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how to love what you already have

How To Love What You Already Have

how to love what you already have

 

So, you want to know about one of my favorite guilty pleasures?

You might have a similar one.

I love watching House Hunters on HGTV! There’s nothing better to do on a lazy Sunday morning, coffee in hand (or let’s be honest…a homemade mimosa) than curled up on my couch watching TV, and shouting at it, telling the clueless couple to go with House #2 because they can just repaint the damn walls instead of making the horrible decision of going with House #1.

But lately, I’ve noticed something after watching. Instead of feeling relaxed from binge-watching a silly show, and being grateful for not having to work, I started to feel a little resentful. I started to think, “Wait, why can’t I have the opportunity to buy a big fancy house? Why am I here instead, in this small apartment?”

And that resentment got me thinking about something that many of us do as we recover from divorce. It’s a nasty habit that keeps us from being happy and able to love this new chapter in our life.  So this week, let’s take a look at that slip-up and learn how to overcome it.

How to Love What You Already Have

The big obstacle in our face: we focus on what we lack.

When we’re learning how to get our lives back, it’s an easy trap to fall into.  Once we start feeling bad about where we are, instead of being happy with it, we forget all the awesome stuff.  And the roadblock only gets worse, because then we start telling ourselves things like this…

“I’m too old to be single. I should have a partner right now.”

“I should still be happily married right now.”

“I should be as successful as the family and friends I have on social media.”

This way of thinking is dangerous as we move on because it relies on some external force to dictate how our lives should be. Only we have the power and control to do that.

The next obstacle: we compare ourselves to others.

Ever heard of the Facebook and Instagram effect?

You know what I’m talking about. The one where the old high-school classmate has uploaded a picture of her million-dollar beach house and puts #blessed in the caption.

Or the one where a distant relative has posted a picture of their feet in the sand by the beach with a tropical drink in hand and writes “so lucky in my life” or some crap like that.

We have all been guilty of thinking we need other things in our life in order to make our lives how we want them.

We forget just how much good we have in our own lives.

I like to think of this as the Psychology of Abundance. When we are going through divorce, or recovering from it and trying to figure out the rest of our lives, we forget that we actually have the world at our fingertips and that we actually have an ass-load of things going for us.

Sure, your life and stability have changed.

Sure, your financial situation may seem shaky and you may be worried about supporting yourself.

Sure, your identity may be in existential crisis and you may be lost, not knowing who you are now or what you want as you start the next chapter of your life.

Nobody’s denying the shake-up. But guess what riches that shake-up represents?

The fact that you are still alive.

That you are here.

That you are given a second chance at life.

Do you have any idea how rich those gifts are?

I remember when I was going through my own divorce. I was floored and stressed and reeling from all the things I thought I lost—a comfortable financial situation, a partner in life, a future I thought I knew.

One day, as I was mourning my losses and not focusing on the abundance of things I actually had (my health, a decent job, my dogs, good friends, and a supportive family), I got a kick in the butt.  I was flipping through an old literature book from my college days, and a quotation popped out. It was written a world away and a lifetime ago, but it was like it was written just for me.

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.” ~Ranier Maria Wilke 

That last part woke me up—for the creator, there is no poor indifferent place.

Once we start celebrating what we have and not bemoaning what we do not, we become free. Our stress levels decrease. Our anxiety goes away. Feelings of jealousy and bitterness start to disappear. And we become grateful, recognizing each new day as the gift that it is.

So, want to begin thriving with what you already have and not what you wish you possessed?

Do these four easy things.

1. The next time you feel bad because you think you’re lacking something, stop and explicitly state what you feel it is. Take a look at my example below.

Ugh….I don’t have enough money for a down payment on a nice condo!

2. After pinpointing your perceived lack of something, reverse that way of thinking. Explicitly state why your lack of what you have is actually a good thing at this time.

Wait…that nice condo is going to have some super-high HOA fees! Geez..that actually means I will have to pay even more money a month than what I pay now—money I currently put in savings. Maybe a fancy condo isn’t such a good thing for me at this time.

