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Yesterday, when my wife Lisa was called to receive her “parchment” at her graduation ceremony, I got all choked up. I realized that after five long years of incredible struggle, it is finally over. It’s been hard work for her, for me, and for us as a couple. The extent of our losses, like “so I had this friend” so eloquently expresses, was great. There were a few times where we almost didn’t make it. It was strenuous.

This morning as I was drinking my coffee and looking out over the beautiful river we live on, I realized that there was a significant level of peace within me. I feel a lot less stressed. I actually feel like I’m starting to relax. It’s been years.

I suddenly saw that, at the time of intense struggle, I believed I was managing it well. Looking back now, from this perspective, I see that I was all tensed up, engaged in day to day combat, in survival mode. This is a valid and necessary coping mechanism. But it is good to know this.

What kind of stress are you living under right now? What kind of mechanism are you using to cope with it? Imagine that your present struggle right now is completed: how would you feel different? What would your life be like?

I’ve come to the obvious conclusion: it’s easier and more pleasant to relax in favorable conditions.