Foreign Films : An Expanding List

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I love foreign films and find them to be of immense value.

If one has the desire to explore this realm, it can definitely serve as one of the many gateways into the expansion of consciousness and appreciation for the diversity of worldviews.

I’ve created a list of films which may activate your interest. While not exhaustive, it hopefully gives life to the part of us yearning to embark on adventures in unfamiliar territory. These films are listed in no particular order:

(1)  Run Lola Run (Germany)

(2)  Lila Says (France)

(3) The Man Who Copied (Brazil)

(4) Amelie (France)

(5) Paris (France)

(6) 5 x 2 (France)

(7) Yeelen (Mali)

(8) Xala (Senegal)

(9)The Idiots (Denmark)

(10) Goodbye, Lenin ( Germany)

(11) City of God (Brazil)

(12) The Battle of Algiers (France)

(13) The Lives of Others (Germany)

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(14) Let The Right One In (Sweden)

(15) The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina)

(16) Lovers of The Arctic Circle (Spain)

(17) Eat, Drink, Man Woman (Taiwan)

(18) Lumumba (France, Belgium, Haiti, Germany)

(19) The Taste of Others (France)

(20) The Sea Inside (Spain)

(21) Tsotsi (South Africa)

(22) After The Wedding (Denmark)

(23) Yaaba (Burkina Faso)

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(24) Maria Full of Grace (Colombia)

(25) 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (Romania)

(26) Cache (France)

(27) In The Mood For Love (Hong Kong)

(28) The Diving Bell & The Butterfly (France)

(29) Talk To Her (Spain)

(30) Devdas (India)

(31) Blue (Poland)

(32) Women on The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Spain)

(33) Live Flesh (Spain)

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(34) La Mujer De Me Hermano (Mexico)

(35) The Motorcycle Diaries (Spain)

(36) Lust, Caution (China)

(37) Paradise Now (Israel)

(38) Amores Perros (Mexico)

(39) Broken Embraces (Spain)

(40) Bad Education (Spain)

(41) Touki Bouki (Senegal)

(42) Y Tu Mama Tambien (Mexico)

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(43) My Best Friend (France)

(44) The Hop (Belgium)

(45) The Past (France)

(46) In The House (France)

(47) Volver (Spain)

(48) All About My Mother (Spain)

(49) Sex and Lucia (Spain)

(50) Russian Dolls (French, British)

(51) The Spanish Apartment (French, Spanish)

(52) Masai: The Rain Warriors (France, Kenya)

(53) Blue Is the Warmest Colour (France)

(54) Yi Yi (Taiwan, Japan)

(55) Love Me If You Dare (France)

(56) Life Is Beautiful (Italy)

(57) Keita, The Heritage of The Griot (Burkina Faso)

(58) Amour (Austria)

(59) Mestizo (Venezuela)

(60) The Tracker (Australia)

(61) Sia, The Myth of The Python (Burkina Faso, France)

(62) Kirikou and The Sorceress (France)

(63) The Edukators (Germany, Austria)

(64) Otomo (Germany)

(65) Four Lovers (France)

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Saturn in the 1st House: “Becoming Unblocked”

If you have Saturn in the 1st house natally, your developmental task is the organization of self, which means to arrange all of your parts into a structured whole and develop  effective methods and purposes which surrounds your actions. You’re being asked by the universe to navigate life with solid and concrete intentions.

A room awaits you, filled with honor and recognition, and it’s just behind the brick wall.

The ringed planet is asking you to view yourself in your most realistic light and love that self that you see with a sense of permanence. With this placement, Saturnine principles are essential to the formation and development of your identity. Thus, accountability, self-reliance, responsibility, and work ethic need to be integrated into your life for the optimal flourishing of your person-hood.

A theme that looms large with this placement is that of claiming your own authority. To expound on that further, this means writing your own story, i.e. becoming the “author” of your life and ordering your own existence as you see fit.

It’s not that you’re necessarily rejecting input from others, but rather you’re learning to place yourself at the front and center of your life and be your own “go-to” person. Your “unblocking” manifests when you can neutralize or banish doubts surrounding issues of competence. Surely, you can model that concept for others.

