In God We Trust…

May 26, 2017

Seen on a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog was this saying that Jack said he saw on a protest sign somewhere – “In God we trust; everyone else must cite their data.” 

We live in an era were claims of “fake news” shake our confidence in what we see, hear and read. It is also an era where the so-called “Scientific Method” is under constant attack from those who choose not to believe the data cited by scientists on a variety of In God We Trust on Dollartopics from global warming to the lunar landings. Yet we still print “In God We Trust” on all of our money and pay at least lip service to that motto.

What I think the protest sign was trying to convey is that our belief in God marks the line between things that we say (or think) that we can prove using what is called the scientific method of devising tests in order to prove or disprove a theory. Scientists recently were successful with a test to prove the last great unproven theories that Einstein proposed when he did his work on the nature of time and space – the existence of gravity waves.

When it comes to God, proving or disproving His existence defies any scientific testing and requires that last giant step into the world of just believing. There have been, of course, many cases throughout history that have been well documented of so-called miracles that purportedly occurred because people who believed in god prayed for Him to intercede and change the expected course of the future. The Catholic Church documents at least 3-4 such miracles of intercession with God by candidates for man prayingSainthood; however, that is less of a planned and scientific test than it is a recording, after the fact, of an event in which someone believe that God had a hand. The scientific part may be that the original condition of the person receiving the miracle was well documented and the resulting condition after the miracle is well documented, but the occurrence of the miracle itself remains a mystery.

Perhaps that is as it should be. Even scientists accept that there are things that cannot be explained; things that cannot be tested, which must just be believed. Scientists have long struggled with the answers to the simple questions “what came before that and what caused that”; until they get to the point where the only answer is God.

In our daily lives there are many things that we wrestle with and expend energy on trying to solve or resolve. Many of them can be handles with just good problem solving techniques and I’ve posted about that here before – see https://normsmilfordblog.com/2014/03/05/problem-solving-101/ as an example. Some things are beyond our ability to solve for others or for ourselves and that is when we should turn to God. I’ve written about that, too, as recently as this month – https://normsmilfordblog.com/2017/05/04/consider-the-alternative-and-turn-to-god/

In reality it is God acting through us that makes either approach work. So, perhaps a woman-prayinggood way to start each day would be to take out your wallet and look at the back of whatever bills you have in it and read the motto – In God We Trust. If you don’t have any bills, look at your coins; it’s printed on them, too. The point is to take that motto to heart and start the day with the thought in mind – In God I Trust. You’ll have a great day, no matter what happens.


Life isn’t dull in the deep end…

May 25, 2017

“Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.”  (Christopher Reeve)

I remember as a kid the excitement and the sense of danger of going down to the deep end of the local swimming pool. Even though it was only 18 feet deep at the deep end ithigh board seemed at the time to be like the ocean. After all, I could no longer touch the bottom with my feet and it was either swim or sink. The ocean is ever scarier; however, the first and only time that I have ever gone scuba diving, I discovered what wonderful things there are to see in the ocean, once you get out of the shallows of the shoreline. Even only 20-30 feet down there is much more to see and many more fish than in the shallows of the shoreline.

Life is a lschool-of-fishot like that. There is safety and comfort to be found in staying in the shallow end of life, where your feet are always able to touch the bottom. But, if you will just venture out into the ocean of life a bit, you will find it to be a whole lot more interesting, if not a little terrifying every now and them. Out of the terror and the increased interest in things and people, comes the reward of increased knowledge and awareness of the differences and beauty that is just a bit further out – in the deep end of life. Just like at the pool, you have to work a little harder to stay afloat and there is a tendency to panic from time to time when you realized that you can no longer find the safety of the bottom of the pool; but, also, just like swimming out in the ocean, there is so much more to see and experience and learn from.

We have a euphemistic term for this; it’s called getting out of one’s comfort zone. Our comfort zone is that shallow end that is a little warmer than the deep end and in which we can always securely feel the bottom and even stand up if necessary. When we were real little we may have even worn those “water wings” on our arms to make sure that we could stray afloat. We quickly outgrow those devices, but many of us never really outgrow the need to feel the bottom of the pool – to stay in the shallow end of life.

