“Inspiration Without Action is Merely Entertainment!”

Such are the words of my mentor, Mary Morrissey, and they are true. Great ideas are stopped dead in their tracks unless someone has the courage and the persistence to pursue them. 

There are all sorts of reasons that we don’t take action. The main one is fear. Maybe we don’t think we are capable of doing what needs to be done. Perhaps we believe it when others say “it can’t be done.” We are inspired, we plant the seed of the idea in our mind, but then we pull it up before it has any time to take root in our life. We believe more in our limitations than we do in our inspirations. The truth is that we all experience fear. No one has ever succeeded at something new without experiencing fear. The key is to overcome that fear and turn it into a stepping stone. 

Okay, so you’ve decided for something and then fear comes along and rears its ugly head. What do you do?  You look right at it and say, “I know what you are!” Then tell yourself, “There is something in me that’s greater than this fear and I can move past it.”  

Fear is actually the border of the reality that we know. Imagine that you are driving your car at night, traveling down a road that you’ve never been on before. The headlights allow you to see a certain distance, but beyond their range, you don’t really know what’s out there in the distance. But as you continue to move down the road, more and more is revealed to you. The headlights illuminate what is known and continue illuminating more and more unless you stop in fear of something you can’t see from your current position. As long as the headlights stay on, you can continue moving ahead with confidence. It’s only by moving ahead that you can reveal more of what lies ahead!

A strategy to deal with fear, therefore, is to keep moving toward your goal one step at a time. We turn our fear into faith. There’s a story about a young Native American man who goes to his chief because it is time for him to go out on his vision quest and he is frightened. He has to leave the village and go out into strange surroundings where there could be bears and other wild animals that could attack him. He admits to the chief that he is afraid, saying, “I want to do the vision quest, but it’s like there are two dogs inside me fighting. One who says I can and one who says I can’t. And they are fighting and fighting and I am frightened and confused. What should I do?”

It’s only by moving ahead that you can reveal more of what lies ahead!

The chief very gently puts his hand on the young brave’s shoulder. He looks him in the eye and says, “The one who says you can will win.”  The boy responds, “How do you know that?” The chief replies, “Because that is the one you will feed. One you feed and one you starve.”

So, how do you feed your faith and starve your fear? You do it by directing your attention towards what you want to feed. That attention will magnify it and strengthen it. 

Fear is our companion through life, whether we like it or not. We control it by not giving it our attention. The Law of Attraction tells us that thoughts held in mind reproduce after their kind. On a farm, the seeds we plant will yield the fruit of that seed. Apple seeds will bear apples. Pear seeds bear pears. Corn seeds bear corn. In the same way “fear seeds” will bear fear that will result in constriction and containment. You need to deal with fear, but only because in order to move forward, you need to take the next step in that direction and not stop dead in your tracks. 

I heartily welcome your comments and questions!

 

 

Declaring Our Intentions

Okay, be honest!  How do you like the “New Years Resolutions” phrase? Do you shun the idea because your resolutions haven’t stuck in the past? Do you welcome the symbol of another chance to begin again and really make the changes you’ve been hoping for?  

Many people feel stuck in their circumstances but haven’t succeeded in changing them. They may have tried diligently in the past and gotten exhausted with the effort, only to slide back to the status quo. I get that. We ALL get that. We’ve all been there more times than we would like to admit. How will this day and this year be any different?

If we make resolutions, we are telling ourselves that we’ve DECIDED. We will do this or we will stop doing that. If we don’t keep the resolution, did we fail (once again)? It turns out that failure is necessary in order to succeed! No one has been successful without first having experienced failure, sometimes many times over. I imagine that you’ve heard the story of Thomas Edison, who eventually invented the incandescent light bulb. He admits to 10,000 “failures” on the journey; however, he says that he merely found 10,000 ways it wouldn’t work. Other inventors were also experimenting with the same goal in mind, but Edison was the one to succeed. 

Edison had a habit every day of sitting down in his rocking chair and going to “the land of solutions”, as he called it. He would rock back and forth holding a rock in his left hand. He always had a metal pail positioned just under the rock, so that if he were to fall asleep, the noise would wake him up. What he was doing was accessing a higher intelligence, one that has all the answers. He knew that there can’t be a problem without a solution and there can’t be a question without an answer. The fact that his mind could even conceive of the incandescent light bulb was proof that there was a way to make it happen. He just needed to be persistent. 