A hesitancy to place yourself in front of the world may surface because of a fear of failure. However, it’s important to fully examine and understand the standards and values that you’ve used in formulating what that means to and FOR you.

The key to navigating this territory is to acknowledge your life as a step by step process which allows room for experimentation. Maintaining this type of perspective can result in a process of “toughening”, which shapes you into an individual who’s capable of placing the work you must do above concerns from your inner critic.

It’s essential to understand that it’s a reward to be in your position and it’s more of a matter of stepping into and claiming what’s already yours rather than a fervent striving to “arrive” at a certain place or stature.

For you, self-mastery is the ultimate result of navigating this placement successfully. Establishing an honest, grounded and solid foundation, which includes recognition of your strengths, challenges and limitations can lead to facing the world with wisdom, maturity and a finely honed sense of integrity.

In this way, you “self-credential” and come to the realization that measuring yourself according to external qualifications bears significantly less fruit than working with astute strategy and design in your chosen field(s) of endeavor.

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My Take on Astrology : “Speak To The People”

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When I write about Astrology, there are certain days when my desire is to be intricately technical and spell out the details of how certain placements and configurations may operate in the real world. NOW is NOT one of those times, and TODAY is not one of those days.

Today, I would much rather write about Astrology from a broad point of view. One which attempts to include, rather than exclude people. If there’s one thing that I’ve realized during my astrological career, it’s that people solicit our services because they seek insight on the challenges that they’re dealing with and they want that conveyed to them without a lot of pomp and circumstance or excessive jargon.

One of the practices that’s helped me immensely in life and career matters is a periodic re-focusing and re-dedicating to my vision. It’s the perfect day for me to reaffirm my commitment to providing meaningful Astrology to people without the bullshit that attempts to create some type of grand hierarchy or division between the Astrologer and the general public.

All of you out there who are reading this right now need to know that you’re capable of using the basics Astrology to affect constructive change in your own lives. I primarily consider myself to be a stimulus for thought who’s capable of asking questions which are needed to possibly open up another door for your inquiring minds.

Much of my writing are commentaries designed to stimulate thought and encourage you to do more extensive research on how particular placements may operate in your own lives. For me, the Counseling aspect looms just as largely as the actual Astrology. I want you to be able to take all of this information, along with the understanding that YOU bring to it, and assist you in making it REAL in your own lives.

When we speak about birth chart “potentials”, the reality is that they’re only so valuable as you being in the situation to capitalize on them.  Labeling you a “genius”, “sex goddess or god”, “ultra-intuitive” etc. can only really help you if you can actually channel that potential into something meaningful.

While some people have the luxury of having “better ” land or richer soil to assist in the growth and flourishing of their lives, there’s really nothing for us to get upset about.

There’s nothing wrong with giving ourselves a good once over and taking the realistic approach as to what our main ingredients are, as well as the quality of the “soil” that we’re currently planted in. Of course this may change over time, but it’s important that we consistently understand the raw materials which we’re dealing with.

While they have their own unique qualities, silver doesn’t pretend to be gold and a horse doesn’t pretend to be an elephant. We MUST make the best use out of what WE have and avoid becoming disgruntled because we feel that someone possesses something else that is rightfully ours. Once we determine to get on with the business of living in a “straight, no chaser”manner, the more we reclaim our time and can concentrate on distributing it for more profitable adventures.

Pluto In The 9th House : The Power of Beliefs

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Pluto, the Symbolism:

Astrologically, Pluto is small, yet potent.  Much of what Pluto stands for gets classified as simply the “dark”, even though most of us don’t even really know what that means and many times, we’re expected to and left stranded to figure it out. So, we literally become more confused about it and astrology in general.

Pluto symbolizes a state of deep, and often EXTREME change and catharsis. When we explore Plutonian themes, they’re usually ones which provoke heavy introspection, and also gut wrenching fear. In many cases, the exploration of Pluto stuff commands that we dig up what’s been buried and rejected because either we can’t seem to understand how to assess its meaning and value or we’re afraid of the powerful and triggering feelings that it elicits within us and we’d just rather look the other way and avoid speaking about what makes us uncomfortable.