3. Acknowledge something you actually have for which you are grateful.

Well, I don’t have a fancy condo, but I do have a delightfully cozy and affordable apartment that is super-easy to clean and helps me stay within my budget—two things that many people do not have. Dang. I guess I am pretty thankful for that.

4. Make a habit of acknowledging those things you have.

Do it often. Heck, write it in your gratitude journal if you have one.  You will find that the more often you divert your way of thinking about the things you lack and focusing more on the things that you have, you will find that the previous feelings you had of being hard on yourself, feeling jealous, resenting others for what they have, and feeling bitter start to decrease, and may even just disappear.

When done regularly, you then start to notice all the great things going on in your life. And once you notice them, little by little you will find yourself grateful for them and you realize just how rich you really are and how abundant your life really.

Because you have enough. And you’re doing great with what you have.

But you can still watch House Hunters if you want. 🙂

The post How To Love What You Already Have appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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make love last

How To Make Love Last In Spite Of Conflict

make love last

 

During counseling sessions, couples often ask me some version of this important question: How can we get back on track after a disagreement and build a strong relationship that lasts a lifetime?

Typically, I explain that conflict is an inevitable part of an intimate relationship and that one of the main ingredients of a healthy, long-lasting partnership is making a commitment to repair hurt feelings and bounce back from arguments fairly quickly.

How to Make Love Last

In over 40 years of research in his classic “Love Lab” studies, Dr. John Gottman discovered that the number one solution to marital problems is to get good at repair skills. He explains that repair attempts allow a couple to get back on track after a dispute and are an important way to avoid resentment.

In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. Gottman describes repair attempts as the secret weapon that emotionally intelligent couples employ that allows their marriage to flourish rather than flounder. A repair attempt is any statement or action – verbal, physical, or otherwise – intended to diffuse negativity and keep a conflict from escalating.

Couples who discuss concerns in a timely and respectful way and adopt a “we’re in this together” mindset have a better chance of creating a happy long-lasting partnership. They’re resilient and don’t let anger destroy the loving feelings and affection that brought them together in the first place.

7 Steps to getting good at repair skills:

  1. Do not blame, criticize, or show contempt for your partner. Talking about specific issues will reap better results than attacking him or her. For instance, a complaint is: “I’m upset because you didn’t tell me about spending money on new clothes. We agreed to be open with each other and money is tight right now.” Versus a criticism: “You never tell me the truth. How can I trust you?” Avoid defensiveness and showing contempt for your partner (rolling your eyes, ridicule, name-calling, sarcasm, etc.).
  2. Starting a conversation with a soft and curious tone such as, “Could I ask you something?” will lessen your partner’s defensiveness. Dr. John Gottman reminds us that criticism is extremely damaging to a marriage and that talking about specific issues with a soft approach will reap better results.
  3. Avoid character assassinations. Don’t attack your partner’s character, values, or core beliefs. Remember that anger is usually a symptom of underlying hurt, fear, and frustration so stop and reflect on your own emotions. Listen to our partner’s side of the story instead of focusing on your counterargument. Validate their perspective first – then share your viewpoint. When you feel like attacking your partner, ask yourself: what am I trying to accomplish?
  4. Don’t make threats or issue ultimatums. Avoid saying things you’ll regret later. Being vulnerable with your partner can make you feel exposed but it’s an important ingredient in a trusting, intimate relationship. You may have created a psychological armor since childhood due to being hurt or judged but this might not serve you well as an adult. Be assertive yet open in your attempts to negotiate for what you want from your partner. Both individuals in a relationship deserve to get some (not all) of their needs met.
  5. Approach conflict with a problem-solving attitude. Avoid trying to prove a point and examine your part in a disagreement. Listen to your partner’s requests and ask for clarification on issues that are unclear. Discuss expectations to avoid misunderstandings. Engage in a conversation with your partner that is productive rather than shutting down or criticizing him or her.
  6. Take a short break if you feel overwhelmed or flooded. This will give you both time to calm down and collect your thoughts so you can have a more meaningful dialogue with your partner. Author David Akiva, encourages couples to develop a Hurt-Free Zone Policy which is a period when criticism is not allowed between partners. Without it, couples usually feel less defensive and as a result, feelings of hurt and rejection dissolve within 3 to 4 weeks.
  7. Practice having a recovery conversation after an argument. Daniel B. Wile, Ph.D. believes that your focus needs to be on listening to your partner’s perspective, collaborating, building intimacy, and restoring safety and good will if you want to develop good repair skills. A recovery conversation can reveal information about your relationship, lead to a resolution of the fight, and restore intimacy. It’s best to wait until both partners have calmed down before starting it and to be careful not to rekindle the fight. If you stay focused on the present, this will prevent rehashing an argument.