For many the safety of life’s routines in the shallow end eventually become dull and boring and so they venture out into the deep in (the ocean) of life. That involves interacting with people that we normally don’t interact with and doing things that weworried1 normally don’t do. The biggest challenge is really overcoming our own imagined fears about what could happen and just letting go long enough for the interesting things in life to happen. Sometimes that means meeting and interacting with new people, people who are different from us and our usual friends. Those may be people of different colors or different sexual orientations or even different religious backgrounds. It could be someone from a foreign land or just from a different neighborhood or even a different city or state. Many times it will involve people from different socio-economic backgrounds or different levels of education. The important thing is that it involves people who likely see things from a different perspective than our own. We will be in a different end of the pool, one in which our feet may not be able to touch the bottom.

take a riskSuch interactions, out of your normal comfort zone, might leave you a little breathless or maybe a little frightened, but they seldom could be classified as boring. In fact, you may find yourself longing for another dose of that excitement and the little edge of fear, because it awakens things in you that may have become dormant due to the comfort of living too long in the shallow end. Some who begin to venture out into the ocean of life describe it as a natural high – a combination of the adrenaline rush of trying something new and the satisfaction of having been successful at it.

There is an old saying that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think it also makes you more interesting to yourself and to other, too. So, get out of your comfort zone. See what wonderful things and people are out there in the deep end. Try new things. If you fail, learn from those failures and try again. Meet new people and not just people who look exactly like you. Learn from them. Appreciate them and their cultures and theirjump-in points of view. Life is too short to spend your entire time here in the shallow end. So, venture out into the ocean – the deep end – of life.

I’ll see you out in the ocean…


Teetering on the seesaw of life or mastering the winds of change…

May 23, 2017

“The world is an eternal seesaw.”  (Montaigne) – as seen on a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Life is indeed full of ups and downs, of good and bad things, of friends and those we believe wish us no good, and of threats and rewards. No matter what state your life is in currently it is bound to change sometime soon. No matter how hard we try to grasp it we cannot hold on to the past and are forced to deal with the changes that are occurring in the present with little real insight into the future.

Intime for change order to avoid being run over by change, one must embrace change. One cannot stop the flow of change, but like a surfer riding a wave, one can get on top of change and enjoy the ride. One might even be able to effect the changes that are in motion so that they take you in a direction that you want to go, rather than just sweeping you along to some unknown destination

Perhaps the most important thing that one can do is to approach all things in life, including the changes that are happening all around us, with a positive attitude. It is all too easy, when the winds of change appear to be blowing against you, to let a negativedumb blob guy and defeatist attitude take over your life. Maintaining a positive attitude is key.  Brian Tracy pout it well when he said – “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

Good sailors know how to use the winds that are there, no matter which way they are blowing, to take them in the direction that they want to go. In order to sail in any direction other than with the wind, sailors need a centerboard (or keel equivalent) and a good rudder. In life we need that positive attitude as our centerboard and, I would sailboatsubmit, we need faith as our rudder to sail against the winds of change and the ups and downs that come with change. Sailors also study the stars and their maps to guide them, just as we can study the bible for guidance in our lives.

Change is inevitable, as are the ups and downs of life, but if we keep a positive attitude at our center and let our faith act as our rudder to guide us against the winds in life that seek to blow us off course, we will not only weather change but thrive in the midst of it. I love a quote that I found from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon – “What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind – you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.”

I particularly like the last four words of Jeff’s quote. For some people complaining isn’t so much their strategy as it is their response to change. Those people not only accept that bad things will happen in their lives, they come to expect them and many adopt a defeatist attitude that eventually morphs into “why even try; I know I’m going to lose”. Try to stay away from those people because like a drowning swimmer they will try to drag you down with them.

Your walking manresponse to change based upon a positive attitude as your centerboard and your faith as your rudder will allow you master change and not let it get the upper hand on you. You will control your direction and your destiny, no matter which way the winds of change are blowing. Perhaps Sherrie Eldridge put it best when she said – “The remarkable thing we have is a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude”

How will you react to the changes that you encounter today?