Death, racism, sexism, sexual assault, the murdering of black women and men via police brutality, the wholesale abuses of power in business and government, child molestation, sex in general (and all of  its varieties and nuances), pornography, slavery, crime and corruption are just a sampling of the items on the Plutonian-like smorgasbord that are ready and waiting for us to dig into them. Somehow, our society thinks we should only whisper about these things and find our way back to Mayberry or Pleasantville because after all: we’re “good” people and none of these horrific sounding things could never link their way back to us. That’s all of those “other” people “out there”.

The 9th House : Searching for “God”

The ninth house, in Astrology is the domain of discourse in which we travel, both literally and metaphorically, in search of “God”. This is a highly personal adventure for each and every one of us. Ninth house themes deal largely with our belief systems and their formation, our quest for wisdom and philosophical cohesion, religion, education which takes us out of the realm of the “basic” and our immediate environment, the distribution of knowledge through publishing, teaching and lecturing,  and our voyage to gain a more panoramic understanding through material contained in pursuits such as astrology, divination, dreams, law and metaphysics.

The ninth house is the field of experience which represents the seeker, explorer, teacher, preacher, guru, philosopher, demagogue and missionary in all of us.

Pluto in the 9th House: The Placement

The lessons which come with having Pluto placed in the 9th House in one’s natal chart span far and wide. Whenever natal placements of ANY kind are examined, it’s ALWAYS a necessity to keep in mind that the manifestation of a placement in ACTION can be both constructive and maladaptive. So it’s never just ONE way. Many factors need to be considered. Two of the main ones being the level at which the particular person is living the contents of their birth chart and the particular society of which we’re a part.

If you have Pluto in the 9th house natally, perhaps it’s your calling to dig deeply and expose he deceit which is cloaked in our systems of “higher education”, religion and spirituality. Maybe enough is enough and you’ve decided that you would rather experience the tumultuous feelings that are inherent in such a journey than sit back and play like you don’t see anything happening in the world around us while declaring that everything is “just a state of mind.”

Here, your developmental process is about transforming your core through your journey to establish a cohesive and all-encompassing system of moving throughout the world. For best results, you can only do this by accepting the gut-level truth in what you find no matter how unsettling it happens to be. More than likely, you will find that this trip allows you to unearth resources that you didn’t realize that you had or have long forgotten about as well as exposes some naiveté on your part in taking a portion of people and the world in general at face value.

Part of your real education is to be able to master the art of discovering a truth and realizing that it’s simply yours without suffering from the “convince and convert” syndrome when it comes to others. It’s essential to honor the truth-seeking capacity in others as you’ve done for yourself. Ideally, whatever you’ve been fortunate enough to uncover should serve YOU and not the other way around.

Another instrumental phase of your Plutonian 9th house expedition can be to get to the bottom of parts of yourself which you’re currently labeling as undesirable or worthless. This is where it’s so important to realize the power of re-purposing. perhaps it’s not so much a matter of WHAT you feel that you are, but rather one which concerns HOW you’re using the certain elements of your personality that you feel are unacceptable. So, your M.O. may be to resist throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Photo Credit: Josh Sorenson

Sagittarian Mind Consulting: The Mission Statement

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For those who may not be familiar with me or my blog, I’ve been a practicing Counseling Astrologer for nine years.

One of the questions which proves to be ever pervasive in my mind is related to what will become of Astrology in the world’s ever-changing state.

I often think about the future of what I consider to be one of the most comprehensive and versatile systems of human development our world has ever seen.

As a Counselor who utilizes Astrology, my mission consists of communicating life-enhancing concepts in a practical and concrete language which is totally accessible to the layperson.

In my mind, there’s no reason to engage in ultra-esoteric, other-worldly masturbation when clients want to be helped right here on earth.

