeless, but in all that you do exude zeal.

 

I Just Don’t Know: Part 3

I am here, now what? How much longer until I get to the end? Why is it so cold in this room? Where is my sweatshirt? What does God have in store for me? Why do I question everything? Why is the flow so hard to go with? How do I be better? When can I have fun again? Why can’t I right now? Why do I wake up scared? Where is my true home? Why does love hurt? Why do I keep fighting? When’s the last time I listened to my heart beat? Who has my back? Who cries when I cry? Who makes me laugh? Why am I wearing two different socks? Why does life need to match? Where is my faith? Where is my trust? Do I trust myself more than Him? Where is my phone? Why do I need a phone? Should I write a letter? When is the last time I wrote a letter? Does she know I would do anything for her? Does he know I care about him? Does He know I care about Him? Have I been a good friend? Will I make more friends? Why am I stressed? Why do I care so little? Why are my priorities all over the place? Who is my priority? Is my priority a thing? Why am I so unorganized? Why do I need to box up my life? Is the world trying to box me in? How do I grow in a world that doesn’t water me? How many ounces of water have I drank today? How much cups of coffee? When’s the last time I hugged someone? Gave someone a high five? Where am I going? What is my purpose? What do I need to do next?

Is Stress Your DJ?

I have been trying to think of a time.

In my life.

Where stress did not impact my attitude/actions.

What comes to mind is moments as a child. Where stress did not seem to exist. I can think of moments right after a big test. Where the weight of the exam melted off my shoulders. I can think of moments laughing with friends and family. I can think of moments where I stare into the eyes of my girlfriend. Moments where I am doing acts of service to help the word. I can think of moments when I am jamming out in the car. Moments when I am praying. Moments when I am reading a good book and drinking some rad coffee.

These moments rock. Yet, they are so few and far between.

Why is that?

Because I let stress win.

Lets imagine something real quick. You have your headphones on and you are listening to your playlist. Everyday you wake up and you put these headphones on. You scroll down the list of songs and pick one. Every moment of your life you must have a song playing.

The playlist looks a bit like this.

Playlist name: Life

Song 1: Sound of fear

Song 2: Sound of joy

Song 3: Sound of failure

Song 4: Sound of uncertainty

Song 5: Sound of perseverance

Then you pick one. YOU choose a song. Because you have the choice every single day, every single moment, to pick the song of your day.

The problem is we seem to let life choose a song for us.

We seem to let stress win and become the master of our very own playlist.

If there is one thing I know it is that human beings like to have control. We like determining our own destiny and fulfilling our dreams.

Yet, why do we let stress be the DJ?

Today, I want to encourage you all to reflect on this. Is stress impacting how you live your life everyday? If moments are so great without stress, why are we letting stress choose our music?

It is time that we make a new playlist. A playlist built on enjoying this awesome life we have been given.

Today, I am dancing because I am not listening to sounds of failure, fear, or loneliness.

But rather, of hope, joy, and a whole lot of faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Confident.

I lack something.

And that is confidence.

To those that know me personally this may not seem so true.

But I can assure you that it is.

Making decisions (even the small ones) weighs me down.

Being in new places throw me off and scares me.

Not doing the right thing because I am uncomfortable. 

Feeling like a failure no matter what I try. 

I’m sure a lot of you have felt similar feelings.

The statement that has been weighing on my heart the last few weeks has been:

CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST.

Now before I get any further I want to make a clarification. I am speaking about confidence not cockiness.

I view the distinction as….

Cockiness is excessive trust in oneself. 

Confidence rests in the trust of another. 

And that trust is in Christ.

How do we become confident in Christ?

Well, for one we don’t ever hold back. We follow the moral framework laid out for us in the Bible. We become saints of service and love and truth and joy and awesomeness.

We don’t allow the desire for cockiness (pride) or fear prevent us from whole heartedly doing the impossible for Christ. We just simply tie our sneakers and run after it.

I know this message is short but lets just keep it simple.

