What’s the difference between making it happen and allowing it to happen?
Pragmatically speaking, making it happen is action based. Using your will and desire, you choose to do…possibly against all odds. Determination overcomes obstacles. In the end, you feel victorious or defeated…depending on the outcome.
Yet even in victory, you might feel…empty. You might feel like something is missing.
When you allow it to happen, you align with universal forces: those grand, unseen forces, which have the power to arrange unlimited resources and cooperative components.
When you allow it to happen, your choices matter less. Choosing is still significant, but the choice is less so. That is because you take yourself with you either way. Align with the path chosen and it’ll work out…regardless.
Knowing the difference between making it happen and allowing it to happen is only the beginning. Old habits die hard, but I am learning.
Some time ago, I had mentioned the effect Mars station retrograde had on me. Life slowed to a crawl around me. I watched project after project suddenly stall and delay. Forward motion noticeably waned.
About a week before Mars stationed direct, all of that changed. Anchors raised and forward progress picked up once again. I have acquired quite a bit of speed since then. My days now fly by quickly. Each night, I crawl into bed feeling that mostly-satisfying exhaustion.
Abraham tells us that when you align first, the action feels inspired (driven from within) rather than motivated (pushed from behind). Given enough alignment, your desire to act becomes so great, it is hard not to act. I can attest to this.
Alignment also creates flow…another word for momentum.
Motivation is like pushing a crate up hill. The friction of the road resists your efforts. As soon as you stop pushing, you stop moving the crate.
Alignment puts wheels under the cart and levels the hill. Now it takes less effort to move the crate. Furthermore, when you rest some, the crate continues to roll on its own. Cooperative components appear out of no where to assist. You can even climb up on the crate and let it carry you forward!
2016 is half over, and it has already been a year that has taught me so much. This week alone has been a prime example.
Months ago, my greatest desire was momentum. Shifting from boredom to interest, from anxiety to excitement, was challenging. It was like turning a ship on the sea. My momentum in one direction was established. I had to slow it down, turn, and then overcome the inertia once more. The old current was strong, but so was my guidance. “Allow,” echoed in my mind…as did, “Ease.”
A potential project peaked into my awareness. My first reaction to it was fear—so strong, it approached panic. Nothing needed to happen yet, so I calmed myself again and again. “Allow it to show itself in time, and see what it has to offer,” I told myself.
When the project did present itself for real, I was ready for it. I took advantage of every day I had in between to prepare myself, calm myself, and build trust and excitement. The project was desired for sure, but the fear of failure or overwhelment loomed.
When I started working on the project, I jumped in with both feet. Yes, there was anxiety there, but mostly the good kind. I was anxious to get started each day and each day I made visible progress. As I solved problems, my confidence grew.
Even with the good kind of anxiety, it can be too much. My pace was not sustainable. It would have been years ago, but not now. This weekend showed me that I needed to slow myself down and rest more…not just physically, but also emotionally.
When you want something badly, it is easy to fall into that old habit of pushing the river. Luckily, I caught myself. Well, honestly, my body figured it out first.
Being too tired to work, I found myself looking for something else to do. In that moment, I felt that old, familiar, “Now what?”
“Now what?” is an indication that something is missing. The thing that is missing is alignment. Alignment feels good. Alignment trusts, and is as happy relaxing as working. I got caught up in the doing and forgot some of my practice.
And then I was reminded.
Lying in bed, not tired enough to sleep, but not wanting to do anything in particular, I decided to listen to music—songs I hadn’t heard in a while. One in particular brought me back almost two years. It brought back the feeling of magic I had when I first fell in love with it.
And in that moment, I wished for that magic again.
The funny thing is this: back then, I wished for all that is happening now. And now, with a flurry of activity around me, I am wishing for the feeling of back then.
When I loved and listened to that song, I was in alignment. I didn’t have the physical manifestations I sought, but I had the alignment. My practiced alignment then allowed the manifestations to flow in. I am swimming in them now. The momentum is evident.
And yet, even within the activity, I slipped out of alignment a bit. I started pushing, rather than flowing. I starting trying to make it happen, rather than allow it to happen. I’ve been too much in the future, and not enough in the present.
A quick fix is to focus on appreciating what is, which is actually quite easy. I am happy right here. I am happy with my day to day. I am happy with the changes that loom. I am happy with the momentum.