My mission also consists of assisting others on their quest for self-discovery and a more holistic understanding of their inner dynamics, as well as taking into consideration the all-important cultural and environmental factors which influence their external world.

I aspire to be the best guide possible when exploring the parts of the individual psyche which require integration and synthesis for the development of the total person. I  draw not only from  experience with Astrology, but also life experience, as I’m also an educator, writer, consultant and human resources professional.

It’s important to me that I help open doors for others to locate the place within themselves which helps them to obtain a more multi-leveled and expansive view of themselves as well as advance their interests and address their challenges.

To grasp a larger sense of their ultimate life purpose and realize how their route of fulfillment is intimately interconnected to the cosmos is my ultimate aim.

Not only do I want others to realize their life has a special meaning, but I also wish to distribute the message that our lives are ultimately about the meaning which WE assign to it.

Astrology is about how we may work in tune with the universe to blend our separate fragments into a whole. How we join forces with the all to form a powerful and unified entity.

My mission consists of getting the word out that Astrology is only as reductive as we allow it to be. The signs, planets, houses and aspects don’t “make” us anything. It’s our personal responsibility to infuse purpose into every set of instructions contained within our birth maps.

We’re not stuck in a proverbial box, or symbolically held hostage by a zodiac sign telling us we have no behavioral options outside of the astrological cookbook variety.

In actuality, the entire universe containing ALL of the signs and planets is INSIDE and OUTSIDE of us ready and willing to be used as a resource for our growth and development.

THIS is the type of Astrology that I am honored to use in my Counseling practice.

I’ve dedicated myself to the propagation of this philosophy and accepted my instructions from the universe of uplifting my fellow human beings in their quest toward liberation and constructing the big and important questions which require deep self-reflection.

It’s an honor and a pleasure to serve, and thank you for you support.

Action, Assertion and Drive: Understanding Your Mars Sign

©2016 by Sagittarian Mind Consulting

Simply put, the planetary archetype of Mars symbolizes action, assertion and the application of will.

The sign in which Mars is placed in the chart suggests the style, or how we go about obtaining what we want. Mars’ sign is also connected to our method of attack and defense, or how we go to “war”. The house placement of Mars indicates the area of life development where we may be most effective and fulfilled expending this energy.

Mars in Aries: Direct, forceful and decisive application of will. Pull no punches, play no games. No gimmicks.

Mars in Taurus: Hearty persistence. Stubborn and unyielding will in service of how things “should be”. Expenditure of energy for practical purposes.

Mars in Gemini: Goes to war intellectually. Using words as a shield and sword. Explicit language. Slices and dices the competition cleverly and with a sharp wit.

Mars in Cancer: Intense self protection. Elaborate defense system. Applies will tenaciously. Pursues goals indirectly and in a subtle manner.

Mars in Leo: Confidence and self-assurance are drivers. Expends energy attracting attention and gaining notice for unique qualities and perspectives.

Mars in Virgo: Efficient vibe. Applies energy toward analysis and perfecting of skills to be offered as service to humanity. Pursues correct techniques.

Mars in Libra: Ultimate diplomat. Or constantly “riding the fence”. Application of will geared toward cooperation/partnership or the passive-aggressive contesting of  viewpoints just for the sake of debating the other side of the issue.

Mars in Scorpio: Goes to war psychologically. Investigates weaknesses and vulnerable areas of the mental/emotional makeup. Applies will with potency and intensity. Energy expenditures toward exploring the “underbelly” of life. Probes people and processes deeply and intimately. Tremendous regenerative capacity.

Mars in Sagittarius: Applies will toward deriving purpose and meaning from life experience. Pursues the construction of a comprehensive philosophical framework. Extends effort toward developing informed opinions to share with the world.

Mars in Capricorn: Pursues aims and objectives strategically with an organized and administrative focus. Desire centers around achievement in the concrete world, status and mastery of will. Climbs mountains and overcomes obstacles. Applies energy toward strengthening community and upholding tradition.

