What We Give Back to God

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about talent and not wasting our days. I’ve been thinking about procrastination, scrolling on social media, and browsing the internet. I’ve been thinking about work and responsibility.

I’ve been praying for change.

Last night, I was sitting in my car outside my parents house. My wife was finishing up a phone call while I stared out the window. There I saw a tulip with a light shining on it.

A single tulip just resting in the light.

The tulip I saw

I started thinking…

God has given us all a tulip when we are born. A gift to grow and water. We know what waters our tulip and helps it grow. We all have the duty and the responsibility to care for this gift. Using our talents we water the tulip and feed it with the light it needs. When we watch our days go by the flower withers. When we head off course the flower loses its brilliance.

At the end of our life the tulip will be finished growing.

What will your tulip look like when you give it back to God?

Feelings and Truth

At the start of a half marathon you feel good.

The wind is pushing you forward. The sweat has yet to start dripping down your face. The sun is out.

Yet, a few miles in things start to feel different.

Your breathing quickens. You feel a small side cramp that seems to grow larger each minute. Your legs start to feel like steel beams.

How you feel is totally different than how you felt minutes before.

________________

In life we are faced with many different feelings. Feelings that can motivate us to do good or cause us to feel downtrotten.

Feelings are like waves. One minute they are barely visible and the next they topple us over like a 5 year old who was too close to the shoreline.

What we need to remeber is that:

Truth is constant.

In the above example of the half marathon, your feelings would be all over the place. However, the one thing that is constant is the truth of the race. The truth being: You need to finish the race regardless of your feelings.

I have noticed within myself and others around me that at times we allow our negative feelings to define who we are. At many moments this discouragement we place on ourselves paralyzes us and prevents us from living the life we are called to live. When we feel rejected and unloved we forget the ultime truth.

God loves us unconditionally. He is merciful.

No matter how we may “feel” about ourselves at any moment, we are made in God’s image.

We were placed on this earth to make a difference and spread light.

If certain feelings are preventing you from bearing the fruit of love remind yourself of the truth:

I am loved by God. God has placed me here for a purpose.

Now no matter the feelings…lets take a step forward and finish this race.

Do you have a screw loose?

Yesterday, after going for a walk, I see a giant box outside my door.

What did I order?

As I get closer I realize that it is a new chair.

This is my last semester of medical school basic sciences. Basically, this means in May I have a test called the USMLE that plays a big factor in what type of doctor I can be. With that being said, this semester calls for a lot more studying than usual. I wanted a chair that would allow me to study for long periods without feeling like I got hit by a train.

I opened the chair and realized that the chair needed to be built. Great. Reading and following directions have never been something I do very well. I started using the tools given and placing the screws where they needed to be. I had to unscrew them and redo it because I put the base of the chair on backwards!

The process was not going very well.

 

 

Eventually, I asked my fiancee for help. Yes, I definitely did feel humbled. After we finished we had one screw left. However, the way the chair was assembled it was impossible to put the screw in. The two holes would not line up. After some time trying it was either rebuild the whole chair (hours!) or leave it. The chair was still sturdy. It could function as any chair would.

However, it was just missing one screw.

Later my fiancee said something to me that struck me.

“The chair is like people. If we focus on our missing screw we will never be able to do our purpose. However, just because we are missing a screw does not mean we cannot do what we are meant to do in this life.”

We all have our missing/loose screws. Areas in our lives that we are ashamed of. Aspects of our personality or character that we wish would change.

This story is a reminder to not lose heart. You can be missing a screw and still pursue your God given purpose.

Focus on your goals not your unfilled holes.

23 years old, 23 lessons

23 years old.

Dang.

I feel like I was just road tripping back from Waco turning 22.

23 year old.

Damn.

I learned a lot this year.

Thanks be to God for that.

Here are 23 things I learned.

1.When you are at rock bottom, you can only look up to God

-At the start of this year and a lot of the way through it I was deep into despair. In that I only had God. Because of this, I am so thankful. I learned that He is all I will ever need. Good or bad, I will praise His awesomeness.

2. Family is the reason

-I have been away from my family every year since I turned 18. Everyday I grow closer and closer to them. When I am home I learned to never waste a single freaking moment. Family is the reason I am persevering.

3. Medicine is not what you think

-There is a lot of cynicism and despair in the field of medicine. I started school thinking everyone was out to save the world. Not at all the case. But because of this fact, I learned it is important to stand out. To care and love. To bring God into the field.

4. People are hurting

-I learned a lot this year about mental illness. I learned about the people around me struggling to get up in the morning. I learned that mental pain is the worst of all.

5.People are lonely

-I live alone this year. As an extrovert it literally broke me. I felt loneliness a lot. I had no time to do anything but study so I secluded myself. I am so grateful for my loneliness. I can now empathize with all those alone whether that be in nursing homes, hospitals, or prisons.

6. Friends will bring you back

-When I visited my college friends I was brought back. To my old self. I was able to rekindle my love for life. They saw me as I was an loved every bit of me. Friends are lifesavers.