Be sure to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Instead of focusing on your partner’s flaws try spending your energy fostering a deeper connection. Avoid building a case against your partner. In its place, express positive feelings and gestures of love often and become skilled at demonstrating acceptance and gratitude in your words and actions.

Can a Marriage Thrive with Unresolved Conflict?

Dr. Gottman advises us that couples can live with unsolvable differences about ongoing issues in their relationship as long as they aren’t deal breakers. His research informs us that 69% of problems in a marriage don’t get resolved but can be managed successfully.

Author Marcia Naomi Berger, explains that many couples buy into the myth that if a marriage is healthy all issues get resolved. She writes: “Simply put, it is not the presence of conflict that stresses the relationship; it is the manner in which the couple responds. Positive, respectful communication about differences helps keep a marriage thriving.”

Once you have gotten better at recovering after a dispute, it becomes easier to restore loving feelings with your partner. If you find yourself struggling, tell him or her what’s on your mind. For instance, say something like “I feel flooded right now. Can you hold me or tell me you love me? I feel like attacking you but I don’t want to do that.”

Most of the time, you’ll restore intimacy during times of conflict or stress by being honest and vulnerable with your partner. Adopting these skills takes time and patience but will help you recapture the love, trust, and intimacy you once experienced.

Follow Terry Gaspard on TwitterFacebook, and movingpastdivorce.com. Terry’s book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-lasting Relationship was published by Sourcebooks in 2016. He new book The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around will be published by Sounds True in 2020.

More from Terry

This blog originally appeared on movingpastdivorce.com

The post How To Make Love Last In Spite Of Conflict appeared first on Divorced Moms.



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love and support during divorce

Take Advantage Of Grandparents Who Want to Share Their Love And Support During Divorce

love and support during divorce

 

One of your biggest assets during and after divorce can be your children’s grandparents – on both sides of the family. Don’t let these grandparents get caught in the drama between you and your former spouse because it’s usually the children that suffer the loss.

In most cases, grandparents love their grandchildren. While they want to help in any way they can, many grandparents are afraid to get involved. They don’t know how to ease the hurt, confusion and other emotions affecting the grandkids as well as their own adult children.

Since every divorce is unique there are no cookie-cutter solutions or steps for grandparents to follow.

But here are some guidelines to help you reach out to the grandparents who want to share their love and support during divorce.

If the grandparents haven’t been close to the kids before your divorce, post-divorce is a difficult time to develop a relationship. But if grandma and grandpa already have that bond established, it’s important to keep the love connection at this time when the children are facing so many unknowns.

When communication and trust are strong between grandparents and grandchildren it’s easier to bring up challenging issues for a chat. Children who are comfortable in their relationship with their grandparents are more likely to confide their frustrations, fears, and insecurities in them. Of course, it’s always more effective for grandparents to offer advice once the kids ask or bring the subject up. Then the elders can share their love and wisdom in an age-appropriate manner. But G-ma and G-pa can also ask questions and initiate conversations if they’re mindful of how the kids are feeling and responding.

One important word of caution: If grandparents want to discuss issues regarding divorce or other life challenges, it is essential that they discuss this subject first with you and your former spouse to get permission in advance!

It’s never a grandparent’s place to interfere if they are not welcome — tempting as it may be. So bring up the topic you want them to talk about with the grandkids first. Explain your concern on behalf of the children, and what message you’d like the grandparents to share with them. If G-ma and G-pa understand and respect your values, then encourage them to give it their best shot.