Healing your wounds…

May 18, 2017

In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, retired pastor Jack Freed shared this tidbit of wisdom from and unexpected source – “A wound gets worse when it’s treated with neglect.”  (Stevie Nicks).

It may be opined that Nicks was not talking about physical wounds, but rather those wounds to our ego that are inflicted upon us by others through actions or words, or perhaps wounds that are self-inflicted. The same can be said about the wounds that we may inflict upon others, either intentional or inadvertent.  Sometimes the wounds come from perceived slights (real or crying-2imagined) rather than from overt actions or words. In any case the advice that Nicks give is not to let those wounds fester, not to neglect them; rather you should deal with them.

If you read the advice columns in the papers, you will notice that many of the letters to the columnists deal with these types of wounds. They are filled with laments that “she said this about me” or “he did that to me” and sometimes just “I was left out of the family event”. Those are all wounds that need attention and writing to the advice columnist is one way to give them some attention. Perhaps the better way it to learn how to deal with your wounds yourself.

A good start is by understanding the old phrase, “perception is reality”. The person or people making the hurtful (to you anyway) comments that wound your ego have somehow come to the perception that they represent the truth (reality) about you. Youvisualizing must accept that, for them anyway, this is reality as far as you are concerned. If you begin by stopping to analyze what that reality is in their eyes, you might discover the grain of truth that is at the core of their perception of you. Maybe they say, “I don’t like being around him/her, because he/she is always in a bad (down) mood and I don’t want him/her to bring mine down, too.” Wow, you are perceived as Debbie Downer, the moody person who isn’t much fun to be around. How did that happen?

Maybe, whenever anyone greets you and asks how you are, you go into some long, dreary story about how bad your life is. Perhaps you are overtly seeking sympathy, or maybe you just don’t realize how a negative response to what is meant as a cheerful opening en joiner; whatever the reason, stop and think before exposing your wounds to depression4others, in hopes that they will empathize with you. Once the initial pleasantries are exchanged, you may be able to judge whether this person has enough interest in you or is a close enough friend to share a wound or two and to seek advice from. The BFF’s in your life may be the only ones that you meet to whom you should ever expose your wounds. Do that too often with them and even BFFs will start to avoid you.

Understanding the perceptions that you give people does not really treat your wounds, but it may help prevent even more wounds from people who are turned off by your behavior or demeanor. So, maybe rule number one should be, “Don’t wear your wounds on your sleeve for everyone to see”

Rule number two might be, “Do something about it – treat your wounds.” Wounds to your ego are like zits on the face of a teenager. They may make you self-conscious, they may shake your self-confidence, or they may just make you frustrated and mad. If carried in silence they can lead you into dark places where others will avoid going.

I have possorry 2ted here before about dealing with problems and putting them behind you. That is the best way to handle your wounds, too. First, acknowledge that something that you did or that someone else did is bothering you – it is an open wound. Then determine if there is anything that you or anyone else might do that would correct, mitigate or make right what has happened or what was said. If it was you who said something that hurt someone else, and now that thoughtless action has bounced back to wound you; then you know who can fix that. Apologizing and saying that you are sorry to the person impacted by your actions will have a salving effect on them and on you. You may cure two wounds at once.

If someone else has offended you somehow, causing a wound that you wish to heal, the most honest approach is to confront them directly and explain how what they said or did made you feel; how it wounded you. Unless you have been attacked by a malevolent person who is out to do you harm for some reason, most of the time you will find that the other person didn’t mean to cause you any harm or pain – the slight or comment was inadvertent or perhaps totally misunderstood. It helps to start out by giving the other party the benefit of the doubt that the incident was really meant to wound you.

If, somehow, the wound that you are feeling was self-inflicted, caused by some action mistakrethat you took that you now regret; you need to give yourself some slack and try to turn this into a learning experience. Beating yourself up is never the best way to deal with a failure or a mistake. Stop an analyze what your thought process was going into the event and which of the assumptions that you might have made, or which “facts” that you were relying on, might have been wrong and steered you in the wrong direction. Learn from it.