When I look too far ahead, I see the end of this project, and some less interesting work to do. When I look too far ahead, I feel fear and anxiety. When I look too far ahead, I question my success. When I look past the end of this project, I wonder, “What will I do then? What do I want to do next? Do I want to do more of this?” All of these questions bring with them a bit of anxiety.
But here? Now? None of that exists. Here and now is working out well. Here and now feels good. What’s just ahead is exciting. I am excited…and anticipatory…and interested…and engaged…and have plenty of time to do what needs to be done.
Many questions still exist around my work that I don’t yet know the answer to. But I do know what I like and I do know what feels good.
The specifics don’t matter that much. The Universe knows. And now I know better than before.
The New Moon in Gemini occurred on June 4 at 10 pm CDT. This nearly coincided with the opposition of Saturn (Sun opposite Saturn). The New Moon chart shows even more. In fact a grand mutable cross occurred at that time [http://planetwatcher.com/#1465095600]:
In my opinion, the New Moon sets the stage for the lunar month ahead or at least the two weeks between it and the Full Moon. Grand crosses are maximally tense and challenging, being comprised of squares all the way around. This one consisted of 8 squares and 4 oppositions, if you considered all of the orbs. Furthermore, the lunar nodes (also known as the nodes of fate) were only a few degrees off of the cross. If you factor them in, then you have 6 more aspects!
The Full Moon will occur on June 20 at 6 am CDT. That chart is no less significant. The Sun and Moon oppose within the final arc minutes of Spring [http://planetwatcher.com/#1466420400]:
A few weeks ago, I was working with my spiritual mentor. I mentioned to her about a limiting belief I had unraveled. I said to her, “I often feel as if the only way to attain freedom is to be alone, (to be by oneself, to work as an individual, to be autonomous and independent).”
Later in the discussion, she started talking about safety. It was as if she misheard me. She then looked at her notes to read what I had said earlier and caught herself. She looked up at me with an insightful stare and said, “You say freedom, but I wonder if you really mean safety.”
Freedom and safety (security) go hand in hand. We, as a society, have amassed armies for those two reasons.
In my mind, Astrology, even if never applied to individuals, is immensely insightful. The arrangement of the Zodiac and the archetypes within it teach us over and over again.
For example, the Aries points (0o Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) are consider to contain additional significance. They do, after all, mark the beginning of each season.
As I mentioned above, the Full Moon occurs with the Sun and Moon less than ½ degree from two of Aries points. When I was thinking about the relationship between freedom and safety, one of the Aires points came to mind, namely the cusp between Gemini and Cancer.
In a normalized chart, which has 0o Aries as the ascendant, 0o Cancer falls on the IC, the bottom of the chart. It thus is the cusp between the 3rd and 4th houses. In my opinion, no archetype symbolizes freedom more than Gemini (which is mutable air). And none better represents safety and security than Cancer and the 4th house (security and the home).
But there is an oxymoron between the two. Complete freedom requires letting go of safety and complete safety means letting go of freedom. Consider the choices parents make all of the time. To protect their children (and keep them safe), they limit their child’s freedom. Our society does the same. Laws are created to protect us, but they simultaneously limit our freedom. [Our headlines are filled with heated examples of this debate!]
So, as a society, we finance a military to protect our freedom and keep us safe, and yet those things that increase our safety, limit our freedom and vise versa.
Is this an unsolvable dilemma?
Actually no, because true safety does not require protection. True safety is a state of being, a perspective, a mindset. It may be hard to adopt that mindset all of the time while living on this planet, but the archetypal mindset does exist. According to Abraham: it is law.
You are free to think whatever you choose, which means you are free to feel whatever you choose. Therefore, you can feel completely safe regardless of circumstance. Focusing on safety creates safety. In this way, freedom creates safety; it doesn’t limit it.
I was born with a number of planets in Gemini. All of them have progressed into Cancer at this stage of my life. I am embodying the above dilemma. As I work through this, I continually remind myself that: I am free…and…I am safe…simultaneously. It is not a trade off.
One last tidbit I think is worth mentioning describes something else I recently noticed.
At times, I have found myself saying (with strong frustration), “It should not be this way.” Once I get there, I get stuck. I can’t seem to see past it. “It should not be this way,” I think again and again. Frustration builds and approaches anger…or panic. Because I get fixated on the very thing I strongly dislike, I feel bad and simultaneously cannot find a solution or a way out. In that moment, I feel most unfree and most unsafe.
