mindingmybiz

This blog is my shared process in working towards integrating self-awareness with all other aspects of life, while on my way to becoming more authentic and whole.

Archive for the tag “emotions”

Trust Your Anger

Say what?

Yes. I am here to tell you that you can trust your anger. This emotion has been so poorly misunderstood for many folks, including myself. And I understand why. When we don’t understand that our anger is offering us a love-based power, we tend to distrust, fear, resist and/or misdirect it.

I’ve done all the above. Yet the thing is with anger (and all of our “negative” emotions) it doesn’t magically disappear just because we ignore it. Emotions are energy, and according to my high school daughter’s science teacher; energy cannot be destroyed or created, but transferred. Now, whether the act of transferring of energy is conscious or not, that’s where having an empowerment lens regarding emotions comes into play.

What if anger is meant to be a loving and persistent wake up call? A clarion call to expand, first within yourself.

When we keep hitting the ‘snooze’ button on our anger, it doesn’t work out too well for long. Anger is meant to wake you up and the more you try to resist it, the more it will persist even if it means it has to come out sideways. And when our emotions have to come out sideways, there are usually unforeseen and undesirable “side effects”, pun intended.

Common ways anger comes out sideways is by being super judgmental and intolerant of certain differences, while feeling a sense of self-righteousness. It also comes out by being covertly aggressive while feigning this helpless victim/vindictive mode of operation, triangulation, gossip, “isms”, divisiveness, and ultimately consumes a ton of energy to keep anger, on lock-down. Sometimes there is so much energy used up to lock-down anger (which again is energy itself) that people will collapse or implode from basically going to war with their own energy. Depression comes to mind.

I see depression as energy literally used to depress energy; an emotional civil war of sorts that presents in a multitude of self-harming ways in order to release this built up tension from a civil or internal war. There will be success in the sense of temporarily avoiding the anger, but this comes at a huge cost. Consider countries who are engaged in civil wars; burning up valuable resources to fight themselves.

The goal of avoiding anger may be reached by not ever authentically expressing it, but usually this results in ultimately feeling: ISOLATED and drained, while blaming external factors or people, for the internal civil war. That IS depressing.

What if your anger wants to bring you connection, first within. What if anger was a bridge between the gap of who you think you “ought” to be and who you are, authentically?

Anger is an alarm. It’s a wake up call. What is anger waking you up to?

Your TRUE SELF and the power you have in being true to this self.

You may keep hitting snooze on your anger if you fear and judge aspects of yourself, as well as your own sense of personal power. You may believe it’s better to give away your power, and hold someone else responsible for this. Yet when they inevitably disappoint you with your power you’ve given away, you blame them. This keeps you stuck. If this is what you want, don’t change a thing. Don’t look within.

If you want something different, you’ll have to be willing to do something, different.

The way out, is through your anger. Listen to it.

When I’ve tapped into my own anger, this is what I’ve heard it saying: 
Hear Me. See Me. The REAL Me.  Stop giving me away to other people. Stop giving away my Power. Stop abandoning me. I know you can handle me. You can handle my power. I am trustworthy, but I will not shut up. I am not evil. I will not make you “sin”. I do not want to harm you or others. I want to wake you up to something bigger and better, but you are asleep within your comfort zone, fearing the unknown. Fearing the unfamiliar. I am here to provide you with the necessary fuel to trek through uncharted territory and do things that are not within your norm. The norm is boring and lulling you to sleep. I am here to WAKE YOUR LOVELY ASS UP to how parts of you have been indoctrinated with bullshit. Do you want to hold onto bullshit? I am here to wake you up to living a life that you truly mean to live, yet there are limiting subconscious beliefs getting in the way. I’m not afraid to confront bullshit, I can handle it. Trust me, and WAKE UP.”

This is the empowered message of anger. It’s a wake up call to live more consciously and authentically. Ironically, the more you snooze your anger, the more you will distrust it because you are experiencing the side-effects of denied anger, which comes out SIDEWAYS.

And you SHOULD be leery of anger that comes out sideways. It ain’t pretty, it’s quite depressing actually. And yet you can let your anger direct you, back to yourself, one step at a time.

Fragility vs. Sensitivity

I am an emotionally sensitive person.  This is not to be confused with being an emotionally fragile person.  