Whether or not you have succeeded in the resolutions you have made in the past, each day offers a new opportunity. If we are still resolved to create change, we just need to renew that resolve and go at it again. We change the story we have been telling ourselves and open up to options that may help us move along. Tell the Universe that you are open to help and that you definitely intend to create this change. Making this declaration to the Universe and to ourselves strengthens our resolve and reminds us to be open to the possibilities out there. 

Allow this day and this new year to signify the start of a new cycle, in which we don’t carry the burden of what may have happened in the past. Perhaps, as with Edison, we are just learning the ways in which we can’t accomplish the change we want. We are learning what doesn’t work.

 

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The Power of “Yes”

Until we make a decision and say “yes” to it, we can’t move towards it. It’s as simple (and difficult) as that!

Typically, we go through the day picking and choosing what we like and what we don’t like. We are slaves to our past experiences, making decisions without truly examining our options. If we could just see things from the perspective of a brand new baby, perhaps we wouldn’t so quickly judge. We might be curious and want to know more. We might be willing to try something, learn from the experience and make our choice then: to retreat, to try a slightly different path, or to charge ahead!

Yes, trying new things and exploring can be risky. One might experience difficulties or pain, that’s for sure. But what if we learn something about ourselves and about our purpose in life from the experimentation? All of a sudden, new doors open, we become excited and eager to learn more. We DECIDE to say yes to ourselves this time, trusting that deciding for something doesn’t mean making a long-term commitment. We choose to remain open until we know for sure if it’s the right path for us.

We have begun a conversation with the Universe. We will see where it leads us. If the journey becomes unpleasant, we will reconsider. We can trust ourselves to do that. 

While on the journey, we will experience doubters, naysayers. They may be our friends, our family or even our own egos. We don’t ignore what we are told. We are grateful that they care. We show appreciation, but we don’t allow the doubters and the naysayers to make our decisions for us.

Most people – even those who desire change – will be dissuaded. Life happens, We get busy. Before we know it, another year has gone by and we are still in the same place where we started, living a life by default rather than by design. So, now we pick ourselves up and try again, right?  Or we give up and give in to the paradigms that keep us stuck. 

It doesn’t have to be so difficult. There is help available to make the journey quicker and easier.  Through a proven process and a coach to keep you on track, in just 3 months you could be starting to live a very different life – one that is harmonious with your soul’s purpose. Interested in learning more? You may contact me using the Contact Us Form on the website or simply by replying to this email.

Saying “Yes” to the universe opens the gate to receiving what your soul really wants.

~ Madisyn Taylor

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Is It Better to Give or Receive?

Many of us find it easier to give than receive. It has a lot to do with our sense of deserving (or lack thereof). 

 

Giving and receiving are part of the same cycle, and we each give and receive in our own ways. But we can lose our balance when we try to be too controlling on either side of the cycle.

Madisyn Taylor, “The DailyOM”

It’s kind of like having a bank account that you watch carefully every day, cognizant of the value of what is going in and going out. Keeping score in a way. At this time of year especially, with Hanukkah and Christmas and various other holidays, there is an expectation.  One of my family members recently said in answer to my question about what they would like for Christmas, “Don’t get me anything!  I’m not getting you anything, I’ll tell you right now!”  I felt hurt in a way. It’s not that I really need anything, but I love to give, and this person had robbed me of that opportunity. Perhaps it was the vehemence with which the response was made, along with a facial expression that said, “Don’t you dare defy me on this!” 

This conversation and my reaction to it gave me pause to try to understand what was going on. Was my desire to give somehow evidence of being controlling, just as much as the other person’s refusal to give and receive? 

I think we all have different reactions depending on the person and the circumstances, but we do tend to try to place a set value on what we give and what we receive, and we attempt to keep it in balance. It rests, I believe, in the sense of obligation. The energy shifts from the higher vibration of sharing to a lower vibration of having a duty. It’s no wonder that some people give anonymously! Then the receiver feels no obligation to return the favor. 