Are you confident in the plans God has for your life?

If you are, then start walking into the room with that glow. Start talking to people with that light. Start right now, strutting like this world is not going to weigh you down because the King of Kings has your back.

Confidence in Christ my friends.

Say it over and over again

Till you start believing it. 

Don’t Love Yourself

“You need to love yourself first.”

I hear this saying all the time.

I read it in magazines.

I see it on television.

I am told this phrase when seeking life advice.

Based on the amount of times I have heard this expression I started to believe it.

I wondered…

Maybe I don’t give myself the time and attention I deserve?

Maybe I am too involved in helping other people that I neglect myself?

Maybe I won’t find a special someone to love me because I don’t love myself enough?

The world is constantly telling us that we must love ourselves before we can do anything. Loving yourself has become the 21st century stepping stone to satisfaction and so called happiness in life.

But lately this phrase is not sitting well with me.

It has made me upset because I am starting to see it as a crutch.

A crutch that promotes inaction.

Don’t get me wrong.

 

I believe we as humans are made in the image and likeness of God. We should appreciate and be thankful for our lives. Everyday that I wake up is an absolute gift. Life is so rad.

But it is time to be real.

We live in an age where we are obsessed with ourselves.

Look around you.

All the narcissistic social media.

All the envy. 

All the brokenness. 

We are a society so wrapped up in our own lives that we forget we are a part of the world. We become our own planet. A planet constantly in need of cultivation, affirmation, and security.

Today I am asking you not to “love yourself first” but rather:

Lose yourself through loving others.

 

My belief is we need to start taking “I” out of our vocabulary and changing it to “we.”

What do (we) need today.

(We) are hurting. 

(We) are so stressed today. 

 

And then asking ourselves….how can I help?

C.S. Lewis puts it perfectly when he says,

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

 

If we put others before ourselves, love will fill every inch of our being. 

So next time you open up a magazine to an article titled something like

“1,001 Reasons to Love Yourself Today”

Put the magazine down.

Turn to the nearest person.

Look them in the eye.

And ask them,

“How has your day been?”

 That my friends, is how you love yourself.

i.just.don’t.know.

Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Did I mess up? Have I finished all that I started? Have I even started? Why do I feel so alone yet so loved? Am I scared? Is fear ruling my life? Did I tell her all I needed to say? Why do I imagine my problems weighing me down? Aren’t uncertainties just part of the adventure? Am I overthinking? Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Am I good enough? Did I tell him I don’t agree with what he is doing? How can I help him? What is in store for me in 10 days? 1 year? 10 years? When is the next time I will see my friends? Am I living the will of God? What is God’s will? Why do I have a headache? Why do we cry? When is the last time I cried? Why don’t I just man up? What does it mean to be a man of God? Am I a man of God? Why don’t I pay attention and stop writing in class? Will I even remember this class in a week? A year? Why do I see the truth when it’s too late? Is it ever too late? Why am I late for class? If I trust God, is my life not in His timing? Where does God want me? Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Why am I so thirsty? Why am I blessed to have clean cold water? Why me? How can I pray for these people? Do I pray enough? Do I talk more than I listen? What is my solid ground? Who is my solid ground? Do I love God only when I feel Him near me? Why are some conversations so hard? Is deep conversation between persons lost? Why can’t I express how I feel? Why does it take so long? Am I impatient? Why don’t I stop being so emotional? Is it emotion or just the world screaming at me to act? Is emotion a bad thing? Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Why are my sneakers tied yet I don’t know where to run? Why am I so self-centered? What is humility? Can it be taught? Is pride my GPS? Do others feel the same? Is heartache like bench press for the heart? Will it give me stronger love? Am I even confused? Why do we meet people at certain times? Why am I not hungry? Why am I famished? Why am I tired? Why am I hyper? Why can’t I focus? Why does this coffee taste like dirt? Why am I still drinking it? Why am I complaining when people are suffering eating dirt? How can I see the hurt in their eyes when I’m comfortable? Can I help heal the world? What is my purpose? Where am I going? What am I leaving behind? Am I ready? Ready to do what I think is right? Ready to commit to my morals? Ready to trust? Ready to take initiative?