My emotional sensitivity creates more incentive in cultivating self-awareness versus self-ignorance, because this sensitivity also makes me a more conscientious person who has to rumble with my ethics and guilt, and discern if it is healthy/ethical guilt, or if I’m being guilt-tripped beyond the point where my ethics have authority and I’ve crossed over into someone else’s primary jurisdiction of personal responsibility. Sometimes there are very fine lines, and grey areas of both/and. This is why boundaries are so important for me. It helps channel my attention and energy, which there seems to be more of due to this heightened sensitivity, and with that there needs to be heightened boundaries.

I’m becoming more aware of this innate drive to engage inwardly and do it with compassionate curiosity, because it’s nearly impossible to ignore and escape from due to my sensitive nature.

-Again, notice I said sensitive, not fragile.

An exquisite perceptivity resides within me due to this highly sensitive way of being. In and of itself, this high sensitivity is neither good nor bad – it can be both good and bad, depending on the situation, but alone it is neutral. Subtle or nuanced qualities register on my radar that often go over the heads of others. I sense, discern, and am aware of more, this is what it’s like to be highly sensitive. I have a sensitive radar, and have often been misjudged as being weak or “too sensitive” implying emotional weakness or fragility. But having this inner highly sensitive apparatus doesn’t make me fragile, nor does it make me a mind-reader.

Often, I will sense the presence of certain emotions, and that is where the conscious boundary is practicing being placed, thanks to Professor Pain in the class of Hard Knocks101. I sense an emotion, but can set a boundary with my Storyteller who immediately starts concocting a story about this emotion or the person, which has gotten me into trouble with mistakenly making boundary intrusions on others. I must say though, at times that Storyteller is spot-on or pretty damn close IF I’ve been invited into part of a person’s inner sacred journey before. But even so, this Storyteller is far from infallible, she’s still got human limitations.

Now, I will speak to this “fragility” label, because I’ve often internalized this. Just as there are special devices that can see infrared light which is invisible to the naked eye, this is how it is for me concerning emotions. Devices used to detect infrared light are considered a valuable resource when illumination and awareness of infrared light is valued. The device’s ability to do that isn’t slammed as being “weak” or “fragile. The capacity for emotional sensitivity can serve as a valuable resource for people with this emotional radar as well, when there is receptivity to emotional awareness. It can actually be a very valuable resource, when emotions are valued.

The opportunity available from this capacity is for me to connect more intimately with my emotions, and to the emotions of others. There’s a flip side though – it’s much more challenging to ignore or numb out from what I sense, even when I don’t WANT the awareness. Sometimes these emotions (mine or others) are inside of conscious awareness and sometimes, they are not. I am learning to expand the space in my conscious awareness, for there is where I have more freedom to choose.

This ability to sense subtle stuff does not make me fragile. On the contrary, I have the opportunity to turn towards what I sense or, turn my back on what I sense. I am learning to turn towards these with intention and curiosity, versus reactively invalidating or defending against feeling them, or projecting my own unwanted emotions onto others because they make me uncomfortable.

Emotional sensitivity is not the same as emotional fragility. Emotional fragility is often unconsciously dependent on being unaware and ignorant of an emotional life, for fear that the awareness of emotions will shatter you. 

The operative unspoken rule: “Thou shalt not be emotionally aware.”

Usually with the exception of one emotion (or if you’re super lucky- two, with happy usually as one of those “acceptable emotions”) – all others are rejected or denied because they’re threatening or “too heavy”.

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! [clap clap!] Meanwhile all other emotions are denied.

– And this is emotional fragility.

It’s usually an unconscious transaction that’s passed on from one generation to the next, which invests lots of energy into avoiding or turning your back on emotions (yours and others’) rather than acknowledging or let alone feeling them. It’s not usually a conscious option to connect to them for better self-understanding or empathically understanding others. Emotional fragility makes empathy nearly impossible, and when it is present it’s an extremely rare and limited edition.

Emotional fragility judges emotional sensitivity as a nuisance at best, and as defective at worst, because being exquisitely aware of emotions is threatening and intolerable.  This is generationally passed down until someone says “enough” to emotional fragility and digs into their own inner healing work.

