Poetry On Odyssey: Fog Doesn't Stay Forever

Poetry On Odyssey: Fog Doesn't Stay Forever

The fog always rises, and you'll soar when it does.
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through the dense fog

and raging sirens,

you always find the remedy

for my hurtling thoughts.

i thought the haze would take over,

but as we grew with the high-rise

that lustered with the strength

of 6500 stars,

you rose me above

the drowning mist and

cleansed my eyes.

at last, pure visibility.

the beauty below me glowed with resilience.

you rose up in me

more than ever before,

and my soul prepped for take-off.

now i know that

we aren't made to worry,

we are made to soar.


Cover Image Credit: Katherine Sheetz

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Taking Time For Yourself Is Nothing To Feel Guilty About, It's Healthy

Your emotional health should be your utmost priority — and you deserve to be in good emotional health.

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Renowned Sōtō Zen monk Shunryu Suzuki once said that: "We do not exist for the sake of something else. We exist for the sake of ourselves." We've often been told the opposite, however. We've been told that our worth is dependent on what we can do for others and that our existence itself is meant for the advancement of society. There is no place within our culture to truly exist with ourselves. The parts of our culture that claim to value self-love and self-care tend to commodify it in the form of relaxation products and personal development products — albeit helpful at times but mostly meant to addict us without true benefit to our inner selves.

As a young student, I talked with an orthopedic surgeon — a very overworked, ambitious woman — who told me to learn how to make it in the long haul, whether in my personal, interpersonal, or career life. You had to learn to enjoy yourself and find inner peace along the way. Because there would come a time, she said, when I would become guilty to take time for myself and forget what it's like to really enjoy life. Unfortunately, I made it to that point — I worked and worked and worked until I finally burned myself out. That's when I had to make certain changes in my life to understand how I got to that point and where I needed to go from there.

In the midst of our grand ambitions, it's easy to either go all in or all out. Either to give your entire self to a certain end or give nothing at all. I've been very much guilty of ending up on both ends of the spectrum — I would either devote all my time to writing/school or hit a roadblock and give it all up for a while. It felt like the value of my life was predicated on success, whatever that meant, in terms of contributing more and more and achieving more and more. It's never, ever enough, however. No matter what you achieve, there will always be a million more things on your to-do list. Whatever you triumph over, there will always be a million more roadblocks in your path.

The answer for me was to learn how to exist with myself, how to exist with other people, how to exist amidst all the dreams I had for the future, but also in the present moment where all my past dreams had come to fruition. Sometimes I would dive too deep into myself, and lose myself in thought, as noted in Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "Sometimes people use thought to not participate in life." But I learned to participate fully, each moment to moment not necessarily enjoyable, but I find enjoyable moments each day with my friends, dog, boyfriend, and myself alone with a book or a pen.

Oftentimes as a crisis counselor, I am asked the questions: What's the point? Why am I here? What is there to look forward to? It's hard for me to precisely answer that question because, frankly, no one has anyone answer. But here's an answer that I believe in, born of taking time for ourselves: we live to feel the hope for happiness again. We live for the moments of joy, contentment, relaxation, excitement, pleasure, love, happiness, everything. We live to experience and to find each other. We live on because each new moment brings a surprise. There are many, many good moments in the future for all of us, even amongst the bad.

It's impossible to really experience life, however, if we're unable to take time to ourselves. That's one of my greatest fears, actually, that life will pass me by and I won't be able to experience each day as a full and complete miracle. There's something lost when everyone else gains from commodifying all aspects of our lives. Are you going to keep living for everyone else, or will you learn to exist for yourself? Do you owe the world your entire self, or can you take back at least some of yourself right now? Is it selfish to feel happy and not only to suffer?

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