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Jolinda “Josi” Case is a Spiritual Counselor who uses Tarot and Astrology (among other tools) as forms of divination. She is an avid and vigorous student of the esoteric. Josi has a great deal of experience in assisting people through major life changes such as death/dying/grief through counseling.

Josi’s main motivation is to empower others by assisting them to connect with and express their most true and authentic self. She also strives to give people the authority to feel comfortable in the pursuit of their personal Spirituality.

Josi’s formal education includes collegiate level degrees in Communications, Business and Psychology. She is also an ordained minister. In her free time (HA!), she writes a weekly column for her local paper (The Greenup Beacon), blogs on her site Shock Therapy and relaxes with her husband (“Ox”), three grown boys, two grandsons and pets (Prince, Mercury and Perseus).
Most recently, Josi has bonded forces with Dixie Vogel of A Fool's Journey to produce a monthly show they call Woo Woo Wonderful. The purpose of the live broadcast is to empower others with knowledge of Spirit and Mysticism.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Today, I am 8 years old

I've been more than a bit hesitant to publish what I'm about to write. There is a line, a boundary-- if you will, that most people have in regard to what they know about themselves versus what they allow others to see. I breach that line a lot already.

In my evaluation of whether to allow this part of myself come to print or not, I had to consider my overall goals for writing. They are to 1) provoke new thought processes 2) provide encouragement/support to others 3) inspire positive personal change and 4) exalt real life. I feel that the following fits that bill.

In the summer of 2005, my life had culminated to a crises point. Several things were occurring, some good, some bad but the key components were extreme anxiety, depression, change, uncertainty, fear and definitely not least of all exhaustion. There were also extenuating circumstances of receiving poor medical care and advice accompanied with sense of confusion in regard to medications that were relatively new to the world and misunderstood at the time.

As a result of all this, I attempted suicide.

People have understandably strong reactions to the causes, effects and situations surrounding such a drastic act. Please know that the point of writing this is not to trigger anyone. The point is to illustrate that being at the lowest personal point of your life can feel like an extremely isolated, lonely and desperate place. But, in truth, eventually everyone finds themselves there in one way or another meaning you are not truly alone in that place. The point is to show that if you find yourself there now, there is hope for life to go on. Where you are does not have to be the end point. It can be a completely new beginning.

Each year since my attempt, I celebrate a re-birth day on the anniversary of my own self-inflicted death. On that celebration, I write myself a letter about what I've learned from life in the previous year. This is the letter from this year.

Today, I am 8 years old.

This year, I've learned patience. I've often prayed for the ability to be patient. So, I guess that I should really be thankful for the circumstances I've been confronted with this year that have allowed me to realize the importance of the trait.

I am a reactive and emotionally charged person. But, throughout this year, I've learned that there are times it is best to let things play out on their own even if that means digging your heels in the ground and nearly biting your tongue off.

I've also learned that patience becomes easier when you are able to foster faith. This is a lesson that I learned several birthdays ago that has proven to be priceless. By faith, I mean, not only the faith in a higher power—which I have, but also a faith in the ability of others to make their own decisions and to handle problems on their own.

This may seem like a no-brainer. Of course people are capable of making their own decisions. I don't fool myself for minute thinking that I have the best answers for anyone all the time, including myself. But, by “people” I'm referring to not only my children but also to those who are closest to me. At some point, it is the task of all mothers to have faith that their children will be capable to handle their own lives effectively.

I've spent a large part of my life—nearly half of it so far, guiding, teaching and raising my children. And, I realized that a big part of my fear surrounding what kind of adults they would be stemmed largely from an insecurity about the decisions I've made and less from a lack of confidence in their potential.

Once I dealt with my own insecurities as a mother, I was much more optimistic about allowing (for lack of a better word) my children to make mistakes, foster their own success or failure and become adults. I was able to realize where my life and their lives diverged. And, I was able to see past the current circumstances and embrace the fact that we did have the ability to love one another through it, whatever “it” may be. And, I realized it did not have to be perfect. At the same time, I realized that there was divine perfection in life's little imperfections.