Being sensitive means SENSING emotions, not creating them. It’s being aware and receptive of them as they naturally arise. Digging through emotions is what emotionally sensitive people can value, because burying them requires SO much more work.  Burying over emotions is what emotionally fragile people value, because emotional awareness itself is devalued, at great relational and eventually physical costs. There is a connection between our emotional health and our physical health.

Emotionally avoidant behaviors usually result in accumulating emotions and this accumulation comes with hefty taxes and unwanted side-effects because it’s running away from what ISemotional reality, from the inside out. It’s resistance. And what you resist, persists.

Emotionally fragile people depend on not feeling their discomfort and becoming closed-off and defensive towards anything or anyone who triggers these f-f-f-feeeelings. This doesn’t seem to work against them until the accumulation of emotional debt piles up and start burying them alive. Usually personal relationships, either intimate or in the workplace, start to unravel. The build-up of a denied emotional life creates a tumor that is not benign.

Emotionally sensitive people who have learned to welcome and honor their sensitivity will start to work with their discomfort, becoming openly curious about it when triggered. I’ve also noticed, their “bottoms” tend to be higher than the non-sensitive person’s.

Emotional fragility is often a life lived while walking on eggshells, using more and more bubble wrap around self-awareness, until you can barely function without rigidity and stiffness.  Emotional sensitivity often requires you to live life with resiliency because you can’t live life with bubble wrap around your emotions, so you experience quicker consequences when you don’t take regular emotional self-inventories, but you also experience deeper satisfaction when you do. The lows can be lower, and the highs can be higher.

I am emotionally sensitive and have spent most of my life trying not to be, confusing emotional fragility with strength and fortitude. I’m now seeing through that smokescreen. Emotional fragility is a sort of lackluster of courage and adapting to that lack of courage starts to take its toll. Emotional sensitivity can be cultivated, when you accept the invitation to your emotional world and connect inwardly in a compassionate place, then empathically connect to others. This leads to an authenticity that is built on a kind of inner strength and fortitude that is resilient – not fragile.

Same Old… Same Old…

If you want the same old shit, then do the same old shit.  If not…listen up.

Denial thrives on blame.  Blame thrives on denial.  They work hard together to keep people successfully stuck.

If anyone wants to experience change that’s good for their soul, in any area of their lives, they’ve got to take up ownership in getting themselves closer to where they want to be.

Excuses and blame will never be in short-supply.  If you settle for excuses and blame, you settle for remaining stuck.  You’ve GOT to get passed excuses and blame if you want to avoid being stuck.

Movement.  Change needs movement.

Movement often needs to start with moving your thoughts and beliefs around, in a conscious awakened state.

What is it YOU are after?  Get clear on the “who” before getting clear on the “what”.  Do YOU want this?  Or is this coming from someone else who doesn’t live your life, but believes they know better how you should live your own life?  Big difference, you’re you — they’re not.

Now, after you sort out ownership of the desired change YOU are after, congratulate yourself.  You are stepping into your power by stepping into life ownership.  This may be a small step that nobody other than you will recognize, but it is a big deal.  Huge.  This is where your moxie will come from – life ownership.

Next – Ask yourself this, and wait for the answer from within…

Do you believe you are worth what you’re after?  If you do not, consider the possibility that you are settling for owning shame that is not yours.  Someone from somewhere, has projected their own shit onto you.  This most likely happened when you least expected or suspected it, or you wouldn’t have let it in.  Aka childhood or when someone you looked up to somehow mishandled your vulnerability, and therefore has kept you stuck without you even knowing it.  You’re getting yourself self-awareness, which launches you into self-empowerment.  You can’t change if you don’t have a sense of power.  Self-awareness and self-empowerment are musts in life, underlined with self-compassion.  Breathe.  These are biggies that most people struggle with in different degrees.  Find yourself a good therapist if you need support to sort through this because you ARE worth it.

Back to it, let’s not forget that you are after something good for your soul.

If you long for something to change to the point that it creates enough pain and dissatisfaction in your life without it changing, consider yourself officially: Invited

Invited to step it up in life.  Instead of focusing on things you feel you cannot do, focus on things you can do — today, tomorrow, or within the next few days.

Then – get busy.  Follow through.  If you know you have the tendency, more than not to “forget”, slack off, or trip up with excuses when it comes to delivery time – do yourself a well deserved favor and get yourself some kind of accountability partner.  This will up your chances of following through.  A requirement for accountability to work on your end is having humility and honesty.  Otherwise all bets are off.

