Thank you so much for following this blog about animals and animal communication! I wanted to let you know, however, that I have moved the entire blog to my main website and that is where new posts appear. I hope you will hop on over there to catch up and sign up to follow me at that location. And if you have a blog too, please put that in the comments there so I can check it out. Thanks so much!
Archive for The Afterlife
What’s going on? The number of reincarnation cases I’ve been getting these past few weeks has been mind-boggling. Maybe it’s just a reflection of the fact that more people are believing in the fact that souls reincarnate… including animal souls. Or maybe it’s because more souls are striving to evolve more quickly by existing on our planet (which I have read somewhere). Whatever the reason, many of us are searching like mad for those special animals we have lost, hoping they come back to us SOON, so that we can continue to share this lifetime together.
To say the least, this has been a very interesting time, and one of the aspects of reincarnation that has been coming to the forefront for me lately with the animals is “walk-ins.” Moose/Merlin, to the left is a perfect example.
But first, for those who may not be familiar with the term “walk-in” as it applies to reincarnation, it simply means that one soul trades places with another soul and takes over that soul’s body, with both souls in agreement. Apparently this is more easily done when there has been an accident or a near death experience and the soul previously inhabiting the body is ready to leave. Usually one soul replaces the other, but sometimes both souls “share” the same body–again, by agreement. And, at least as far as my understanding goes, the souls are usually members of the same “soul group.”
I never thought about how this might apply to animals until a few years ago when I had my first walk-in case where a deceased dog entered another dog who was at a rescue sanctuary. The person involved was very drawn to the particular rescue dog in question, so the soul of her deceased companion zipped right in–by agreement–and co-inhabited the body of the rescu’ee, who was four or five years old at the time and was happy to share her body but not ready to leave. This was my first up-close-and-personal insight into this phenomenon and the fact that it occurs with animals as well as humans. In this case, how the departed spirit chose to display her traits and prove who she was to her person was most fascinating and very specific.
But back to Moose/Merlin. I had an inquiry (through this blog, actually) about a kitten who had come to the attention of a woman whose cat, Merlin, had crossed the Rainbow Bridge not long before. Merlin had been a beautiful black cat with great wisdom. The new kitten was black but, well, he had a lot going on. He had obviously been through major trauma and had some injuries, including a broken jaw. He was not even old enough to be weaned but had somehow found his way into our subject’s life and heart. She of course was not looking for a Merlin replacement but took the kitten in to help rehabilitate him.
And so began the story. Shortly after taking him in, she began to realize there was something special about this kitten and the way they had come together, even though he was born before Merlin departed. The kitten also exhibited a few very particular kitten traits that had been predominant in Merlin when he was a wee lad. Too much to ignore. So, while she called him “Moose” starting out, our reader feels sure that Moose is Merlin, and came back to her as a walk-in, in spite of great odds and life-threatening circumstances. And I happen to agree.
This is how it often happens. Seemingly by accident. Not in ways one could predict. If we are meant to be together, we souls have a divine knowing and understanding of how to make that happen. And sometimes, if all else fails, it’s through coming into a body that already exists, trading places, and settling down into the niche we’re meant to be in–with the person who’s waiting for us.
This is a precious and delightful new book about what happens when we “die,” … and many other soulful topics as well. The messages are delivered to the author, Linda Atnip, by her dear departed friend of almost 20 years, Mr. Kiki, an old-soul Pekingnese. If you have lost a beloved animal friend, this book will bring comfort and strength to your grieving process. Read more below in the current press release. And click on any of the links to go straight to Amazon.com and order it now!
Conversations with Mr. Kiki:
One Woman’s Spiritual Journey with Her Best Friend
Just Released by Balboa Press, a division of Hay House
Have you ever wondered what happens when animals die? Where they go? Do they experience an afterlife?
Author Linda Atnip answers these questions and offers other profound insights in her new heart warming memoir.
Linda’s ability to commune with her beloved Pekingese companion began as she was laying Mr. Kiki to rest. During the ceremony, she heard a mysterious voice say, “You are going to write a book, Conversations with Mr. Kiki.” From that point forward her world was never the same.