Mars in Aquarius: Gears efforts toward individuation and self-realization. Applies will futuristically toward humanitarian pursuits. Unafraid to be labeled “weird” or “strange”. Views eccentricities as a healthy part of personal authenticity.

Mars in Pisces: Energy applied toward sacrificing self for the ideal and merging with the collective. Motivated by the dissolution of boundaries. Going to war for, and giving hope to the downtrodden. Intuition and empathy are used to achieve personal goals.

Leo Sun, Capricorn Moon

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This sun/moon combination suggests that emotional and psychological fulfillment comes through harnessing one’s abilities to consolidate resources in the name of personal growth.

The type of fuel your “engine” runs on contains aspirations to gain notice from others through a creative and unique expression of yourself and your gifts. If administrative prowess and personal promotion are blended successfully, there’s potential for the high visibility which comes with leadership, provided that you inspire others through an example of sincerity as opposed to being a walking exercise in ego inflation.

The step by step building of an internal locus of control nourishes you and helps you to ground your sense of authority. If your heart space is well-organized, the beaming light which accompanies your charisma has the potential to shine though in order to gain the personal recognition which you seek.

One of your keys to becoming a well-integrated person is to take responsibility for everything that you are. To recognize your strengths as well as your limitations and how to responsibly and effectively live within them.

When you “walk the talk”, you feel as if you’re standing on a firm foundation and there are no contradictions in your thoughts, words or deeds. In turn, this affords you the insight that you never have to settle for less than you deserve in your personal relationships or dealings with others.

In essence, you’re self-validated and don’t feel guilty about asking for, or pursuing what you want.

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Libra Sun, Taurus Moon

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For many of us, moments of true equilibrium don’t necessarily occur as often as we would like. In fact, we may even find them to be a bit elusive. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that there’s often a common human tendency to either be looking BACK, embroiled in the gut-wrenching regret or heartfelt nostalgia of PAST events, or gazing far into the FUTURE with wide-eyed idealism or trepidation and uncertainty.

Your Sun-Moon blend highlights the possibility of a silver lining for you: the potential to look straight ahead and be firmly planted in the NOW, with the capacity to extract beauty from, and experience serenity in the most basic aspects of life.

Within you, there’s a suggestion of a grounded and unruffled foundation which combines with a social intelligence and refinement. There’s a knack for executing sheer appreciation for the moment, and also the confidence that, when that moment has elapsed, there’s one right behind it which can be appreciated just as fully.

You gain a deep satisfaction from an inner certainty that your life is being built with the intent of acquiring and increasing the scope of your spiritual and material resources. However, what was once a fertile wellspring of contentment can turn into a rigid and obstinate struggle for security if you become too attached to possessing, or possibly “trapping” what you enjoy.

Your personal relationships are an area of life where you must employ flexibility, accepting the ebbs and flows which come with the terrain. Rather than viewing change as an undermining of your basic sense of security, a more constructive approach may be to conceptualize its lucrative possibilities.

Your capacity to assert yourself for the sake of self-interest and the cultivation of your senses which extend beyond the immediately observable are tools which you’re going to want to develop. In all of your physicality, you’re meant to tap into every faculty, which will lead to the unfolding of a more complete human being.

A major lesson in your evolution is to recognize that everyone doesn’t play the game of life by the same rules. While you may bask in your mastery of the pleasure principle, others may major in potting and scheming. Some interactions may produce more confrontation and tension than you would like, or are used to, but your potential for endurance and common sense diplomacy are in your toolbox waiting to be utilized.

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Leo Sun, Virgo Moon

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“Some are made modest by great praise, others insolent.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

The combination of a Leo Sun and a Virgo Moon in an individual birth chart suggests the potential to shine by making oneself useful and summoning the powers of discrimination and insightfulness with the ultimate goal of improving the existing state of affairs.

This person is fueled by attracting notice from others, usually through avenues which allow regal and confident self-expression. Their vitality is stimulated by leading and being appreciated for their special qualities which allow them to illuminate the world with the warmth and heat of the spark of their divine being.

In addition, the personality reflects a need to clear out the useless and superfluous gunk in order to become a more radiant vessel for individual creativity.