If you need something more concrete, make yourself a plan of action in writing.  Even if it’s just one or two steps that are different than what you usually do, that’s enough to start with.  Most people need this concrete plan in the beginning, until there’s enough momentum to perpetuate the change you’re after.  Share it with someone you trust.

When you do follow through, no matter how small – tell somebody who can celebrate and congratulate you.  Recognize that force of pride welling up within you.  You earned that.  Keep doing what got you that feeling – by following through.

You can always re-evaluate your next steps.  You can always adjust, but make sure to keep your eyes on what you’re ultimately after.

Gradual steps for personal change make a difference.  And that is what you want –  a difference.  Change.  For something to change, something has to change.

Be compassionate and gracious with yourself, but be wholeheartedly committed to learning as you go, and keep moving forward.

Believe, conceive, and achieve.

You are worth it.  You really are.

I Don’t Wanna Cry

crybaby“Now, O women, hear the word of the Lord;
open your ears to the words of his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament.  Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares.”
– Jeremiah 9:20-21

We -women, are instructed specifically to teach our daughters how to wail?  What?  -Not just to cook, clean, do laundry and make beds?   -Nope, to wail and lament; to be emotional. 

Where there is brokenness, where there is death that cuts off life…what are we to do?  Be silent?  Go bake a cake?  -Nope.  Teach our daughters how to wail and lament.  Is wailing feminine?  Are wailing women attractive though?  What will the men think?  It might repel the men who want nothing to do with a woman who expresses her emotions so openly!  Only crying that’s under restraint sounds somewhat acceptable, in much of our American culture.  I’ve had a low tolerance level for other people’s emotions being expressed, over and above what I’m individually comfortable with expressing myself.  Wailing isn’t common or well-accepted in American society, outside of having entertainment value, at least in my experience and observation.

What’s an effective way to teach our daughters (or children) anything?  – Openly role modeling it.  Allowing them backstage passes behind the curtain, and into our hearts by giving them access to see grief being safely (not beautifully) expressed in real life, by doing it yourself.

My initial reaction is of judgment and fear.  -It’s unsafe!  -People need to control themselves!

I’ve believed that emotions are not something to outwardly be welcomed, they are something to be tamed.  There’s some truth to that.  Emotions do need to be tamed.

But the emotions needing to be tamed are usually needing to be tamed because they’ve been repressed, denied or stuffed so much that they’re about to start boiling over.  

Mama’s can cry in front of their daughters.  Really, it’s OK.  When it comes to strong emotions; feel and deal.  Don’t stuff, to look tough.  Women of character are not women who lack emotional expression.  Women of character; godly character – can wail –per God.

Most of us women that do not allow ourselves to grieve, but instead repress were probably shown that by our own mothers in how they coped with the hard stuff in life.  And they from their mothers, and theirs, and so on and so forth….and it can be traced all the way back to Eve.  Poor Eve, she still gets blamed for stuff…

Jesus wailed.  Jesus lamented, openly.  I’ve heard in sermons before that he cried so loudly, people who weren’t nearby could hear him when Lazarus died.  The presence of strong emotions being expressed, especially of fear, anger and sadness make many of us Americans feel uneasy.  What’s up with that?  My suspicion is that it’s a result of a toxic partnership between two odorless contaminants: fear and shame.  Jesus didn’t allow fear or shame to steer him or else we’d be in a LOT of trouble…

“Jesus wept.” -John 11:35
“Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.”  -John 11:38

“A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”  -Luke 6:40

Wail and lament when there is brokenness…

Do not repress pain to cover it up using a deceptive mask in an attempt to maintain the facade that we are strong by hiding our emotions.  The worst thing to do is hide my pain from myself.  That is not self-control, it is denial that’s locked in fear and toxic shame.

Take time out, to wail and lament…p.r.n.

Dancing in the Storm of Anger

When-going-gets-tough_painting

There is no contract between me and life that says:

“If you do everything the “right” way, life will go your way.  If it doesn’t go your way, you will be entitled to a settlement which requires life to compensate for it.”

Life. Isn’t. Fair.

Life carries challenges.

Life gives us hard stuff and easy stuff.