I am not responsible for everyone. I am responsible for me and my reactions to others and the various circumstances I find myself in. I've learned to make decisions based on that fact alone and, added to that, an ability to be benevolent to my future self. This means less cutting my nose off to spite my face and more of making choices that I can look back on and be at ease with. Not everything is a “react this minute” or a “do or die” situation.

At the same time, I learned that there truly are situations where you have to grab the bull by the horns and follow your instincts in reaction. Wisdom comes with realizing the difference. A sense of perspective greatly enhances one's ability to foster this wisdom.

In those “do it right now” situations, I've learned that you have to pull from that part of yourself that is authentic. I had to question, is this really me talking or acting? Or am I reacting from fear, frustration etc.

Unfortunately, one never knows when life is going to throw one of these crisis points your way. So, it's best to know yourself at all times in order to be prepared.

There was an event this past year where I had about a five minute window to say something that I felt was crucial. It was crucial because I knew it may be the last opportunity I had to really speak my heart. It was also crucial because I knew the audience would not be receptive. I faced a difficult choice with only seconds to decide. I could be quiet and not be seen. I could not make waves OR allow my authentic self to do what she felt was important.

I spoke. I was rebuked. But, in my heart and with my new sense of perspective, what I had to say will have a greater meaning to the audience in the future than it did in that very moment. Though it may seem like what I said fell on deaf ears and was rejected there will come a time when those words will be reflected upon and understood. I have faith in that. Although, I have been able to foster a sense of detachment to the reaction and focus more on the fact that I did, indeed, speak from my heart which will allow my future self (not to mention my current self) to feel a sense of inner peace.

I learned that nothing in life is constant. For me, knowing this is a big deal. What it means is if you find yourself in a situation where life feels wonderful and completely blessed, you should drink that in and fully be present in every second of it because it's not guaranteed to last. Moments like these are indeed gifts to be cherished.

At the same time, horrible circumstances are also fleeting. Just as joy may dissipate, so may sadness. There is hope in that. Life has a tendency to evolve, change, convolute, bloom, whither and grow again. I've learned not to give up so quickly and easily.

Overall, I learned that growing up is hard yet rewarding. Pretty astute for an 8 year-old in my opinion.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Venus in Virgo

Fall, schmall. Venus in Virgo gets a pretty bad rap sometimes. Ok. Most of the time. If I had a quarter for every time I saw “picky lover” correlated to Venus in Virgo, I swear I’d be a rich woman.
Planets placed in the part of the sky considered to be in fall are said to be debilitated or showing impairment of energy or strength.  However, I just caught my own Venus in Virgo sneering a bit as I looked over at my detriment/fall graph to be confirmed that Venus is said to be exalted in Pisces. Venus and Neptune? Please excuse me while I pass on that.

Of course, I am a bit biased. As I said, I have Venus in Virgo. But, as for the rest of my chart, it is Libra heavy (Sun, Ceres, Uranus, Mars—oooh ANOTHER fall!—Pallas and finally, Pluto in the 8th). So, matters of Venus are pretty important to me. This cornucopia in Libra may have even offset a little of my Venus in Virgo handicap, if there is such a thing. The big deal? I also have a Pisces Moon square Neptune. What this equates to is that all the times my ass has been saved from completely sacrificing my emotional self in a relationship, it has been that debilitated Venus squaring Saturn that has saved me.
Venus in Virgo cuts the bullshit. Frankly. My Pisces moon can collaborate with my Sagittarian Neptune all day coming up with wild and vivid fantasies. And, my brain GETS it! My Scorpio Mercury hits my Moon via trine. But, the Venus that is mine also holds a close sextile to that Mercury and all she wants is the truth which Scorpio gladly delivers…eventually.
Let me see if I can give you a real life example. I keep a garden at my house every year. It is a solace to me. I love to play in the dirt and help things grow. But, there’s a part of gardening that quite literally gives me pause. There are times when you have to cut overgrown, weak, withering or early sprouts, leaves and fruit in order for a plant to thrive and reach its full potential.
Photo Credit: Ciro Marchetti-Legacy of the Divine

I do prune. But, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t painful. Particularly with chrysanthemums. In my area of the world, you are supposed to prune mum blossoms three times during the summer and my Pisces Moon swears she can hear the plant wailing as I inflict forced abortions upon it’s not yet bloomed “babies.” But, Virgo pushes forward with the cutting because she wants the plant to flourish at its full potential.
Pruning is Venus in Virgo’s job. She cuts away what is dying and not useful in order to benefit the “thing” in the long run. Pruning, done in the proper capacity, makes for stronger and more resilient growth, bigger fruit and appealing shape.