Noticing that something ought to change is fine, but by making the above statement my repeated mantra, I entangle myself with it energetically.
My practice of late, however, has been paying off. I now catch myself in the early stages. When I say, “It shouldn’t be this way,” I quickly remind myself that I do know what I prefer, and that it is on its way. I then focus on anything that is going well in my life, which begins to move me back into alignment. Alignment then allows my preferences to be experienced.
I cannot make the world a safe place for everyone. I cannot give anyone the freedom I know they innately have. But I can exercise focus to continually know what I prefer. Simultaneous freedom and safety IS available, and the world does not need to change for me to experience that.
In response to my last post, a reader sent me an email. She shared that she has the same struggle I described and then asked:
“How do you conjure desired feelings at will?”
That is precisely the question. When we figure that out, we are set. While I don’t have a complete answer to this, I do have more to share.
Abraham says, “Ask and it is given.” If we reach for a feeling directly, we are asking. Even if we cannot conjure up the feeling at that moment, any attempt to do so is an asking.
Abraham also says that the vibration of an answer is not the same as the asking. We ask, but must allow ourselves to be guided to the answer from there. That’s why we don’t want to work hard at it. The harder we try, the more we create momentum in the asking. What we really want is momentum in the movement toward the answer (and thus away from the asking).
Playing around some, this is what I have so far experienced:
I have been wanting to feel excitement again, so I have been reaching for it. At times, I sit and try and remember what excitement feels like. I most want to feel excited when I am feeling the opposite: bored or anxious.
It is not often that I can move myself to excitement in this way, though I have been able to nearly touch it at times. [For example, right now I’m on the precipice of excitement and can reach out and touch it.]
Some time later, when I’m not trying to do anything, something in life can bring me to excitement. Maybe it’s through humor. Maybe it’s through observing something that intrigues me. The key is that once I notice the feeling of excitement, I then focus on it.
Abraham encourages us to “milk good feelings” when they show up. They do show up. By focusing on them when they do, we add momentum. They might flee us again shortly after, but they will return.
Another approach I am practicing is this:
In the past, I considered myself a realist. I wore it with pride. I thought it was a good thing. I now understand that realists and being a realist hold us back. When someone shares a lofty dream, a realist shoots it down. “Be realistic,” they say. “That can’t be done.”
I now remind myself often to let that go. In response to my desires, or anyone else’s, I now say to myself, “Just because you don’t know how to do it, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.” A current project of mine is helping me practice this…big time.
Our job is not to figure out how. The Universe will guide us there…step by step.
If you want to be able to conjure up feelings at will, as I do, start by identifying the feelings desired. The Universe already knows what they are, but reminding yourself and thinking about what you desire, helps you move toward it. It also helps you consciously notice the feeling when it is near. For example, if you desire excitement (like me), noticing excitement (in others) is beneficial.
And a huge part of this is to let go of noticing the current less desired feeling. I sometimes catch myself saying, “I feel tired. I don’t feel so good. I don’t know what to do. I have a headache.” It’s a bad habit to continue to tell yourself what you are feeling, when it is not where you want to be. That’s why we want to spend more time thinking about desired feelings, even if we can’t quite get to them yet.
From my apartment, I can hear children playing in the pool below. When I do, I acknowledge it. It is happening right now as I write this. I am focused on my work (and enjoying it), and I hear children having fun at the same time. Often, I take breaks and go to the window to watch people enjoying the pool below.
Watching people have fun can cause us to ask more. We might at first feel separated from them, and alone. But with focus, we can shift our perspective. We can stop comparing what we feel to what they feel, and just focus on the fun…on the excitement.
Just because you don’t know how to get there, doesn’t mean you can’t get there. The only thing you ever need to know right now, is the next step to take toward your desires. That’s it.
I hope this helps. And don’t hesitate to send me comments or questions!
P.S. I just happened upon this 2:40 minute Abraham video, which is SO worth watching!!
[This post has links to a number of interesting sites. Be sure to check them out!]
As a Gemini, which is an air sign, I have often sought understanding as a means to feel better. When my emotions are down, I question why. I ask myself what is bothering me and why it bothers me.
