Keep Your Focus

Photo: Weeds – Square Sepia Photograph Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella – Note: This image has intentional soft focus.

Sometimes weeds are beautiful to look at, other times can grow so much when not cut back they can choke out flowers and other landscape growing around them.

In life, weeds are the distractions and noise that keep us from doing the deep work that we are called to do.

In our spiritual lives, weeds are the things that keep us from God. When you give God the place to speak, He has a lot to say.

All of this to say, that we need weeds in our lives to help us keep our focus, and the fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good ones.

The World Is A Great Gift

Photo: The World Is A Great Gift – weather illuminated clouds above the trees. – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

As I rise up to each passing new day, as with the passing of the clouds, I’m not only thankful for the gift of the beauty of this world, but also thankful to God the giver of this gift.

To fully appreciate this, I think we need to make time for solitude: A state in which you spend time alone, or with God, in thought and free from the input from other minds or interactions (such as listening to the news, podcasts, or reading books).

Because we live in a war torn world shows how we can easily take this world for granted. Solitude, when kept in balance, can keep things in right perspective.

How To Beat The System

Photo: Sunset on the Ranch – Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella

Back in the day when I started to drive a car, the police were in the beginning phase of using radars to detect the speed you were driving. What followed was the radar detectors so that you would know if you were in the vicinity of the radar.

Well, over the years there has been this back and forth of new radars or detectors as the signals kept getting upgraded. So I recall asking my late father at the time what this is all about. He told me not to worry about it .. that the best way to beat the system was to simply drive the speed limit.

This way there is no reason for the radar or the detector, because we are following the laws or the rules. But, there is something in us as humans that is competitive, or something. Today you might compare this to digital communications, and privacy and security with search engines, browsers, and email.

Enter the Vivaldi browser: “In a world where what we read online is being monitored, stored, and sold to advertisers, Vivaldi Feed Reader is a breath of fresh air. Skip the algorithms and create a private news feed of the latest content from your favorite sources.”

Short of the long, We are PAYING, with our data, to use these services. But we still consider them to be free, which makes us very lenient on them when we get poor value.”

The only way it seems to stay out from under the radar is to stay off the platforms as much as possible, at least for now. Privacy and security is not something you should have to pay for on the free internet.

Truth and Transparency

Photo: Truth and Transparency Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

The best way to build trust with others, is to be truthful with transparency.

When we rationalize, or cloud things over because we are afraid how others will respond to us, then are we being true to ourselves?

If we don’t know who we are, then how can we expect to be transparent with others, to trust the person they think we are.

Resolving Conflicts

Light and Wood Monochrome – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella. Sometimes, it is important to seek for grace though the darkness, before we can experience elegance from the Light.

The start of strife is like the opening of a dam;
check a quarrel before it bursts forth!

Proverbs 17:14

The arguer insist on his own way.

A conflict resolver looks for a resolution instead of trying to win an argument.

Love means looking out for the other persons interest.

Unresolved conflicts stand as barriers to unity, whether it be friendships, co-workers, politics, or a marriage, etc.

If we don’t find a way to meet in the middle, we become enemies instead of teammates.

So, stop trying to win an argument, and start trying to understand each other.

Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.

Philippians 2: 3-4

Letting Go To Grow

Photo: Magnificence in the Sky – Square Color Landscape Art Photograph Copyright 2021 Frank J Casella – A magnificent cloud show illuminated by the sunrise, above the silhouetted trees. This image was softened a bit for presentation.

The more we hold on to, the less we give away.

The more we give away, the less we have to hold on to.

Letting go teaches us there is more to life, than just ourselves.

When we give ourselves away, it teaches us how to grow.

The Cure For Feeling Alone

Photo: ‘Remember You Are Precious‘ – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella – “ When you are feeling lonely, when you feel unwanted, when you feel sick and forgotten, remember you are precious to Him.” — Saint (Mother) Teresa of Calcutta

It is normal for all of us to feel lonely at times, and sometimes wonder if life is worth living. To lose site of our gifts and abilities, and purpose.

The good news is there is a cure for this. It is to use the gifts that we are given, to then give back to others. Gifts are meant to be shared.

When you reach out and give, always thinking of others before yourself, a tricky thing happens — that is LOVE – wanting the best for the other person without expecting anything in return.

Whether you are a good listener, a person who provides a service, in the military or first responder to provide for community or country, a parent or teacher to impact lives and minds, making crafts or cooking, touching or hugging, and the many other ways to make a positive difference in the world, you see your value when you thrive on giving.

Author Gary Chapman calls this The Five Love LanguagesWords of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch – whether it’s in a friendship or marriage, work relationships, parenting, or in the community, the idea is to first know and share your love language, then learn to identify and meet others with their love language.

Many times we mostly feel alone when we have an unmet emotional need. When you go out and give to others, this is the best way to find your gifts, abilities, and purpose. …. The best way to find a friend is to be one.