From Wikipedia: Pruning is a horticultural and silvicultural practice involving the selective removal of parts of a plant, such as branches, buds, or roots. Reason to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping (by controlling or directing growth), improving or maintaining health, reducing risk from falling branches, preparing nursery specimens for transplanting, and both harvesting and increasing the yield of quality flowers and fruits. The practice entails targeted removal of diseases, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants.
Selective removal. See. Virgo can be deemed picky. But, I greatly prefer selective. And in matters of love and money, I don’t really see how selective is a bad thing. Targeted removal.

Photo credit Josephine Wall

That being said, I’ve never been a nit-picky lover. As a matter of fact, I’m more prone to pick myself to death before I would ever dare to say or expect anything from anyone else. Sure, Libra loves mirrors. But my face in the mirror has more of a purpose than just admiring what I see back at me. My face is usually in the mirror pinpointing every flaw of my own self. I’m much more forgiving and accepting of others.
With all that being said, Venus in Virgo is asking you, “Do you need a good pruning?” What dead weight can you cut away in order to flourish? What are you willing to give up in order to reach your full potential? And, on a side note, she says, “While we are at it, can we cut the bull surrounding your love life? Let’s get real here.”

Friday, July 19, 2013

The thing that shines

I’ve been very selective through the course of my life about what I take interest in. A lot of that selection process was actually dictated by the interests of others.
For example, I have a younger cousin who I used to spend time with in the summers when we were kids. We did all sorts of things together as we shared much of the same interests. Growing up, she had a fascination with horses. I, at first, shared this fascination.

But, even at a young age, I realized the fierceness of my ability to compete. I didn’t want to put a rivalry between us over something that she obviously held very close to her heart. So, I didn’t pursue my interest merely because I felt, “This is hers.” And, I loved her. Still do. Even if we are older now and haven’t had much chance to connect.
She has a horse farm now, by the way. She doesn’t use it as a means for income. It’s for her personal enjoyment.  I love that.
I also grew up next door to a boy about my age who loved basketball. He and I had less in common than my cousin and I. But, I had a bit of interest in learning to play the sport. Until, that is, I witnessed him outside day after day practicing his free throws, jump shots and lay ups.
I joined the softball team in response. No. That is HIS thing.

He ended his high school days as a victorious varsity player. His interest garnered him a full ride to the college of his dreams. He is actually a college professor now who has converted to Buddhism and cohabitates with a Yoga instructor.
However, even within his enlightenment, he can still be found outside shooting hoops, practicing his free throws, jump shots and lay ups.
I’ve never felt bad for leaving these things behind. I don’t feel as if I’ve missed out on much.
Yet, there is one thing that I, personally, have never been able to let go of.
I was first recognized for my writing in the 5th grade. My teacher at the time had requested that each of us write a poem. I’d never written poetry before. I’d never read much of it. But, at the time, I had just realized that my father was in active battle in Vietnam before I was born.
It was the first time the realization hit me. It was excruciating for me to imagine. It was hard, first of all, for me to understand what atrocities existed in a war torn area let alone integrate the fact that my father was in the midst of that for several years in his late teens and early twenties.
This made a huge impact on me.  It became the basis for my poem.
My 5th grade teacher didn’t seem to like me, in my view. She often disregarded what I had to say, if she even called upon me to answer a question in her class. So, when she came to me after I turned the poem in with accolades I was a bit surprised. She asked that I make a display of the poem so that she could post it in the hallway near the school office for everyone to see.
So, I took the piece of notebook paper and pasted it onto a red piece of construction paper and added a small illustration of a soldier at war at the bottom.
My poem hung on the school wall all year. There were others posted in time. But, that one, right there, the one on the red paper was mine.