This year, with added focus on, let’s say, the Abraham-Hicks approach, my questioning has changed slightly. Abraham says: when you experience negative emotion, your human mind is thinking something contrary to your Higher Self. Instead of asking why something bothers me, I try and discern the perspective of my Higher Self.
Paul & the Communion of Light, as channeled by Frank Butterfield, often say, “Follow the thought that feels better,” or, “Find a thought that feels better.” They also say, “Think a thought that feels better in the thinking…”
[By the way, Frank just published his first Mystery novel within a series. It is called The Unexpected Heiress, which I read and thoroughly enjoyed. It takes place in San Francisco in 1953 and is a fun ride!]
These approaches help. If you catch yourself ranting and raving about some subject or another, consciously move away from the rant and find something more appealing to think about. You can even find a more pleasant perspective on the same subject, which is optimally beneficial to you.
However, sometimes I feel negative emotion without a rant playing in my mind. In fact, when I search my thoughts, I don’t find anything concrete. Clearly, there is something going on, but it is a bit below my conscious perception. So now what?
Before I go on, I want to take a quick Astrology segue. Feel free to skip over it if you like.
I was born with Mercury in Gemini about 7 degrees ahead of my sun. In the days that followed my birth, Mercury reached further and farther ahead of the sun until it stationed retrograde at 2o Cancer. It then moved backward—into Gemini once more and to an earlier degree than I was born with. After three plus weeks of retrograde, it stationed direct and retraced its steps, crossing the degree when I was born a third time, and eventually into Cancer once again.
All of this is significant as it shows up in my Progressed chart. When I began studying Astrology more closely, my Progressed Mercury was nearing its return to the same degree as my Natal Mercury. It has since passed that point (in 2013) and only this year has ingressed Cancer.
When I noticed that the ingress was imminent, I questioned how it would affect me. I wondered what it would feel like. I am well aware of my Gemini Mercury. I think all the time….about all sorts of things. I am constantly looking to understand why things are the way the are and how to make them better. In my Natal chart, the cusp of my second house (my value system) is Virgo. I value Mercurial improvement—seeing the details and then improving them.
This week, I think I finally figured something out.
Two nights ago, I was sitting on the roof deck after sunset. The crescent moon hung conspicuously to the southwest. The afterglow of daylight cradled the horizon. Further up in the southern sky, Jupiter shined brightly, and toward the southeast was Mars—nearly as bright, but noticeably red. The city skyline became more beautiful as the city lights grew brighter against the darkening background. The temperature was ideal.
The scene, in my opinion, couldn’t have been better. In fact, I thought to myself, “There is no where on earth I would rather be.” I was as physically comfortable as I could be…and I couldn’t think of a scene that would be better. Furthermore, I was home—not on my own balcony, but within the building I reside.
Even with all of the above going on around me and within me, I felt anxious.
How, pray tell, can that occur? I was consciously appreciating the scene and thinking how there was nowhere I preferred to be, yet still I was tense—not fretting exact, but not fully relaxed.
As I sought a better feeling thought, I recalled my training as a Reconnective Healing practitioner. The Reconnective Healing frequencies are not something you conjure up via thought or invocation. You don’t ask them to come. You don’t visualize symbols. You don’t pray. You simply notice them.
When I describe this to others, I say it is like hearing a song in the distance, which is too faint to recognize. Imagine a friend saying to you, “I love this song,” which then causes you to focus. You listen more intently…and then catch it. Once you identify the song, you begin to hear it clearly. Your mind compensates and it is as if your hearing has improved one hundred fold.
Reconnective Healing works the same way. Your focus allows to you notice it clearly. When you stop focusing, it seemingly goes away.
To feel better, I decided to try focusing on the Reconnective Healing frequencies. I hadn’t done this in a while, so they didn’t show up as strongly as I’ve felt years past. But I did feel them. I then had an idea. I decided to take the same approach with emotion. I can feel the healing frequencies, but it is a sensation, not an emotion. Would the same technique work with an emotion?
I reached for ease…and found ease. Before I knew it, all of the anxiety was gone. I reached further, but then relented. Ease was all I needed, and so I stayed there. Ease allowed me to better enjoy the amazing scene before me.
