By The Poet’s List

For our 600th post (whoa!), we just wanted to take a moment to speak to you directly!

We wonder about you every day: how you’re living, what you’re going through, what people are speaking into your life… and what you say to yourself on a daily basis. We wonder because we know it gets lonely out there. We know life can instantly become overwhelming. And we know that poetry is often a refuge for many.

We know that the idea of escapism can be alluring. Similar to drifting away to the melody of a song or burying your head into a good book, poetry offers just that. Not only can a poem be a vacation from reality, but it can be a friend to those who need it. A cheerleader. A therapist. A guide. It can be everything you need to hear at the exact moment you need to hear it. It can be the words you want to say when you don’t know how to say them.

For that reason, we here at The Poet’s List aim to showcase a variety of poems and poets. We hope that, in this selection, you find a poet who speaks to you. We promise that we will never attempt to censor the poets we post.

However, we also aim to serve as an outlet for positivity.

We know that, to the naked eye, the world may not look so positive. Headlines alone appear to threaten both our safety and sanity on a daily basis. Combine that with whatever personal struggles we face, and our task to live positively can seem insurmountable.

But, we are a faith-based site and we want to balance those realities with some personal truths. Help us to spread the love by challenging yourself to see the light–one sliver at a time. Whether your struggle is a personal one, a political one or a community-based one, the first step to combating it is hope.

We hope that in each word you write, each phrase you spit and each finger you snap, you keep the faith and see the light.

Here’s an awesome piece from the Huffington Post on Iyanla Vanzant to get you started:

When hiccups happen in life, your mind can replay disappointments or downfalls in an agonizing loop. Relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant calls the negative message you tell yourself a “story,” and says that painful thoughts can keep you stuck.

During an episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass: The Tour,” Oprah and Iyanla discuss the spiritual solution to stories that have become stumbling blocks. One audience member they help is Steve, a 48-year-old photographer and former drug addict who is trying to rewrite his story now that he’s sober.

When Oprah wants to know how to stop recounting a painful past, Iyanla says there are three spiritual tools to use to spin a new story.

First, you have to “tell the absolute truth about who you are, about what you want,” she says. That means coming to grips with how you cause pain in your own life — and owning that responsibility. Iyanla says that Steve is addicted to telling his negative story.

“State the facts, speak the truth,” says Iyanla — a mantra that can remind you that you don’t have to focus on negative realities, but speak positively about your current situation. She says that once you stop vocalizing the negative thoughts in your mind, “a new [more positive story] will bubble to the surface.”

Second, speak up and say what you want. “Most of us are stuck because we’re accepting what comes along, and we don’t have the chutzpah, the cojones, the nerve, the guts… to ask for what we want,” Iyanla says.

Even if the answer you receive is no, the third step will act as a secret weapon to squash your addiction to your story. “Get a vision,” advises Iyanla. “A vision will pull you out of the story. The vision will pull you forward.”

“Oprah’s Lifeclass” airs on OWN.

Oh, and of course… THANK YOU!!!

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