The solar/lunar blend of Leo and Virgo can assist one another in providing balancing elements.

Leo provides a “solar boost” to the otherwise suggested modesty and tendency to dwell in the background of the Virgo Moon, while the Moon in Virgo’s need for reserve and reality checks can help curb unhealthy  and excessive egoical tendencies of a dysfunctionally operating Leo Sun.

Leo’s energy, like the Sun’s is only as effective as the glow it provides for EVERYONE.

When one becomes overly critical of oneself or others, which is a regression of the Virgo Moon’s energies, the shine downgrades to dullness.

Also, when the ego gets out of check he/she ceases to be useful. When the desire for praise or fame trumps correct techniques for everyday living, the result may very well be the person who gains a counterfeit popularity through criticizing other people:  A certified hater.

Optimally, there’s a sense of refined nobility, a generosity which is both fervent and sincere. A richness of spirit that not only uplifts and inspires, but also serves practical aims in the tangible world.

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Venus in Pisces, Mars in Libra

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Here, we have the valuing of all that’s ethereal blended with a passion for ideals. A portrait of an individual with Venus in Pisces and Mars in Libra would be painted with idealism of the highest order and an uncanny ability to see the best in other people and life in general.

A pronounced sense of universality permeates the psyche, where one would rather create bridges than borders. To some, it’s fascinating that the things which bring you the most joy are those which can’t be measured or have a boundless scope.

Your power of attraction lies in the unconditional acceptance of others and a passion for justice. Some of your wishes for humanity are: that they’re treated fairly, and that they receive copious amounts of peace and love in their lives.

Difficulty arises for you when your lenses become too rose colored for your own good. You suffer mainly because there’s an inclination to create the version of reality which produces the least amount of pain, and when you do that, there are no clear warning signals of the danger which has firmly copped a squat on your front porch.

There’s a tremendous amount of energy which is applied to maintaining your personal relationships, and rightfully so. In fact, you have a special talent for meeting your true desires through the actions of others.

People seem to naturally WANT to do things for you, and you have a way of appealing to the self-interest of others with charm and diplomacy. If there’s going to be any type of fight on your watch, it will be one against outward displays of coarseness and ugliness in personal behavior.

It needs to be noted, however that there are costs to pay for the “peace at any price” philosophy and those charges manifest for you largely on an internal level.

Although you feel that harmonizing may be your best option, you can easily create a bottleneck for your true feelings which feels like an emotional traffic jam. As a result, you develop animosity for whomever or whatever is in question, and that very peace that you were seeking to preserve morphs to a passive aggressive state, like the person at the office who sends the snide e-mails with smiley faces at the end.  In this state, your words are conveying one thing while your actions are speaking loudly and clearly in a contradictory fashion.

To truly reach your calling, both your Venus and Mars principles need to be honored. So, it’s important that you own your desires while also understanding the manner in which you need to apply your energies to obtain them.

In relationships, you have the potential to be a TRUE partner who offers emotional support and empathy. Even in times of conflict, a “fair fight” is important to you, and it’s wise to realize that conflict isn’t a dirty word and facing it squarely without avoidance can often bring you to a deeper place which is complete with a  greater degree of understanding  between your partner and yourself.

One of your challenges is addressing the theme of self-sacrifice in love. When it comes to healthy compromises that you make as a partner, this can breathe life-giving elixir into relationships. On the flip side it’s important to realize that there are no gold medals for martyrdom and no parades for the long-suffering.

Equating how much and how often you volunteered yourself for unequal treatment with loving another can be unhealthy and emotionally deceiving. Conversely, judging another person’s love for you by how much they’re willing to give up can be equally problematic.

At best, you beautify the world around you through your commitment to an all embracing love that few people, in comparison, ever get the opportunity to experience. You’re a unifier, clever strategist and true champion of justice. At worst, you become perpetually frustrated because you avoid the voice which prompts you to address challenges with other people directly, which dishonors your emotional needs and volunteers you for taking whatever another person thinks that you deserve.

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