The next morning, I spotted this posted on the Abraham-Hicks Facebook Page:
I now understand it better. I now understand what my Mercury progressing through Cancer is here to show me…to teach me…to entice my focus. I now want to learn to tune my emotions directly.
In my life, I have spent far too much energy seeking B to gain A. It is now time to go for A directly.
Right now, or when you have some time, try this exercise:
- Think about what you want. Find two or three examples that really stand out—where your desire is burning. Write them down.
- For one of the above (or all of them), then write down why you want it—in other words, what you hope to gain or experience as a result of the manifested desire.
- Iterate over #2 to see where it goes. Dive deeper. For each answer to why, ask why again.
- Eventually, you should reach a feeling word. If you don’t, see if you can find the feeling you are seeking from the desired object or experience.
The exercise above can help you figure out what you really want (A) and what experiences (B) you think will get you there.
For example, people often want money because they either a: want to feel more secure, or b: want to stop feeling something negative.
A person may think, “If I win the lottery, I can quit my job; I can buy a better house; I can drive a nicer car; I can hire people to do things for me that I don’t want to do.” However, at the core, this person might most want to feel free.
So money (B) is thus thought to be a means to gain freedom (A). Alternatively, money (B) might be a means to feel secure (A). One might believe having money will lead them to feelings of pride, confidence, power, self-love, self-esteem, worth, acceptance, belonging, autonomy, independence, etc.
In all of these cases, money is B…not A. It is not the core desire, feeling good or feeling better is.
So why is it good to understand the feelings sought? Well, because we can seek them directly. Yes, having a lump sum of money might help you feel secure and more regularly, but it won’t necessarily do that. Furthermore, it is easier to reach a feeling of security than it is to amass enough money to get there. Some very wealthy people still feel insecure, and thus keep seeking more money to fill that abyss.
It was years ago when Spirit first started guiding me to seek A to get A.
I think about this frequently now. When I find myself really wanting something, I ask myself why. As a result, I have stopped seeking B to get A. But what I hadn’t really started doing in earnest was seeking A…at least not directly. Instead of seeking the emotion, I sought thoughts to induce the emotion. When I achieved the emotion, I then sought thoughts to maintain the emotion. This didn’t work so well. The emotion was often difficult to achieve and too difficult to hold.
So now my work is cut out for me. Now I get to pursue emotions directly…not by thinking my way there, but by feeling my way there.
When I first studied Reconnective Healing, I was slow to feel it. Many people around me felt it immediately, but it took me some time. It took focus.
My Mercurial mind wants to fly all over the place. It wants to understand and then express what it has learned…even before it has put that knowledge into practice. This post is exactly that: I am sharing my ideas before I have put them into practice.
Ah, but hopefully, with my Mercury progressing through Cancer, I will gain some of what Cancer is proficient at: feeling.
Cancer is Cardinal Water, it excels at feelings and emotions (feeling and expressing feelings).
Capricorn, the polar opposite of Cancer, is Cardinal Earth. It is the builder because it is proficient at directing the movement of earth, the molding of material, which is an expressing of earth.
Cancer is a builder too. It builds with feelings. Instead of sandcastles, it builds watercastles. Cancers feel what they feel and you’re not going to easily talk them out of it.
I know how to build things (Capricorn). I know how to design things (Gemini). I value improvement (Virgo). I now need and want to learn how to guide, direct, and mold my emotions directly (Cancer).
In my progressed chart, my MC is in late Gemini, which means that most of my tenth house is Cancer, where Mercury, Mars, sun, and Venus reside. My ASC is Virgo and the cusp of my second house is now Scorpio. I’m understanding this a lot better now.
Gemini loves freedom. Cancer loves security. But let me ask you this:
Is there any greater freedom or any greater security than choosing how to feel without a cause?
If you can learn to be happy for no reason, then you will become unconditionally happy.
My dream castle is a fuzzy image, but boy does it feel good!
We’ve all heard the adage about constructing that says: “Build from the ground up.” This is, however, a bit out dated. To build a skyscraper, we first dig. Skyscrapers don’t sit on the surface; their foundations extend many floors below.
Apparently, I am doing the same thing.
When ease is your foundation, it’s easy to fall back on it. You might struggle for a bit, but when you catch yourself and refocus, you easily find ease.
If ease is a little shaky, set it upon peace. Make peace with where you are and then focus on ease. First find peace…then notice ease. Peace creates ease after all.