Should a child be resistant to the conversation, grandparents should not push the issue. They are better off retreating into safer territory. If the children do confide in their grandparents, advise the elders not to make judgments about either parent to the kids. Instead, have them listen, offering comforting support and embraces. Then encourage the grandparents to talk with you and your ex about ways they believe they can provide healing, reassurance, and support to your children during this difficult time.

If the subjects that come up are complex, advise the grandparents you will be bringing in professional counselors to handle the situation with all involved. Therapists and divorce coaches are trained to handle heavy emotional and psychological issues. So leave it in their hands. You want grandparents to be loved as the caring family they are – not as a therapist or judge!

If the grandparents are unaware of the emotional turmoil the divorce or other challenges is taking on their grandchildren, schedule time to talk with them. You can bring articles, websites and other valuable resources about how children can be adversely affected by family drama and share that during your conversation. Have some positive and concrete suggestions regarding how they can help, if possible. Don’t criticize or blame your ex. Focus on their love for the kids. Don’t accuse, judge, dismiss or demean their grandparenting style. Remind them your family is not unique and that most families coping with divorce face similar issues.

Remind the grandparents how much their support means to you so they don’t overlook their relationship with the kids following the divorce, especially if relocation or other major changes are in the works. Children need, want and value the safety and reassurance of their grandparents’ love. Let G-ma and G-pa be there for their grandchildren as a positive asset in the children’s adjustment to divorce and other challenges now and for a long time to come.

The post Take Advantage Of Grandparents Who Want to Share Their Love And Support During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On Love After Narcissistic Abuse

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On Love After Narcissistic Abuse

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I know, in this Community, Valentine’s Day can be a very painful day. When I was single I originally used to dread Valentine’s Day – it felt like such a confirmation that I was a  ‘relationship disaster’, yet once I started Thriver Healing it became my self-love day … and I thoroughly suggest you do the same!

But, more than this today, I want to talk to you about how you CAN Open your heart and love again after being devastated by a narcissist.

And it’s a very BIG and IMPORTANT topic because so many of you (as I originally felt too) never wanted to risk such excruciating love devastation again.

I understand – totally!

However, I also know what life is like on the other side – to make it here to real, safe, respectful and fulfilling love and I extend to you my hand and my heart to grant you the Life Raft to bring you here too.

 

 

Video Transcript

Zac and I just arrived off the plane and got settled in London, after a day and half of travel, and I just wanted to do this video for you today on Valentine’s Day. It’s such an important topic, about love, that is very dear to my heart.

But before I get into today’s topic, if you didn’t know why I am in London, I’m here doing a book tour for the next two weeks, celebrating the release of my new book. You Can Thrive After Narcissistic Abuse’. You can find out all the details of the events and dates for the events here.

Okay, so onto today’s episode!

And it’s important for me to share this with you.  Some of you, as I am, are lucky enough to have wonderful partners in our life as a result of our inner work and breakthroughs. And others, as I once was too, are still struggling in painful relationships, or are single and feel a terrible defectiveness and loneliness on Valentine’s Day.

So many people in our community say, “I just can’t consider love again, I couldn’t risk ever going through that again.”

I get it. I truly do, one hundred percent! And please know, I am totally all for a healing hiatus after not just something as impactful as narcissistic abuse, but also any painful confusing or difficult relationship.

But can we safely love again? Can we open our heart enough to ever connect with another?

In today’s episode, I want to share with you how and why I believe the answer is a whopping big YES! As well as how this is possible, no matter how many times your heart has been broken and even if you think that real and true love is for other people, but just isn’t possible for you.

And the great news is, that you may not have realised yet that your ability to find and generate true love and avoid narcissistic and false love, has absolutely nothing to do with other people at all! You can take your power back and be the firm creator of this, regardless of what other people are or aren’t doing.

That’s not just glib. It’s the absolute truth!

So how can we have different love experiences than our past? The answer is: by changing the only person that we have the power to change, ourselves, at the Inner Identity level, because it is then that we DO change our internal love code.

Let’s look at this.

 

The Breakup:  The Breakdown Leading to Love Breakthrough

I really want you to know that after breaking up with someone, straight away or even decades later, this grants us the most incredible opportunity to heal within, to ensure we will never have to go through what we suffered again.