If we take a broader perspective, there is a Universal Law of Circulation, but it doesn’t say that we will give and receive necessarily from the same source. In fact, it says that “what you give to one person, you will receive from a different source.” You don’t give with the expectation of receiving back from the same person. You give knowing that it will definitely come back to you, possibly multiplied, from other sources.The Law of Circulation works with the Law of Cause and Effect, so we needn’t worry about reciprocation. We can receive without feeling an obligation to give. We can give without an expectation of receiving from the same source. 

It’s actually freeing to approach giving and receiving this way. If I could, I would still give something to this family member, but I don’t want to upset them. I guess the change that I want in the World has to start with me, so do I dare?

I’d love your insights on this conundrum!.  Please post your comments below.

When we can allow ourselves to receive as well as give, we do our part to keep the channels of abundance open for ourselves and others. 

Madisyn Taylor, “The DailyOM”

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The Phenomenon of Synchronicity

Things happen in our lives for a reason, even if that reason is not clear to you right away.”

Madison Taylor, DailyOM

Synchronicity is a noun defined as “the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” Perhaps you are aware of an occurrence of synchronicity in your life. More familiar to us is the verb form, “synchronize”, in which there is a conscious act “to cause to go on, move, operate, work, etc., at the same rate and exactly together”, such as synchronizing watches or performing synchronized swimming.

There are the naysayers who believe that synchronicity is simply coincidence. At the opposite end of the spectrum are those who believe that there are no accidents in life — everything happens for a reason. Where do you stand on the subject? Many philosophers and psychologists believe that we will start noticing synchronicities with practice.  The more we notice …. well…. the more we notice! 

Something happens. You react. You think, “This is a coincidence. I must investigate further.” You do … then more synchronicities occur and you are suddenly following an exciting line of action and reaction. The higher and clearer your frequency and intent, the faster you manifest synchronicities.”

Quote from Cystalinks

http://www.crystalinks.com/synchronicity.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some typical examples of synchronicity:

  • You drive to a place where parking is “next to impossible” and someone pulls out of a parking spot or it is waiting for you.
  • You walk into a bookstore not knowing what to buy, and the book you need falls from a shelf and practically hits you over the head.
  • You have just received your last check from unemployment when suddenly a job comes along.

Synchronicity is also referred to as “serendipity”.  Imagine you typically catch a plane to go home on the weekend, but this time you decide to go by rail. On the train, you meet a person you end up falling in love with and marrying. What made you change your mind and go by rail? Who would you have married if you hadn’t gone by rail? Is it magic? Is it simply chance? 

Belief is what activates synchronicity. If you don’t believe that it is possible, then you can’t activate it.  Something could be right in front of you and you still won’t see it.

Consider trying an experiment. Decide to believe in synchronicity and make an intention to be open to the possibility of it.  See what happens! I’d love to read your comments and questions below!

 

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Transforming Consciousness

What is meant by “consciousness” and why would we want to transform it?

Consciousness isn’t just our thoughts. It doesn’t just arise from the cognitive processes occurring mechanically in our brains. Consciousness includes our gut feelings, our emotions, our beliefs. It’s difficult to define like it is difficult to define the law of gravity, yet we know it exists.

Consciousness is your own INTERNAL REALITY. It includes:

  • Self-awareness
  • Your relationships to:
    • The environment
    • The people in your life
  • Your worldview (how you experience the world)

We exist in a context, not in a void or a bubble. Context gives a framework of meaning that leads then to how we perceive and interpret the world. We view the world through the lens of our particular worldview.

Having a worldview is a model of reality that we can get pretty attached to. We see it as the “truth”. It informs our opinions of what is important and real, even when evidence to the contrary is presented. We cannot see, we cannot perceive anything that is beyond what our worldview contains.

Some aspects of our lives up until now may not really fit in with our vision of the future, but our ego in its effort to protect us resists our desire for change. We don’t start out with a fully developed plan for what we believe is our purpose, complete with a strategic plan for how we can accomplish it. Instead, we grow through the process of discovery, using our creativity and determination to make our way one step at a time. Our intuition helps us with the vision of what we desire, but achieving that vision may seem daunting at times. ¹

Our perception of reality colors our reactions and actions every moment of every day. We are probably operating with a worldview that is unconscious, so how can we become aware and alert to the possibility of transformation? That requires us to focus our inner attention on finding transformations that we have already experienced, but which we may not be consciously aware of.