Right now (or maybe I’m just noticing it right now) it seems like everyone and their brother is an aspiring writer. Whether their forte is to construct poetry, blogs, literature or magazine articles, it seems to be an interest of everyone that I meet. And, for a moment, I contemplated withdrawing.
Thankfully, for the sake of my own sanity, I changed my mind and came to the conclusion, “No. This is MINE. The horses were hers. The basketball was his. THIS belongs to me.”
I love words. I love putting them together. I love the feel of a new writing utensil. I love the smell of a fresh new notebook. Walking into a library, bookstore or office supply store is like waking up on Christmas morning for me. I love. I love. I love. THIS is MY thing.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Drifting Whispers

Would it be easier for you to get on with this if I told you......

That's exactly what happened to me last night. I've been in a horribly frustrated mood. I feel as if I cannot see my future. I feel as if I have no idea what direction to take next. I vacillate from thinking I'm over half crazy to feeling completely justified (and perhaps a bit inflated by) my unusual interests and opinions.

Neptune is currently conjunct my Pisces Moon which squares Neptune natally. So, it's as if I'm having two major Neptune transits at once. Add to that, Uranus and Pluto opposing and squaring my heavily aspected Mars and what you end up with is a thought pattern of “Oh! I have to go! I have to go now! But, where am I going again?”

One minute I can be completely lost in a day dream and the next minute I'm standing up to spout out something in defense of someone I view as being oppressed or completely put off by someone who is being rude or offensive.

My Mars is in Libra, by the way. My Moon is in my first house traveling with this Neptune. Pluto and Uranus are traversing through my 11th and 2nd houses respectively. And, Uranus' RX period will bring it back into trine with my MC in Sag for a second time.

Work and daily routines are tough, to say the least. My focus is spotty at best and I have an increasing irritability to any type of ho-hum everyday life routine.

And, right there, I digress again.

I've felt restlessness for quite some time with Uranus holding in close opposition to my Mars. Jupiter passing through Gemini and trining all my restless indecisive Libra mess has not helped. Something has got to change. It's just been a matter of deciding which bridge I'd like to blow up first.

My focus of change has been primarily upon my job. But, not solely. It's also been on my place of residence, my marriage, my family and I've had this fleeting desire to just completely disappear from my current life and re-emerge somewhere else.

I've had thoughts like, “If I were to leave for work one day and just keep driving, I could be X miles away before anyone ever knew I was gone. That's a radius of X amount of miles that they would think to look for me..given they didn't believe I had the guts to get on a plane—which I do. Then, once I got there, I could do x,y and z in order to survive. Eventually I could...oh, I need to get in the shower to get ready for work.”

The constant back and forth of this strong desire for revolution and transformative action to a dreamlike fantasy state is exhausting and confusing. I'd come to a point most recently where I just decided to give up on knowing anything. I surrendered. Or, at least, I tried to. I begged the Universe for some type of guidance because my own guidance system is currently drunk. Actually, being intoxicated is also a very alluring thing for me right now.

In a way, I feel if I could just stay numb and inebriated during this time in my life, it would be easier than having to deal with the constant itch that is Uranus opposing my Mars.

And through it all, I keep feeling as if something is changing all on its own. There have been several blockages that have cropped up adding to my feeling of being stuck, paralyzed, immobile. But, most recently, I've noticed that when I take a deliberate (and often brave) step in a certain direction, then a blockage is unexpectedly washed away.

I've no idea where I'm going. None. I'm completely blind at this point. But, I think my time in my current job is nearing an end. I'm not certain of much. But, this has been something that has been grating on my soul even before Uranus made its first pass in trine to my MC and the first opposition to my Mars. Those transits merely made it more apparent.

The problem is, I have work to complete there first. And, still, I'm confused about what I will do afterward and how it is that I will leave. I feel like I need to have a plan in place so that I can explain my decision rationally to my family. But, I don't have one. In all this confusion, I waiver from being confident over this inkling and completely unsure of my sanity.

I'll soothe myself by saying, “You are just having a midlife crisis. It's that simple. Don't be a statistic and just up and quit your job one day to join the circus.”

But, midlife crisis or not, the last part of that statement sounds WONDERFUL to me right now. I could travel; work with animals and children...stay up past 10 PM…   See?