7.Finding her

-I always thought that finding “her” would change me. It definitely did. It wrecked me. It allowed me to come face to face with my flaws and do all I can to become a man of character. She showed me my vices so I could become a man of virtue. ❤ Love does not care about distance.

8. Procrastination

-It will always be a thing. I am doing it right now. However, there is a such thing is positive procrastination.

9. Poetry

-Poetry allows me to unbury my emotions and serve them on a platter.

10.Writing

-Blogging has allowed me to take my innermost thoughts and show them to the world. I am so grateful for those who read my words and can relate.

11. Studying

-One can always study harder. One can always learn more. Keep pushing.

12. Hydration

-If I could go back I would tell my past self to drink a crap ton more of water. It has given me such a clearer head.

13.Church

-My Church and young adult group has kept me focused and faithful. I learned this year that finding a Church to grow in faith is everything.

14. Human touch

-Human connection can save lives. A small pat on the shoulder or a hug will change the world.

15. Tears

-I used to joke with my old college roommate that I could not cry. Some days I wanted to but I just could not do it. This year I have cried more than I have ever before. Tears will come and go. I learned a lot about my humanity through my tears. Even Jesus wept.

16. Gratitude

-This year I truly felt the love. Thank you for all those supporting Pouring Echoes 🙂

17.Joy

-I do not think I understood what joy was until this year. Now I know.

18.Adventure

-Make everything an adventure and you will win at life.

19. All things will work out for good

-If I could go back and change anything from this year I would not. God knew what He was doing. Romans 8:28.

20. + and – of social media

-Be a producer not a consumer.

21. Cooking

-I learned that I could cook myself a freaking great dinner. For all those that knew 21 year old Nick. This is a great accomplishment.

22. Wake up and Praise

-Starting morning off denying oneself and going to God changes the course of the entire day.

23. God’s love in every second

-You can do all things for the glory and love of God. Studying, cooking, working, praying, all can be done for Him. If you do this, everything will fall into place.

 

I love you all. Thank you for 23 great years.

 

 

Why I Am Afraid of Guitars

In my last post I talked about how a single person can change your life for the better.

In just seconds, by a simple word or action, you become filled with hope.

Well, while it is great to hear about the positive consequences of our actions, I believe it is important to recognize the negatives.

I am sure you all can think of a time someone said something to you that you will never forget. Bullied in some way. Even just a few words. Talked down to. Laughed at.

I got one. Let me share it with you.

When I was about 10 years old, I really wanted to play the guitar. It looked freaking awesome. I loved the sound of the strings, and the fact that I could create something. Guitarists were badass. Plus, maybe I could use this skill in the future with the ladies haha.  After a few lessons with different teachers, I found a teacher who seemed really cool. He was always doing awesome riffs when he taught me. I was so excited.

pexels-photo-167446.jpeg

After a few lessons, I started to get the hang of it. Slowly and surely I memorized chords. I knew what strumming meant. My fingers were getting calloused.

Over the course of the year, I took lessons. However, I was also busy being a kid. I loved playing outside with my siblings and cousins. I loved drawing. I was involved at after school programs. So, some days I chose to do something else and not practice.

I vividly remember one day walking into my lesson knowing I had not practiced much at all. I was really nervous about it.

After I made my way through some song, my guitar teacher grabbed my song book. He took his pencil and drew a clown. Implying that this is who I was because I was playing so stupid. All I felt was complete inadequacy.

I brushed it off, but I know it deeply hurt me. Looking back now, I know why I lost my interest in guitar. Looking back now, I know that whenever I try to pick it up again and fail I immediately quit. Subconsciously, I associate the instrument with being inadequate.

That single action, from a person I admired, snatched my hope.

So, what are we to do with these moments? Moments that have caused us pain and developed in us an unnecessary fear response?

  1. We must reflect on them in order to recognize them.
  2. We must conquer them.

Over the last few weeks, I have been playing the ukulele. This summer I am going to dust off my guitar.

Inside me, there is a lot of fear and doubt.

Doubt that I don’t really even like playing it.

But, that is the biggest of all the lies.

We are so gifted at making up reasons to not succeed, to not initiate change, to not try.

In order to conquer your past, you must refuse.

Yes, utterly refuse. 

To listen to your flesh’s desire for inaction.

Act. Act now. Face your past. Face your future. Be uncomfortable. Feel the mental burn.

Reflect on why you do the things you do, and why you don’t do the things you don’t do.

 

Together, we will use the difficult moments of the past to create a stronger world.

 

So, go on. Play your music. Let the whole world hear your sound.

pexels-photo-316163.jpeg

A Poem About Taking Action

 

get off the treadmill

we complain that nothing

is changing

yet, we won’t get off the

treadmill.

we will go nowhere

if we stay comfy

running at a set pace

on a safe path we already know.

 

Follow my instragram account @n.j.bellacicco for more poetry.

My book “Pouring Echoes” can be found on Amazon and BarnesandNoble!

Pouring Echoes! My Poetry Book Link 🙂

 

To my readers, sorry I’ve been pretty distant. School has been tough and I’ve been working a lot on my new poetry book which will be centered around the theme of mental illness.