Reflect on the following questions to gain some insight:

  • Looking back over your life, can you find pivotal moments that broadened your perspective?
  • Have there been times in your life that you identify as turning points — moments after which you saw the world in a more open and generous way?
  • Have you ever felt connected to something greater than yourself, and in that connection felt self-centeredness slip away?
  • Or have you noticed a more gradual process, where over a period of months or years you changed the way you viewed yourself and world around you?

As you reflect on those questions, jot down whatever comes up for you. Trust your inner self as it draws your attention to relevant, meaningful experiences of transformation. Don’t censor or analyze your reflection; just let them flow as they come to mind.

The transformation of consciousness is often done gradually – one step at a time. We have to trust that the next step will become apparent as we progress in the direction of our dreams. It’s important for us to remember and trust the sincerity of our intention, as we do our best.

The in-between stage can be uncomfortable. It’s a bit like being in limbo and has been referred to as “the gap” or “the neutral zone”. The process of navigating the gap does not necessarily lead us in one direction. We zigzag, we go forwards and then backwards, we have to retrace our steps to find where we took the wrong “fork in the road” and begin again.

There are tools that can assist us during the in-between stage, including:

  1. Spiritual practices, such as meditation and prayer
  2. Movement-based practices, such as yoga  and qigong
  3. Hiking in nature
  4. Working on something creative, like painting or music
  5. Daily journaling
  6. Creating community with others who share your emerging vision and values
  7. Working with a life coach or counselor specializing in transformation
  8. Participating in local service projects

We can’t move forward without letting go of parts of ourselves that keep us bound to the past. Many people find that conducting a ceremony can help with the transition.

Should you have comments or questions, please post them below.

¹ From the book, Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life

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Being Grateful and Feeling Deserving

Please forgive me!  I just realized it has been a full month since my last blog post. Life has been “having me”, rather than me having it! I’m sure you can relate.

Today’s post is all about feeling gratitude. With the Holidays upon us, we are accustomed to the meme of being grateful for everything – great or small. But there’s a higher level of gratitude that comes from deep inside. That gratitude is a feeling we have all the time – not just one season out of the year. Instead of being grateful FOR something, we are grateful IN many things. Allow me to explain . . . 

Being grateful is an active spiritual practice. It’s fairly easy to feel gratitude in good times. That is a response to something positive happening in our lives. It’s a healthy response, but it is still only a response. The spiritual practice of being grateful puts you at a higher amplified magnitude that is evolutionary and transcendent. When we come from that place of gratitude, we invoke the law of attraction to the very things that we wish for.

“Being grateful IN” means being grateful no matter what has happened or is happening around us or to us. This type of gratitude is possible even in challenging times. We shift our perspective so that we are able to see things differently.

You may have heard of Victor Frankel. He wrote about being in a prison camp in Nazi Germany. He wrote about his experiences on a daily basis. He hid the manuscript from the guards, until one day they found it and took him in front of the tribunal.

By now, everyone he loved had been murdered. He was only allowed to stay alive because he was a doctor and they needed his expertise. The tribunal stripped him naked and, as he stood there, they burned the one copy of his manuscript. One of the guards happened to notice that he still had a very thin gold wedding band and they demanded that he give it to them. This ring was the very last vestige of the life he had known prior to the Nazi take over.

When Frankl went to pull off that wedding band, something profound shifted inside him. He recognized that they could take everything away from him except the freedom to make a decision about how to respond in that moment. He called it his last “authentic freedom”. He said to himself, “No matter what you do to me, you cannot make me live in hatred. I refuse to live in hatred.” That choice established him on a path in life in which he would touch thousands and thousands of people once he was released from prison.

The book he wrote about his prison experience is titled, “Man’s Search for Meaning”. 

 

In the book, he wrote these words:

We are always co-creators of our lives. We can always choose how to respond to any circumstance. We can choose to be grateful, even in the worst situation we can imagine.