And of course, we can’t do this if we do what narcissists do, try to replace a love partner with new supply, just as someone would purchase a new puppy after their dog got run over. Of course, this is simply a continuation of more of the same, as well as absolutely no idea about what true love requires from our self and others.

Most of us could not just go after a new love partner after narcissistic abuse anyway. The truth is, for most of us, our soul is/was so shattered that there is very little chance of jumping back into a fire, and if we did the results would be almost sure to be disastrous.

Without Thriver Tools to deeply partner and heal our shattered self, it can take a long time before we feel ready for another relationship, or could even contemplate risking going through such a near-death experience again.

That’s exactly how I felt after my narcissistic relationship. It took me over three years to have another love relationship. At first, I was devastated that I was alone and shattered and thought that I would have no choice but to remain that way. However, as my Thriver Recovery got underway, I realised that the most profound relationship that I needed to establish was an integrated, unconditionally loving and accepting one with myself.

I realised that I had been the person missing in my life all along, and it was the lack of this that had caused me to hand my power away to abusers trying to earn their love, as well as cling to them throughout the abuse, because I hadn’t been filled and whole enough with my own love to let go.

The greatest relationship we can ever have is the one with ourselves and Source. And now I know that means seeing ourselves as Source sees us, lovable and worthy of love and Life’s blessings as we are and knowing that if we know this and let go of all the internal and extremal trauma not allowing us to be this, then we can be and will experience an incredible life, as well as true love.

The thing that I had been missing to this point regarding ‘love’ was this; True Love had to be between me and myself first.

There is a huge difference between loneliness and aloneness. The first experience is condemning the state and place we are in, whereas aloneness is using the state and the place we are in to have our healing hiatus to change our life and love potential beyond previous painful patterns.

 

How Did We Get Our ‘Love Beliefs’?

Why would we want to miss out on love? Everything that is great is a derivative of love. Love fills our heart, and it deepens our connection with life, self and others in blissful and miraculous ways.

Love can be ignited within us whether we are looking at the perfect symmetry of a flower, or being the recipient of a child’s smile, or petting our animal companions, or being held in the warm embrace of someone we love who loves us.

This following is the only reason we want to forego love – because of the traumatic beliefs that love hurts, and even that love can annihilate us.

Okay, so how did these terrible love beliefs get on board?

They are to do with our past life, epigenetic, childhood and repeat adult love traumas. These are the horrible experiences we’ve had in granting our hearts to people, who have smashed us open.

For many, this happened in childhood as complete dependents relying on caretakers who were possibly much less than healthily loving.

I firmly believe the truth is because of Quantum Law, ‘so within so without’, the traumas of these painful experiences were already in our energy fields pre-birth (science is now proving the truth of epigenetically inherited trauma), and the patterns continue via childhood and then into adulthood, until we can change the trauma pattern deep within ourselves.

Thankfully, now with Quantum Tools, we can release these traumas and free ourselves of the fear of love, to be able to show up in love healthily and solidly whilst being able to be loving, open, powerful and self-honouring simultaneously.

That is our love success holy grail.

The people I know who have got to that level, did everything to let go of the traumas of their past as their greatest mission, knowing that these weren’t keeping them safe, and they brought in their Source True Self replacement in its place, which allowed them to be authentic and showing up as their own Source of true power and safety.  They did this by working with NARP.

That’s what granted them the powerful shift in their internal Love Code.

 

When We Change Our Love Beliefs, We Change Our Choices

If we are free of the fears of love (the trauma related to it) as a result of the inner work, and we know how to navigate love healthily and safely, then I promise you we can connect with real love that is beautifully fulfilling.

False, unhealthy, unsafe love starts with a bang and degenerates. Real and healthy soulmate love is more of a slow burn. It is humane, respectful, and caring. It’s built on a basis of friendship and shared values as well as attraction and connection. It grows and expands over time. Respect, care, love, and consideration deepen as the relationship progresses.

And this is so interesting because truly our intimate relationship can mirror the Thriver healing relationship we are having with our self.

Over time, whilst on our inner dedicated healing journey, the more we self-partner, release trauma and bring in Source, this is exactly how our relationship with ourselves grows, as deeper and deeper self-love, tenderness, connection and devotion.