Rule three is perhaps the hardest, but most important – forgive and move on. You can’t really move on with life carrying around a bunch of open wounds. You need to forgive the other person or yourself for what happened, acknowledge that it is in the past, andforgive move on. Even the gravest of perceived slights or actions by someone else against you must be forgiven and you certainly must be able to forgive yourself, if you are to get out of self-pity mode and get back to living.

Examples of people forgiving the most egregious offenses that I have ever seen have been featured on TV News. The survivors of the horrendous church shootings in South Caroline have forgiven the shooter. There have been other reports of similar acts of forgiveness for other horrendous crimes or actions. If you watch those reports, you will notice a sense of peace that those people have achieved by being able to forgive the other person. Certainly they will carry memories of those events for the rest of their lives; but they will not carry wounds – they have forgiven and moved on.

It is noteworthy that most of those reports of people forgiving the most heinous of woman-prayingperpetrators are about people with a strong foundation of belief in God in their lives. As part of their healing process, they have taken their wounds to God and He has healed them. They are able to say “I forgive you” to the person how harmed them because they are secure in the belief that God has forgiven them all of their sins, no matter how small or large.

I like the way Lewis B. Smedes put it – “Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”  

So, forgive and turn away from the past; and look to your future with hope. You have healed your wounds.


Great things are possible in October, too.

May 16, 2017

As seen in a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “All things seem possible in May.”  (Edwin Way Teale)

Whether Teale had this in mind or not (I suspect that that he did), the metaphor for life in that saying says that all things seem possible as you look at life from the front end of it – in May, so to speak. Too many people get to September or October on life’s calendar and seem to give up on most things that they may have had as dream on the front end. There are probably a few things that one must let go of as  we age, but I was encouraged by George H. W. Bush jumping out of and airplane when he was 90 years old. He didn’t let go of that dream.

There are obvious physical limitations that age imposes on all of us, some more so that others; however, I suspect that many restrictions on our activities are more self-imposed zip linethan forced upon us. Sometimes we become overly cautious, because we let the fear of what could happen prevent us from even trying new things or things that we have dreamed about doing. One can only hope that our base of wisdom, that we’ve built up over a lifetime, serves to protect us by giving us a better ability to plan to avoid the risks involved, rather than to let them stop us.  That’s why I like that recent ad with the older guy going down the zip line, having taken the necessary precautions to make sure that he doesn’t fall out, rather than not doing it at all based upon fear or the trepidation of others.

Certain things in life take on a different meaning, and sometimes a deeper meaning,

ID-1009082

“Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

inthe Autumn of one’s life than they had in the Spring. Love and marriage are two that come to mind immediately. As we age, the heat of youthful passion in a loving relationship may give way to the warm and mature glow of friendship and contentment and the attraction for a spouse may mature from the physical to a deeper level of commitment, understanding and sharing.

The Fall and Winter of one’s life need not be lonely or boring times of inactivity, just based upon the physical constraints imposed by age or infirmities.  While there will be things that one is physically no longer able to do, there are so many other things that require more mental than physical ability that one should never become bored or inactive. Every community has tons of volunteer opportunities, so there are always ways to serve others, while staying active yourself and giving you opportunities to meet other people.

So, as you wind down the career that you embarked upon in May of your life, find ways to shift your time and energy into other things that will be rewarding and keep you busy. One can only play so much golf every week or whatever you initially had in mind for your retirement. Travels can provide some entertainment and may even be educational; but even that can get old rather fast. The unfulfilled urge that you may keep feeling is caregiverreally a call to continue to feel useful and needed. You can find fulfillment for that urge by serving others and giving back to your community. You may well find that the simple “Thank you” that you’ll get from the elderly shut in that you just delivered a meal to feels more rewarding that all of the plaques and awards that you may have garnered over the business career that you had.

So, turn the page on your life calendar and look forward into the Fall and Winter of your life in anticipation of all of the great opportunities that still lie ahead for you. You still have two of the three seasons of life ahead of you and there’s no reason not to enjoy them and get as much out of them as you did in the first two. If nothing else, take to heart this little saying by Hans Christian Andersen – “Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead.”