Last night, I was expressing this Pluto/Mars business as best as I can. It's a powerful force and I'd worked up a sweat dusting, mopping, cooking. I'd cooked a rather extravagant dinner for a Tuesday night. Without all this energy, a typical Tuesday night dinner could very likely be something ordered from a local restaurant because I was too wiped out from the first two days work after the weekend. But, not today. Chopping, peeling, stirring all at the same time as mopping, dusting and other cleaning with music blaring in the background in an attempt to persuade my mood from “I may kill someone” to “I might just let them live.”

I was completely engrossed in it when I heard the line from the very beginning of this story. It was a soft voice. Gentle. Calm. But, most certainly, audible. Right before I heard the words, I had stopped in my tracks. Immobile. Staring into nothing. I went from straight furious activity to not moving a muscle.
“Would it be easier for you to get on with this if I told you that the only reason you were there in the first place was because of this.” Only “this” had a fully detailed explanation.

And, then, I started to cry. Because, yes, that one statement from out of thin air made all the difference in the world to me. It was that little piece of information pulled straight from the ethers that lifted such a huge burden from my shoulders not to mention my mind.

From there, the next few steps on my path were cemented.

Here's hoping that during this flood of water, electric shocks, confusion and upheaval you will also get that little message that brings you right about to center again. It's entirely possible under a sky like this. It's also entirely possible that no one else will “get” it or believe it, but you.

As a side note, I’m not guaranteeing that I will STAY right about to center. I’m very liable to drift again and perhaps even forget this whole thing ever happened—which is part of the reason I’m writing it now. But, for a brief moment, I had clarity and inspiration and…I’ll take that.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Hunger that is..Mars in Cancer

I find that I am hungry. However, it is not a hunger that is associated with food. It is a hollow gnawing that has me wanting to create and facilitate a sense of nostalgia for the life I'm living now. I want to create memories. The vivid and long lasting type that I can look back upon years from now and be satisfied with.

I have plenty of memories now that draw me back to different checkpoints in my life. And, given my notions of late, they allow me to extricate very fine details of my surroundings at the time.

Namely, I can recall the texture of the sidewalk from my childhood home. Cold. Rough. Surrounded by blooming phlox and almond bushes in the spring. I learned to ride my bike there before being unleashed on the road. Sitting on the curb of that sidewalk left dimples on the back of my legs but still, I did some of my best day dreaming there.

In exploring those memories, I've realized that there will come a time in my life when where I am right this very second will be a distant memory. I'd like to have an active hand in co-creating that memory--deliberately imprinting in fine detail what I will want to recall in the future.

Where am I? What does this place feel like? What is important to me? What are the smells, the tastes, the mindset of this time? What pictures are hanging on the walls? What are my routines? What will I learn from this point in time?

Can you actively pursue the creation of your own nostalgia?

I think you can. I think I've done it before in that I've recognized when I was in a pivotal time in my life and consciously said, “I want to remember this.” Then, my senses deliberately devoured and imprinted every nuance of the moment.

It works.

I've often been accused of being forgetful. And, it's true. There are moments in my life that I've heard other people speak of that I cannot recall the faintest inkling of what happened. I hear these and say, “I said, what? We went where? When was this?” Then, it occurs to me the idiosyncrasies that are created between one persons imprint of an event and another's. The same thing means different things to different people. I remember the smell of the freshly brewing coffee and you remember the wafting of the tea roses through the kitchen window. Separate tools and collections from the same exact day

So, in my hunger to foster this sense within myself, I'm also curious as to what and how others will remember this time in our lives. What will my grandchildren remember from coming to visit? What will my children recall years after I'm gone. What type of picture in their mind will they carry of me?

It's as if I am contemplating my own legacy. And, I'm wondering if I really have any part in fostering what I would like that to be or is widely up to the interpretation of the person contemplating it.

I know what I would like for my children to remember. But, what they end up storing about me, if anything, is out of my control. And, I think I'm ok with that—but I am interested to know.

I do think that consciously working to create another chapter in my book of memories assuages a bit of the pain I currently have with certain times in my life. In making a sense of nostalgia in my current time, I'm forced out of the past into the right now with a small sense of the future that isn't so overwhelming that I'm at a point of concern over it. But, moreover, I'm less concerned with where I will be and more concerned about what I'm giving myself now to remember wherever I may be then.