Ready to act? 

Maybe?

I think so.

No, I don’t think so.

I know so.

I’m ready. 

___________________________

Dear readers, 

      I will be taking a break from my writing. I have a lot to reflect on as the end of the school year is approaching. I ask that you send prayers my way and ask Christ to send me peace in uncertainty. I have some difficult choices to make and I am praying that my choices are attuned to His will. 

     The above post is part II of the “I.Just. Don’t. Know.” series. If this work resonates with you I encourage you to check out my older post. Once again thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. Keep the faith. I’ll be praying for you.  

Love you guys,

Nick Bellacicco

 

 

You Are So Ugly

Ugly- (adj) unpleasant or repulsive, especially in appearance 

 

There are a lot of bad words in the English language. Many of these words will leave a sting if they are directed at someone else. The word ugly has developed into a very hurtful word. I can argue that it is one of the worst. If someone has ever called you ugly you probably never forgot it or ever will.

To have our appearance attacked feels like an attack on identity. It feels as if name callers  dislike of your outer shell determines what kind of person you have been to the world. I pray that if anyone has verbally attacked you on your appearance to your face or behind your back that you have recovered from the pain.

 

____________

 

We live in a society where we are so quick to fix our outer appearance when others find it distasteful. We do all we can to control it and change how people perceive us.

“I don’t like that shirt on you”….“I’ll change it”

“You are so pale”….“I’ll go tan”

“I think you would look cuter as a blonde”….”I’ll dye my hair.”

“Her nose is giant”...I’ll fix it.

“He is so scrawny”…I’ll go work out.

 

The way we talk about others illustrates how much we as humans place appearance on a pedestal.

Is he or she attractive?

What do they look like? Tall? Short?

 Locker room talk: scale of 1-10?

 

When others dislike our external appearance we want to please them. We want to have no blemishes.

If that is the case…

 

Why do we choose sin?

There will always be people in the world that perceive you as ugly. They will not find you attractive. They will call you names. They will laugh at you. You have no control of this fact.

However, each time we sin we are turning very ugly. Each time we turn our backs on God we are leaving the beauty of the light and falling into the muddy pit of darkness. We are staining our souls.

If your neighbor could see your sins painted on your body like muck would it matter how attractive you are? Would it matter if you are tall, short, fat, skinny, etc?

When we talk about others let physical appearance not be the bulk of conversation.

How about?

What has he or she done for the community?

What makes this individual unique?

How has this individual brought you closer to Christ?

When we look in the mirror we critique our appearance. Prayer is very similar. Through prayer God allows us to see the sin in our lives we can STOP.

The question I pose to you today is this:

 

When you leave your body behind will your soul be beautiful?

 

Friends, we are all so ugly at times. We are humans in a flesh-centered world. The good news is that through Christ we are made clean. Our stained souls are washed anew.

Here is a quote from baseball great Yogi Berra after someone made fun of his appearance.

“So I’m ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face.”

Our looks means nothing. Our external shell is short-lived. Let us focus on the appearance of our souls.

We need to build souls that do not strike out.

We need beautiful souls that hit home runs for the Kingdom.

 

Do I Trust You?

I was driving back home from a spring break trip to my friend’s university in Pennsylvania.

The drive from home to my friend’s school was easy. It was pretty much a straight shot. I set the cruise control and jammed out to my music for 2.5 hours.

However, the ride home was a bit different. It had been snowing all night and was still snowing when I started driving. The roads were slick. My car was sliding. My GPS said it would be about a three hour drive.

At one point during the drive the GPS took me on a different route. I was driving through cities in Pennsylvania and New York that I never knew existed. I was scared I was headed the wrong way, so I looked at the GPS a few times. But, overall I trusted the technology. It would guide me home.

After about three hours the towns started to look familiar. The snow had stopped and I made it.