Maybe you should wake up each morning, thank God for another day, and get busy being helpful by serving others. You may find that you are living by the philosophy, “I don’t have time to be dead, there’s too much still to do.”

Have a great Fall and Winter. Great things are still possible.


Can’t figure something out? Try looking at it from a new perspective.

May 10, 2017

From a recent post at  Jack’s Winning Words blog – “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must continually look at things in a different way.”  (Tom Schulman)  A professor surprised his class by hopping up on a desk to give his lecture.  The students remembered what he said, because they saw him differently.

We all look at life and the situations that we confront from our own perspective. We seldom take the time to hop up upon a desk to “see” things from another perspective. That is particularly true of our encounters and interactions with other people. If we are honest with ourselves, the perspective lens that we look at others through is called judgement. We judge others from our own frame of reference, rather than just see and girl with nose chainaccept them for who they are without prejudice. As a test, imagine that two girls walk into a room where you are. One looks “normal” and the other is sporting a nose ring and purple lips. What is your immediate reaction to them? Did you jump to a conclusion (a judgement) right away about the girl with the nose ring? I wonder what she thought about me if she saw an old dude standing there gawking at her.

We seldom stop to think about or take the time to attempt to see things from another perspective, especially the perspective of someone else. Rather we judge them from our own perspective and cannot fathom why they have made the choices that they have made. It may be the choice of their appearance or it may be the choice of an action that they have taken. On the surface an action may just appear to be a criminal act that needs to be punished; however, below that surface may be a set of circumstances that depression4precipitated the poor decision that led to that act. Was it caused by desperate hunger or maybe even overwhelming fear? Was it caused by the need to feed and addiction and what was the root cause of that addition? Is the behavior driven by a condition or illness that we just don’t understand? After all, how does one put oneself into the shoes of a person on the autism spectrum and see things as they see them?

You can read about things, like the post that I had here some time back that referenced a blog by a person on the autism spectrum who tried to describe her perspective on the world – how it feels to be autistic. That was a post about “trying to understand others without a frame of reference”. There was a later one about how it feels to be depressed. In both cases there was someone who lives those perspectives trying to share their point of view with others, so that they might be better understood themselves. There was a recent article in the Detroit Free Press about a recent MSU grad who overcame bi-polar disorder to pursue his dreams. I read it, but I still can’t get to the perspective that he must have had battling with that disorder.

I have also posted here many times about valuing diversity and about accepting people who embrace different lifestyles, like the GLBTQI community, yet I am still susceptible tolbgtqi-symbol making those snap judgments that many do, just based upon appearance or mannerisms. It takes a discipline that I have yet to master to prevent that from happening and to be able to think and accept, before rushing to judgement. I’m still working on that.

The recent seismic political changes in Washington are forcing many of us to try to gain some perspective on the point-of-view of the conservatives who now rule the land. There are lots of terms used to describe what they are apparently trying to accomplish – smaller government, less intrusion in our personal lives by government, reduced taxes, reduced regulation of day-to-day life, the sanctity of life, and on and on. On the surface, many of these ideas or ideologies don’t sound bad. The devil is in the details of how they are being implemented. There is a supreme irony in saying that you are providing better health care for everyone while at the same time causing millions of people to lose what little health care that they had. I still can’t get my head around that perspective. At the arrogantsame time, I read week after week about doctors and other health care “professionals” being prosecuted for fraud that saps millions from the healthcare system and about drug costs that have gone through the roof due to a broken healthcare payments system.

It is hard in the face of all that is happening not to become cynical about government and about a life that seems to be stacked against the average person. That is where one’s faith can provide the perspective that is needed to cope with the situation at hand. I posted recently about trusting God’s will and plan for our lives. Perhaps we need to extend that trust to life in general and our currently political situation specifically. Rather than praying that God find a way to “throw the bums out”; perhaps we should pray that God open their eye to the needs of all and guide them in their political actions. I’ll save the “throw the bums out” prayer if that doesn’t work.