In a way, I feel as if I'm mentoring my future self. I don't have access to her wisdom. However, I can fortify and enrich her with the foundational memories that I'm creating now. And, in that, there is a drive to act with a sense of integrity. I'd rather not look back upon this time and think of myself as a schmuck. I'd rather be proud of the choices I've made and the actions I've taken even if there is no one around to assess that but my own self in the upcoming years.

It's a different type of perspective than I'm accustomed to. Although I am future minded, it is only at this stage in my life that I understand certain things and how they may or may not impact our future selves. The nurturing I provide to myself now will provide a means of nurturing for my future self and still in that, I will be able to push onward as a glance to my past.

And, what of the others whose paths are correlating with mine now? What is it that I can do to foster a sense of meaning that will remain once our paths uncross? It's not like I can nurture my future self with out any consideration to nurturing the future selves of others.

At any rate, I'm hungry. And, I doubt that the hunger will subside any time soon as I insatiably approach what I'm doing now—from the mundane of cooking a nightly dinner to the extraordinary that comes along and sweeps you up with it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


“There is no passion in playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

“On life's vast ocean diversely we sail. Reasons the card, but passion the gale.” Alexander Pope.

I have a sincere belief that passion—the seeking of it, the pursuit of it, the nurturing of it and the expression of it--- is a large part of what gives a person's life a certain flavor.

Passion denied can be torture. Passion uncontrolled and obsessed over can breed insanity. Passionless is apathy. And, passion forgone in an effort to thwart fear and obtain security can be a literal death.

However, passion recognized, consciously directed and nurtured to a level that benefits not only the impassioned but also inspires passion in others is priceless. That is the golden fruit of life, as far as I'm concerned.

But, what is passion? Let's look it up. According to wikipedia (my old college professors cringe whenever I reference this—thankfully that no longer matters), passion is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. Interestingly enough, the word itself is derived from the Latin Verb pati meaning to suffer.

Before I get too deeply into this, as the above description shows, passion can (and is) be felt between people or toward a person without reciprocation. That's a relationship flambe' for another day. The type of passion I'm speaking about here is a passion for something. A drive to engage. An inner spark instigated through a certain action, cause or event.

Passion can be both what keeps someone up at night and also has them jumping enthusiastically out of bed in the morning. That “spark” or “fire” causes a visceral reaction in a person.

The heart may skip a beat. Breathing may quicken. Pulse speeds up.

Passion is a trigger of adrenaline. Follow me?

What trips that trigger is as unique to a person as their fingerprint. Isn't that odd? What is an embroiled drive in one person to pursue something can be the equivalent to yawn stimulation in another. And, there are no limits to diversity of quirks a person may have around their own passion.

To me, passion is a fire that demands to be fed. Overfeeding can result in an uncontrolled wildfire that essentially feeds off every aspect of a person's life. Every other possible aspect of a person's being is consumed by the flames be it the pursuit of other interests, career or relationships. The more the passion is fed and allowed to burn uncontrollably, the less in control the person is of their life and more becoming a slave to the passion itself. And yet, in this instance, even with full conscious fueling of the desire, the yearning sense or suffrage of passion, if you will, is never satisfied.

The slave to passion is left without oxygen after a time. Fire does consume oxygen, you know? As well as any type of combustible material.

Passion is the wild and untamed horse of the soul.

The key to the best use of passion is the harnessing of it and conscious, skillful direction--nourishment to a level that is sustainable but not overwhelming or draining. The ability to successfully do this can mean the difference between a sense of satisfaction with life versus a life whose flame burns out tragically and much too early.

The thought of a passionless life scares me. But, the thought of a life emblazoned by passion to the point of radicalism, extremism and non-sensible drive is horrifying. The thought of passion discovered and discarded sounds torturous. The profit and benefit of passion most certainly lies in the balance.

Passion is not lost on youth. This is when the spark typically begins. Unfortunately, wisdom doesn't find us until decades later at which point we've probably already allowed our passions to either destroy us or have completely denied them allowing the fire to be squelched and burn out.

Perhaps the gained wisdom will bring us full circle to re-discovering and re-kindling the passion in a productive way. Or, maybe it will continue to be denied until we meet our desolate and unsatisfied end.

The choice, is largely up to us. Isn't it?