_________________________________________

 

When I reflected on my trip a question arose:

How could you put all your trust in the GPS to guide you

but not God.

I let the GPS take me to places that were unfamiliar. Quite frankly, I was out of my comfort zone. But I trusted. The robotic voice was my serenity. The more I heard the voice the more relief I felt.

When God takes me to places unfamiliar….places that take me out of my comfort zone

Do I trust Him? 

Do I listen to His voice and feel peace? 

Do I thank Him when I am guided home?

 

Who or what do you place your trust in…

 

When the roads are slick.

When the snow of this earth blinds you.

When you feel lost.  

 

Maybe, the reason we are so quick to trust technology and other things earthly is because it is easy.

We plug in our location and follow the directions.

Technology is a matter of our convenience.

However, with God we must let go of our own desires. We must persevere in prayer and train our ear to listen to the language of God. We must take hold of the wheel, press the gas, and ask God where He wants us to go.

I can assure you that if we do this, He will guide us home.

“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence.”-St.Augustine

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Tear Up My Textbook

 

It was late. I was really tired. Maybe it was 1 am or 2 or 3. I can’t remember. What I do remember is that I was stressed out. I could feel my heart rate thumping like fast paced EDM. I had to get out of the library.  Maybe a change in scenery would help? AKA the biggest lie I could have told myself.

My test was the next day, but the more I read the textbook the less prepared I felt.

Come on. Focus. You can’t mess this up. 

I threw open the library doors and sighed.  It was a beautiful night, but I did not really care.  I did not see the bright stars just an imaginary digital clock lighting up the sky.

11 hrs 30 min LEFT

Having no time to lose, I ran over to my bike and tried to unchain it. With my biology book in one hand and my “freshman year of college lack of muscle tone” I could not get my bike off the rack. It was wedged between the bike’s of fellow late night procrastinators.

I tried a few more times and it was useless. I just couldn’t finagle it out of there. All my anger, fear, frustration, and uncertainty consumed me at that moment. I thought about all the school work I had. I thought about all the laundry I had to get done. I thought about that girl I wanted to ask out. I thought about where I was going to get food the next morning. I thought about making more friends. I thought about….o yeah…THE TEST.

I had the textbook in my hand and I…..I was ready.

 

Ready to destroy it. 

 

So, I gripped it tightly ready to bash it against the asphalt.

I was done.

I was fed up.

I was nervous.

I was scared. 

I was frustrated. 

About to lift it over my head…I was stopped.

I heard a voice.

A girl’s voice.

Do you need any help? 

 

I had not seen anyone around me. Where did she come from? Who was she? Does she know me?

Before I could ask any of these questions she came over and within seconds the bike was off the rack. And just like that…

she was gone. 

 


 

This story has had a huge impact on my life. It always reminds me how such a simple act can change the perspective of someone’s life forever.  The girl in the story had no reason to help me. She probably had a lot of tests that week as well. She was most likely nervous about something. She most likely missed a few extra minutes of sleep to help me out.

Yet, in that minute or so she reminded me not to let the anxieties and frustrations of life cause me to forget the people around me.

I once told a professor this story and he asked me if I believed in angels. I do believe in angels and maybe she was an angel. I can tell you I never saw her again on campus. The moment she left I could not remember her face.

Or maybe she wasn’t. Maybe she was just a girl that saw a young guy struggling and went out of her way to lend a helping hand. In my book, that is an angel as well.

I know this week is full of tests.

I know you are stressed.

I know you are frustrated.

I know you are scared.

However, I encourage you to always be on the lookout for those on campus, in the store, at home, etc. who are also feeling the same way. You never know how much of an impact you can have on them. The girl in my story not only stopped me from destroying a very overpriced Biology book but she did much more.

She showed me that when I am hurting people care.

She showed me what it means to love others no matter the time or the place.

She showed me to never lose hope.

 

Be someone’s angel this week.

 

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”

-Luciano De Crescenzo

 

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