I can do everything “right” and the shit can still hit the fan.

As a mother, I am equipping my children to handle all of life’s ups and downs by allowing them to experience the reality of life, with all the good, bad and the ugly.  I will do my best to protect them from pain that I can keep away and teach them to keep away from, but I cannot keep all pain away.  Life has pain, it also has pleasure though.

Shielding my children from all pain is shielding my children from learning important life-lessons.  My best bet is to help them build a tolerance level for pain through teaching and modeling to them how to cope with it. I can provide modeling to my children with how I myself feel pain through grieving, and trusting my body and my God to guide the process in ways that don’t involve harming myself and/or others as part of this process.

Just like me, my children GET to feel angry at whomever or whatever they feel angry at.  But just like me, they don’t GET to express their anger beyond the limits of honoring their own dignity and the dignity of others, at least not without expecting it to be intervened upon through corrective action by me or others.

I want to teach, model and affirm these core-beliefs surrounding anger to serve as a guide in their relationship with anger:

You can learn through practice, to dance with your anger without being struck or stuck by its powerful presence.

  • You CAN feel angry while NOT harming the person you feel angry towards.
  • Anger doesn’t travel solo, there are hidden emotions underneath it, search for them with God’s help.
  • If you think that expressing the emotion of anger only helps you be in control, you will be held hostage by anger.
  • Being angry doesn’t mean being mean.
  • Anger comes in all different shapes and sizes.  Notice when it keeps you from being fully available in your closest relationships, because the more it’s disguised, the more it goes unchecked. The more it goes unchecked, the more the distance will be between you and your loved-one.  Be self-aware or risk being self-deceived.
  • Anger is a normal human emotion.  It is more harmful to resist feeling it, then to allow yourself to feel it.
  • You are not responsible for controlling other people’s anger for them.  Whenever you either volunteer or accept that role, expect disappointment and resentment.
  • Do not hold other people responsible for controlling your anger for you, when you do, expect disappointment and resentment.
  • Expressing big and intense emotions of anger does not mean someone needs to be harmed by them.
  • Others may feel uncomfortable in their own skin while you’re appropriately discharging anger (without harming yourself or others as part of the process), and that is OK.
  • How other people feel in their own skin while you appropriately express your anger has nothing to do with you, but them.
  • Appropriately expressing anger that does not harm self or others is not culturally “normal”, it is hazardous only to the ego or false-self.
  • Whenever possible, express it with those whom you trust and feel emotionally safe with.
  • If you do not feel this is possible with any of the people you are in relationship with, re-evaluate the health of your relationships..healthy relationships can contain anger without being extinguished by it.

Living well involves learning to dance in the storm of anger.  You CAN dance with it and learn to not be overcome or imprisoned by it.  Practice makes progress, and practicing this will serve you well in life.

 

Re-purposing Feelings

repurposed bathtub

In recovery, I learn that I am the one who is responsible for my feelings.  This used to sound like bad news, but I’m starting to see it’s not.  On the contrary, it’s empowering and freeing because it detaches the shame which has disabled me from taking responsibility for my feelings because shame freezes me and restricts growth and healing.

Taking ownership of my feelings becomes non-threatening when I can detach blame from it because blame does not fly solo, it has a co-pilot named Shame.  Shame is silent, not violent so is easily undetected, but it’s life-threatening to recovery because it distorts my self-image and my self-image guides my thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

I believe my true-self is inherently good, per the God of my understanding.  I can say this while also acknowledging the presence of brokenness and loss due to injuries I’ve sustained and inflicted upon others.  I can acknowledge that I am inherently good AND  acknowledge that I am both a giver and receiver of real pain and loss.

Taking up responsibility for my feelings is not tantamount to taking the blame for my feelings.  Articulating this is vital for my own healing and growth from having enmeshed boundaries with others when it comes to feelings.  The enmeshed boundaries stem from enmeshment between blame and responsibility.  When it comes to taking responsibility for my feelings, I first need to remove blame from having the feelings.

Blame entails assigning responsibility for wrong or fault.  Feelings are not on trial, they can be examined without trying to find fault.  Feelings are neutral.  They are neither “right” nor “wrong”.   In my recovery, I learn through practicing with others how to unmask and identify my feelings that are often disguised through anger or judgment due to lack of self-awareness.  The feelings I feel inside get revealed when I do not feel like I am on trial for having the feelings.  When I sense that the validity of my feelings will be put on trial by others, my feelings will put on their masks.  Their favorite masks seem to be rage and judgmentalism to deflect the shame onto others.