Trying to see things from a different perspective or from someone else’s point-of-view at least forces us to try to imagine something different – a different way of looking at things and a different set of values for making decisions. That can be especially hard when both of the parties claim to be basing their value systems on the same thing. Both the conservative and the liberal sides of the political spectrum claim to be basing their core values on a belief in God and their own interpretation of the guidance to be found in thereading-bible Bible and the teachings of Jesus; yet they arrive at dramatically different perspectives on life and in the decisions that they make. It seems to me that at its core the two points of view can be expressed as “leave me alone” and “let me help you”. At the one extreme is anarchy and at the other socialism. Of course, neither will ever be achieved, but those end goals seem to drive the participants’ behavior.

I suppose that a Utopian view might be that everyone is cared for and all needs met without anyone having to pay for anything and everyone being free to do whatever they want. Not even God has figured out how to do that yet, unless you include heaven in the equation. Until such time as we get to heaven, the best that we might be able to do is to visualizingtry to stop and think before we react. Some and try to see, and perhaps understand a little, that the other person has a different perspective on the situation than we do. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just different from our view of things and we need to acknowledge that difference and factor that different point-of-view into our reaction to things. You may never be able to figure it out, but you can factor it in. That is a step in the right direction and may even give you a different perspective on things.

Here’s looking at you (from a different perspective).


Consider the alternative and turn to God…

May 4, 2017

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog had this advice –  “Life is not always what one wants it to be, but make the best of it, as it is the only way of being happy.”  (Lady Randolph Churchill)

That advice seems to pair well with an earlier post to the same blog – “When things go wrong, consider what went right.”  (Kristen Jordan Shamus)

I chose to title this post “Consider the alternative…” because too many of us go there without considering it. Rather than follow the advice of those two quotes, we have adepression3 tendency to wallow in self-pity or to seek to blame others for our failures or the calamities that may befall us. Some turn to drugs or alcohol in tough times. Because we go there, rather than heading Lady Churchill’s advice we descend into depression or live an unhappy life, convinced that somehow life is being unfair to us.

The advice that Kristen Shamus gave in her quote is really a key to achieving the happiness that Lady Churchill was speaking of when she advised to make the best of things as they are. When one stops to consider what went right in the face of disaster or failure, the starting point should be to be thankful that you are still here to consider what when right. First off, whatever it was that you just went through didn’t kill you; you’re still here. So, that went right. Second, if you stop and think about it, you learned something from the experience. Somewhere in the back of your mind is a little “Don’t do that again” Post It note that has been added to your knowledge base. So, you have gained in wisdom. The third thing is that you are now on a different path than you were on. Whether you have weathered a disaster or a failure, things will never be the same and you must now head in some new direction with your life. Maybe what went right there is that you finally have stopped progressing down a path that was sure to lead to an outcome that was not good.

Sometimes life’s disasters or failures bring people back to God. The curve balls that life woman-prayingthrows at us can become so overwhelming that we finally admit to ourselves that we can’t handle them and turn back to the one power in the universe that can handle anything – God. At the point at which we surrender to the will of God, rather than continue our foolish fight against the impossible or inevitable, we are given the power to see what went right and find happiness by making the best of things as they are. You really don’t have to understand what God’s plan for you is; you just need to accept that He has one and that, in the end, everything will be alright. You can give up your anger, your pain and your frustrations with what has happened and say, “Thy will be done.”  The immediate release that you will feel will allow you to re-focus on what has gone right in your life and what (and who) is really important.

When you stop to consider the alternative (continuing to be angry or sad or hurt or frustrated or disappointed), finding a way to let go, by inviting God back into your life is a pretty appealing alternative. But, don’t expect that every issue that you offload to God will immediately go away or be solved. Rather, find comfort in this quote from PatriciaGods Peace Heaton – “I have to keep reminding myself: If you give your life to God, he doesn’t promise you happiness and that everything will go well. But he does promise you peace. You can have peace and joy, even in bad circumstances.” How comforting is the thought of being at peace even in the face of adversity.

One of my favorite people here in my little town is our local Methodist pastor, Doug McMunn. Doug often uses the phrase “Be at peace” when discussing situations that are difficult. I think that is great advice and the way to find that peace is through your belief and trust in God. So, when life doesn’t go the way that you had hoped, make the best of it by considering what went right and making the best of it – be at peace.