The feeling of gratitude is linked closely to the feeling of deserving. We must be willing to receive in order to receive! If we are ungrateful, we have positioned ourselves to experience lack and limitation. In that frame of mind, we have given away our power, our strength. We see ourselves as victims rather than as co-creators of our lives. We can no longer invoke the law of attraction.

You see, feeling gratitude and feeling that we are deserving raises the magnitude of our vibration. The law of attraction only functions at that level. You will become a magnet for good if you are grateful in whatever happens and feel deserving. Notice when you have thoughts of resentment or anger. Notice when you have thoughts that you don’t deserve something you really want. Then make a conscious choice to respond in an authentic way. Please comment below! And if you are not already receiving the Authentic Living E-newsletter, click on the link below.

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Spending Time

If you are not satisfied with your life right now, you need to look at how you are spending your time, because how you spend your time IS YOUR LIFE.

Most of us feel like we don’t have enough time. We feel stressed out, worried, overwhelmed by the demands of our day-to-day life. If we allow that pattern to continue, we will remain on the Hamster Wheel indefinitely, and ultimately we will reach the end of our lives with nothing to show for it. Is that what you want? I doubt it.

We become overwhelmed because there is just so much to do, and we think we need to do it all. There are a lot of demands in our personal lives. There are things to do at work. It’s easy to convince ourselves that there is a shortage – a scarcity – of time. Then we start using the fact that we are busy as an excuse to defend ourselves from other obligations.

Change your thinking about time. Think of it as being abundant. Tell yourself, “I have all the time in the world.” Once you start saying that to yourself, you will notice when you are wasting time doing things that are not really important. The truth is that there’s only one thing to do and that is the one thing you are doing right now. Question whether or not you really want to be doing that one thing.

To do your best work in the present moment, you need to be centered and focused. When you do that, you take your mind off all the other things that make you feel like time is scarce. Here are 3 secrets to achieving a sense of time abundance:

Stop using time as an excuse

Notice when you are saying to yourself, “I don’t have enough time” and then look for the truth. When you feel like you don’t have enough time, it’s usually because you are doing something that you don’t want to spend time on. You have other priorities that are more important to you.

Relax your timelines

Give yourself more time to get projects done, because in general, it takes more time to get something done than we expect.

Master your boredom

We say we want more time, but then we get it, we start filling it up with “stuff”, like watching TV, picking up the phone, grabbing a magazine, surfing the web, posting on Facebook, etc. etc. Pay attention to those times when you feel bored and just be present to it. Acknowledge your gratitude for having time to just appreciate life.

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject below!

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Forgiving and Honoring Ourselves and Others

Too often in our lives, we hold on to experiences that are connected to resentment, anger, and guilt. They are our “dead weights”.  We are, figuratively speaking, hauling around with us a heavy anchor attached to our ankle with a thick chain. What are you hanging on to that you have long since needed to discard?

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. In recognizing that, we also recognize that it’s past time to discard the resentment, anger, and guilt that have weighed us down.

 

Forgiving Ourselves

In forgiving ourselves, we recognize that the past cannot be changed but, at the same time, we realize that the past can be healed. Life review helps us become aware of aspects of our past that have been hidden in our sub-conscious mind. Though we are not consciously aware of them, they often have continued to influence us.

A tool for self-forgiveness is to write or record an autobiography. This allows us to reflect on experiences from our past in order to gain new insights or understandings. From that, we may discover things we need to do in order to heal the past. Or maybe we will find that we have been telling ourselves a story over the years that may not actually be true!

Yes, we have a story, but we are NOT our story. We have a history, but we are NOT our history. What stories have you been telling yourself?

In the late 1960’s, a man named Scott filed as a Conscientious Objector when he feared being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. He had a very strong feeling that he did not want to be involved in any actions that brought physical harm to anybody else. His first filing was rejected, and then in the course of his appeals, the war ended.

Scott’s friends started coming home, many with lost limbs and many more with “broken hearts” over what they had been forced to endure, and then to come home to a society that rejected them. Scott began feeling guilty that he had avoided being drafted. He had the feeling that because he didn’t sacrifice like his friends had, he no longer deserved good things in his life.