My most intense feelings are like emissaries sent on behalf of my subconscious-self (the parts of my inner life that get tucked away from consciousness in order to cope, not to heal).  In holding into the conscious belief (faith) that my true-self is inherently good, I hold onto another belief (through faith) that intentionally envisions my mind, body and spirit working together in their own unique ways to move me towards health, wholeness and harmony, and preserving that state.

For this reason, feelings serve an extremely vital role:  achieving and preserving homeostasis within an environment of motion.

When I do not allow my feelings to serve in that vital role, I will become at high-risk for tolerating and even seeking out interactions with others and myself, where I am mistreated and exploited, often with my cooperation.

Maintaining self-care includes feeling my feelings and paying attention to the messages they bring from deep within.  The messages about my own self-image which my feelings bring to my awareness can be corrected and assessed, but feeling the feelings cannot be bypassed in this process no more than exhaling can be bypassed in order to remove carbon dioxide from within my lungs.

The messages feelings bring are often felt through sensations within my body.  It isn’t just information in the form of words that need to be processed for me to feel my feelings – that is bypassing feeling my feelings and thinking my feelings, it’s skipping over a natural process that needs to take place – feeling my feelings.  That is what my experience is teaching me.  I’m learning when I feel the feelings, I am not needing to only talk or think about the feelings, but to feel them IN MY BODY.

This is a new and welcomed practice to me.  I believe it is divinely inspired, God is healing me up within a loving community of others who are trusting Him with the process for themselves as well.

Aloe Vera Transplant

ImageImageImage

 

These photos are symbolic of life…

I got an aloe vera plant, which has potential to produce abundant benefits to others.

On the top page, my new aloe vera plant is well established in the small potting plant which was sufficient to get it started, but it is now constraining the plant and cannot allow it to keep growing. If it is not moved to a larger pot, its roots cannot spread out, it will stop growing at best, and at worse die.  This isn’t because its a defective plant, or a defective pot – rather its an ineffective combination given the limits and needs of each other, and their intended purposes.

I need to transfer the aloe vera plant into a larger pot to support its growth so it can be more beneficial to me and others.  The plant must be regularly well cared for, but even if its well watered and kept in sufficient sunlight, it needs to be rooted in an environment that is conducive to its own natural process of growth.

Be kind to your roots, even though the roots are invisible and remain under dirt, they are everything to the plant.

Where can you find a parallel to this in your own life?

Gonna Hear Me Roar

kitty gonna roar

To anyone who wants to listen, listen up…

I am currently listening to blasting  Roar by Katy Perry.

This is so therapeutic for me.

First, I gotta address the haters in my head….the constant critics..

They say, “Why are you blogging as if you’re writing in a private journal entry, but in public?  Don’t air your dirty laundry out in public.  Do it in private, please.”

My response:  I gotta take a shit.

If you’ve been holding in your bowels for years on end and you’re about to burst, you just do it.  My figurative bowels consist of conforming (out of fear) to the majority within my closest psycho-social environment, while constipating anything that poses a possible threat to this goal of conformity, even when it is within my own head.

I’m welcoming a developing condition of enmity to conformity within my psycho-social environments and I need to do it loud and proud.  If not, I am at risk of shrinking back to my previously conditioned default of fear-driven conformity, which is extremely likely the stem of many of my past “mental/mood disorders” and even physical ailments, such as my over-a-decade battle against the voice disorder, MTD (Muscle Tension Dysphonia).

Therefore – an essential part of my own recovery is being out LOUD about it.  Privacy and secrecy are all fine and dandy and serve their legitimate purposes and I will confine myself to those purposes when I determine they serve my recovery best, but I believe they can also be overrated when it comes to healing from shame and fear.

My hope is that me finding my true voice and authentic-self – out LOUD, and lovingly wooing her out of the darkness of shame and fear will provide inspiration, hope and permission for others to embark on the same courageous life-long journey in their own territory.  It’s an uphill battle, and I cannot do it alone, but I alone have got to take the steps to do this.

Peace.

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