Very Superstitious

Very Superstitious

The silly superstitions we hold so dear.
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This is not about the beloved song by Stevie Wonder. Rather this is about the superstitions that we allow to run our lives. This does not quite include fears; I am talking purely about superstitions that cause us to do very specific things hoping for a specific outcome. None of these superstitions have been proven to be 100 percent factual. Though I cannot lie and say I have not tried to avoid stepping on a crack or I have not thrown salt over my shoulder after it has been spilt, but some of these are more for fun or just to partake in a tradition which I understand is part of the sports superstitions but still, should they run our lives so much?

The main superstition I find that rules our lives too much is the number 13. This has now become a feared number in many people's lives because of the superstition behind it. This huge fear has caused building and hotels to ignore the number all together. There probably was not a 13th floor in the last hotel you stayed in (if it had that many floors). Rather developers choose to skip the number and look somewhat stupid for going from the number 12 straight to 14. This is quite common and so that it is so visible to others that it would be easier to skip a number rather than asking people to get over themselves and stay on a floor that really is just a number. However, with all the superstitions surrounding the number and all the movies referencing the number 13, it has become too hard for people to see past that. I believe if I was given a room on the 13th floor or a room numbered 13 I would be fine since when I stay on the 14th floor of a hotel that skips 13 I have been fine. To me there is no difference.

Another common example of a superstition would just be the rituals that many people do for any sports team, whether they play for them or not. The clothes that we have to wear just to hope that our team wins. The food we have to eat in a specific order; the OCD that we consider sane just for the sake of the game. And yet, our teams do not always win, even with whatever you "have" to do.

Personally, I am (sadly) a Redskins fan. I know not my greatest quality. I, of course, would like to see them win. However, often I would feel that I was jinxing the game myself! On the days when I actually watched the game, the team would lose but on the days when I had not watched the game they would win. I became slightly superstitious about this and felt that maybe I should not watch their games because they will lose. Of course this is not true, eventually I realized that some days when I did not watch the game they would still lost and sometimes when I did watch they actually won.

I find that there are superstitious people all around the world. I feel that many of the athletes in the Olympics have traditions (superstitions) that they must do to have a good game or race. Voodoo magic is not purely American made and the fear of the number 13 has many different origin roots of possibly Loki the 13th guest in Nordic lore and Friday the 13th fear began in medieval times with King Phillip arresting many Knights arrested. I feel that sometimes there is more superstition at times than other in the United States especially when it comes to football season yet I do not feel that we are just playing in humanness of superstitions that have been around longer than us.

Perhaps you put into question how silly your superstition. They are sometimes fun but maybe don't let it ruin your life and the things important to you!

Cover Image Credit: CBC

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Celebrating My Mom: Her Beauty and Strength

Here's to the most inspirational woman in my life.

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In observance of International Women's Day on March 8th, it is of paramount importance that we take a few moments to consciously recognize the women in our lives. We often call the women we adore by casual names like "Mom", "my sister", or "my girlfriend", and, usually, these nouns are intimate enough to replace their names---but not today. Today is for appreciating you, Melanie Daugherty, my mom---not as my mother, but as a human whom I hold with the highest regards.

It is easy for me to recall the innumerable times you've embraced me (even though I considered myself to be a disappointment), forced me to put my qualms into perspective, or insisted I put my aspirations into action (because "can't is too lazy to try") ; but, the magnitude of your accomplishments shouldn't always be measured by its impact on me, however, if it were to be, let it be the times you've inspired me.

Mom, I have always appreciated you, but I truly began to define you as my idol during my sophomore year of high school. During this time, I began experiencing shame in my identity. I was an athletic girl, but suffered from body dysmorphia, as well as a misunderstood and pessimistic perception of my inner thoughts. I became very introspective and was completely fixated on thoughts of worthlessness and lack of purpose. I assumed chronic fatigue was just a characteristic of being a teenager. In me, you recognized a past version of who you once were. I cried to you and you embraced me in your arms. My deteriorating state of mental health was not your burden, and you refused to let me define myself by diagnoses and prescriptions. Recognizing your success and triumph over anorexia and depression motivated me. I was so proud to be your daughter. Knowing that confidence and appreciation for the world was possible to achieve accelerated me into a period of self-reflection and determination. I wanted to trace your template of self-improvement with my footsteps and create a new image of myself---one that would reignite my childhood "spark".

You're not just my hero for saving me, but for giving me someone to admire. You live your life without limitations. Competing in the 140.6 mile Ironman triathlon is an accomplishment in itself, competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii is even more incredible, and completing eight of these triathlons is enough for most people to call you "crazy" rather than by your name. Your greatest demonstration of strength however, was not through athletic prowess, but through mental and emotional perseverance.

Losing your best friend to breast cancer was almost inconceivable because no one ever wants to acknowledge it as a possibility. What people also try to forget, is that it is just as possible for their lives to be taken from them. After learning to cope with your best friend's death, you were diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Watching you grow progressively weaker was enervating in itself. This wasn't a reality I was able to accept as truth, partially because you were my mom, but also because your strength was an aspect of you that I didn't think could ever be taken from you---and I was right.

Although your complexion grew pallid and your body could no longer sustain itself, your mindset remained the same. You would not accept a last breath, and you ensured that every breath you took reiterated that. You demonstrated to me that positivity is the panacea that combats a discouraged mind.

Mom, for you, I am proud. I am grateful to have lost sometimes, because without loss, I wouldn't have been able to realize my strength, and I wouldn't have realized that if you hadn't been my anchor.

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