As he grew older, Scott became a successful businessman, but he felt disconnected. He found that he was unable to give of his heart in any of his relationships. He felt isolated, even though he was married and had children.

Eventually, Scott began to seek spiritual guidance and practice the principles he learned to recognize that there was more to him than the person who registered as a C.O. during the Vietnam war. He went back and took a look at that time in his life and realized that at the time, he was doing what he really thought was right. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to serve his country; he just didn’t want to be involved in physical violence towards another human being.

He wanted very badly to break free from the guilt that he had been feeling, so he began looking for ways he could be of service to the community. At one point he was serving as the volunteer president of a contractor’s organization. He prayed that he would be able to do something really significant for the community during his tenure.

Within a week or two of becoming president, he was called by someone who told him about a group of Vietnam veterans who wanted to build a memorial to honor those from their city who had lost their lives during the war. They needed a lot of construction work done and could Scott’s group help out?

It was a divine fit for Scott. He became a spokesperson to the other contractors and under his presidency, the Vietnam Memorial for the State of Oregon was built. At the dedication, Scott was celebrated for his volunteer efforts, but he wasn’t comfortable with that. He began to confess to the crowd the burden he had been carrying for years. Despite his fear of rejection, he told of his decision to file as a C.O. The acceptance he received and the many tears that followed – his and those of others – he was able to finally cleanse himself of the guilt and unburden himself, knowing that he had given back through this effort and was deserving of a good life after all.

With some effort, we can heal from the past, learn from it and find that we no longer regret something that happened. In many cases, we just need to acknowledge that we did the best we could, given the awareness we had at the time.

 

Forgiving Others

In forgiving others, most of us have a grave misunderstanding. Lack of forgiveness hurts us more than the one who has offended us. We are imprisoned by our anger and pain.

We acknowledge that forgiveness does not justify the act that caused us suffering. But what we recognize is that forgiveness enables us to fully experience the pain and then let it go. We are then able to continue growing, rather than allowing ourselves to perpetuate our sense of being a victim.

A friend of mine, Teri, had a mother who was mentally ill. As a child, she couldn’t understand or accept her mother’s behavior, but was the oldest of five children and had to sometimes intervene to protect her siblings when her mother would suddenly burst out in a violent rage. Not surprisingly, she grew to hate her mother and feel sorry for herself.

When she was old enough to leave home, she wanted to completely remove herself from the situation. She was able to do that physically, but the resentment she felt towards her mother was affecting everything in her life. She wanted to be more deserving. She wanted to lead a fulfilling life, but the energy she was holding onto about her mother was sabotaging her efforts.

Finally, Teri made a decision to change this. She knew she couldn’t change her mother, but she could change her inner relationship with her mother. We can all do that. We can’t change what’s happened in our lives but we absolutely can change our perception of what happened.

Teri was ultimately able to transform her resentment and hatred towards her mother into a practice of being grateful. She was never grateful FOR her mother and the treatment inflicted on those around her, but she was able to be grateful IN the relationship once she changed her perspective.

Teri had come to a place where she realized that she did not want to feel resentment for the woman who gave her life. Her mother was going to continue being mentally ill and be almost unbearable to be around, but Teri was able to change her experience of her mother. She refused to let her mother control her (Teri’s) inner state of being. Once she did that, she saw her mother in a whole new light.

She saw her mother as a frightened woman who could only ask for love through her illness in ways that repulsed those around her. And she saw an innocence in that behavior, which replaced the resentment she had felt before. Teri was able to shift her energy despite the circumstances. She did not feel grateful FOR the life she had with her mother, but she did feel grateful IN the life she had with her mother.

At the end of the day, forgiveness is a choice we make. It’s not an easy choice because it usually requires us to do a lot of work on ourselves. We might even feel some grief as we let go of resentment that has felt like it is part of our identity.

Forgiveness doesn’t change the past, but it changes the present and transforms the future.

As an exercise, the next time you are upset by something that someone has done or said, consider assuming that there is part of the story that you are missing. Assume that this story, if you knew it, would give the other person reason enough for their behavior. Describe how you might respond to that situation given that new understanding.


Your comments are welcome below.

If you know someone who would appreciate this information, please forward it to them.

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