But what creates peace?
Although I didn’t emphasize it, the answer to this came through last time. Below peace is acceptance.
Making peace with where you are requires acceptance of the current here and now. You don’t have to want it; you don’t have to love it; you merely need to accept it in order to make peace with it.
Acceptance, however, is not just about making peace. This morning, that struck me profoundly:
Acceptance is about receiving!
When you are given a gift, you are free to accept it or refuse it. You can literally accept it into your arms, or you can cross your arms and say no. That goes for everything: gift or not. You can accept job offers, or refuse them. You can accept invitations, or refuse them. You are always free to say, “Thank you,” or respond with, “No, thank you.”
As you make peace with where you are, you begin to accept more of what is. Acceptance is key.
Buy why must we practice acceptance?
Because when we ask, it is given. And when we fail to receive what we ask for experientially, it is simply because we are not accepting! The more we can accept what is, the more we open up to receive. Our language illustrates this beautifully. Acceptance equals receptivity.
Abraham even says this; “Alignment puts you into the receptive mode.” This means that acceptance equals alignment, since both are about receptivity.
The greatest way to accept what is, which is also the most fun, is to accept (to notice and embrace) the gifts of the present. Yes, there may be circumstances at present, which we dislike, which cause us pain, which we desire to change vehemently, but sitting right next to those challenges, are gifts.
- Accept what is.
- Make peace with where you are.
- Know what you want (that you don’t yet have).
- And then focus on everything you love, whether you have it or not.
Felizio, in Journey to the Temple of Ra, taught us that the most important part of finding love, is opening up to receive it before it comes. That goes for everything!
I want to add a quick addendum to my previous post: Peace. Ever since that dream, my mantra has become: “Make peace with where you are.” Whenever I feel anxious or uneasy, I repeat those words to myself…and really think about them.
In doing this, I received further insight.
The New Thought movement has taught us that our greatest power is in the now. When we’re thinking about the past or thinking about the future, we are doing so now. We are taught that the thoughts we entertain right now are what matter. The thoughts we entertain right now are what mold future experience. But that concept right there can be a trap as well.
In a recent moment of unease, I noticed the tightness in my chest, the laboring of my breath, and then I repeated my mantra. Without thinking about it, I asked myself why I felt stressed to begin with. There was nothing happening in that now moment, which should have caused stress. So what was the issue?
I asked the question…and the answer came.
I discovered a very subtle, but pervasive thought (belief) that has been causing me stress and it stems from that teaching above. If my now is molding my future, then my inability to feel good now means I will create more of this.
In other words, I have been giving the present conditions of my life too much power.
So now, my manta has evolved. I still tell myself to make peace with where I am. I then say, “This—the present conditions of my life—doesn’t mean anything. Just because life is the way it is now, does not mean it is stuck this way.”
This, right here and right now, is OK. And, it doesn’t mean anything. I am not settling for mediocrity by accepting what is.
The now is a point of power, but it is also quite fluid. Every now flows quickly and effortlessly into the next moment of now. Really think about that. You don’t have to push it. Every tomorrow comes and becomes today. But we can only experience now.
So make peace with where you are as often as you can. And, don’t give it power over your future, if it happens to not feel that good.
The Universe is so gracious, it continues to throw magical moments, sweet beautiful moments, onto our path regardless of where we are. For me, animals are an example of this. Dogs, cats, birds—I can be stressing out in my mind over one problem or another, enter the elevator, and then there he is: the neighbor dog, smiling and looking at me, wanting nothing more than to enjoy this moment…with me.
The other day, I entered the stairwell in my building. Not two feet in front of me, a barn swallow sat on the railing. I shut the door behind me and she did not move. She just looked at me as I looked at her…and she was beautiful.
I’ve been keeping my eye on the swallows as they fly around my place so joyfully. But I was amazed that this little one just sat there looking at me…in peace.
I later realized that she was a baby that had just learned to fly. She was only a couple of yards from her nest. She and her siblings have been practicing by flying around that area, but no farther.
My focus on that moment brought me another. The next day, while walking on the trail, a blue jay fledgling landed on the ground in front of me. He, too, was just learning to fly.
When I feel a bit stressed, I remember the magic of these moments. Each was a specifically profound now, and even though they have passed, I can think about them with appreciation now…and that feels good.