When we love our Inner Being, we do what any concerned adult would do for their own child, treat it with care, sensibility and wise guidance.

No longer do we live in ‘instant relationship’, ‘fairy-tale-love’ or ‘if love hurts it must be because it’s real‘. We drop these illusions, knowing that they are fraught with disappointment, heartfelt pain and even abuse.

And we stop believing that love ‘just happens’. It doesn’t.  It means getting very clear about our values, who we can have a wonderful relationship with and aligning with that truth.

Real love means choosing to take our time to get to know people and having the relationship grow at a pace that is healthy and incremental, to ascertain if this person, their life and character is a fit for who we are and how we wish to live.

If we have come from previous relationships where we handed power away and clung to abusers, instead of leaving to take care of ourselves, it means treating ourselves with the love, respect and boundaries that allow others to know our worth and how to treat us.

Real love can mean tough love. Not only does it mean going the extra mile for others out of the goodness of your heart, it also requires having difficult conversations when needed. And, if it turns out another’s values are not aligned with yours, then you love people enough to let them go and no longer hold them responsible for not giving you what you believed they should.

Real love also means taking on the gift of your own development to keep generating your truth with yourself and available people who are aligned with that truth.

 

The Belief That ‘The End’ is Something Terrible

Real love means growing out of the requirement that all relationships must end as ‘happily ever after’ and that they are a failure if they don’t. Or, that suffering is inevitable when we end a relationship because we feel we want to die if they end, or we can’t stand the thought of that person being with another. We may fear this terribly even though we were miserable and completely mismatched with them.

Or, maybe, we are so scared of ending a relationship, or feel so bad about doing that, that once we have connected with someone we make every excuse to just ‘go along’ even though we know in our heart that it’s not right to do so. That’s not serving them or us lovingly or truthfully at all.

Naturally, and for obvious reasons, these are major limiting beliefs that we all need to work with and heal to be able to explore and connect with relationships healthily, which also means having the right and power to end it if it becomes ‘no longer a true and healthy connection’.

 

Authenticity – Your Love, Power and Safety

This I know now after narcissistic abuse, healing my relationship with myself and being determined to enjoy the wondrous life and truth of ‘connection’ – that my ability to show up truthfully is what makes relationships safe. As does being truthful to myself about what character and values I require in a partner, in order to relate to such a person on a deep, true, loving soul level.

People who are ‘not nice people’ show you who they are. They tell you or demonstrate to you their lack of values, empathy, and lack of consideration for others, if you give it some time and don’t make excuses for them.

If we choose someone without the resources to be a loving partner, we are only going to have either a very superficial relationship with someone who doesn’t grant us what we really want, or we will have a struggle trying to force them to be who we wish they could be.

Either way equals how to lose at love.

The real questions are:

  • Are we prepared to be and connect to real love at that level?
  • Do we deserve to receive the best in love as well as give our best?
  • Are we going to be self-devoted enough to work on our wounds so that we don’t keep emotionally rolling around with more people who represent these exact wounds hoping they will do it better ‘this time’?
  • Are we able to choose people for their character and heart rather than their flashiness, looks or stuff?
  • Are we able to walk away if the relationship turns out not to have the resources and foundations that would make it safe, prosperous and divine?
  • Are we prepared to lose another rather than lose ourselves?

I hope that somewhere deep in your soul I have inspired you this Valentine’s Day to believe there is a way through the mess we have lived with narcissists, to reach real love. I promise you that if I could do this, after what I’ve experienced, you can too.

Okay, so, if deep inside your soul you know love is for you and you want to connect with it first safely and powerfully within you, and then as a healthy, kind and powerful outflow to others (in a way where you never have to go through abuse again) then I’d love to help you achieve this. To do so come over to my 16 Day free course, where you start healing your traumas and your heart to go free and experience love with other beautiful people for real.

You can get this started by clicking the link here.

And, if you liked this video, click the Like button, and if you want to see more of my videos subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And please share this with others so that they can learn how to create truly loving relationships.

And again a very happy Valentine’s Day from me in lovely London and I look forward to your comments and questions below.

 

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