Atnip, who had penned an award-winning children’s book, Miranda’s Magic Garden, based on a dream she had experienced, was perplexed. How could she possibly communicate with her dog who was now on the other side?
The answer came when Linda turned to her mentor, animal communicator Leta Worthington for advice. Leta suggested that Linda and Mr. Kiki choose topics for conversations to begin the process. These included birth, death, depression, expansion, grief, healing, life purpose, reincarnation and soul evolution. The project came together like assembling a giant jigsaw puzzle with Linda sharing the moments from her life that related to these subjects.
“Mr. Kiki’s words were in a totally different voice than how I string words together, and contained guidance that I had not been exposed to previously,” says Linda. “That is what ultimately convinced me that these conversations were truly his thoughts. I was ultimately challenged to delve into my past and relive poignant memories and create a manuscript from these elements.”
Anne Brewer, author of The Power of 12 compares the memoir to Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love:
“Linda takes us through her intriguing personal journey and ensuing growth via a unique narrator, her dog Mr. Kiki, whose transition from the physical to spiritual plane enables him to tap into expanded consciousness and share it with his beloved companion.”
The book which retails for $11.95 is available from Amazon.com and other on-line retailers. Atnip is available for interviews and may be contacted at email@example.com.
Shortly after Punkin, a beautiful Shar Pei, passed she told us she definitely wanted to return, as another female Shar Pei, same color, with, of course, the same people. She had a job to do that she had not been able to finish in her previous life due to a premature death from illness.
Punkin called the Shar Pei breed a “race,” and told us it was one of the highest spiritual groups on this planet, and that the Shar Pei had much to impart and teach. She planned to come back and do her share!
When asked how M.K. and Mike (her folks) would know how to find her, she rather flippantly let us know not to worry, not to hurry . . . they would all know when, and how. Meanwhile, she was constantly visiting them in the form of what she called “flyers,” an assortment of butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and so forth.
So M.K. and Mike enjoyed some much deserved traveling for a number of months and delighted in Punkin’s “frequent flyer” visitations.
Then, all of a sudden, it was time. Punkin was ready to come back, and M.K. and Mike were more than ready to welcome her. How to proceed?
We took all our cues from Punkin herself.
In this particular case, Punkin showed us she would be seating her soul into a newborn Shar Pei, so M.K.’s job was to watch the breeders and the litters being born, and then to check with Punkin (through yours truly) about whether any of the tiny candidates were “right.”
What was “right,” we wondered? Well . . . it had to do with looks, color, temperament, and integrity. Apparently Punkin had a very clear idea of the exact type of Shar Pei pup she wanted to be, AND the one who would be able to live up to her expectations.
So the search began. M.K. would send me pictures from breeders of baby Shar Peis, and I would check in with Punkin while viewing them and get the thumbs up or thumbs down. Some were just “too strong” (she actually called one ‘Athena’), some she liked very much but they were too old (4 weeks?!) so already settled with their new soul . . . etc.
An aside: Apparently, if a soul is to incarnate into an already-born being, the closer to birth, the better. Most souls “seat” themselves into a being before it is born, but often that “seating” does not happen until after birth (and sometimes no soul seats itself at all, in which case the newborn often will die within a few weeks or months).
Well, the deed was done when one breeder sent M.K. pictures of a newborn litter just a few days old. M.K. forwarded me the pictures, I checked in with Punkin, and BINGO! There was no doubt. It was immediate. There was her chosen target for reincarnation, and she flew so fast and so immediately into that puppy that I got no further communication from her for weeks, nor did M.K. and Mike experience any further visitations from “flyers.”
While waiting for Punkin to get old enough to come home, M.K. dreamed her a new name for this lifetime: Bella (short for Isabella). Bella is now home and showing her folks that she is indeed the reincarnation of Punkin in many ways. For instance, when it was time to eat on her second day home, Bella went and stood by the closet door where Punkin’s food was always stored. She might as well have said out loud: “Mom! I know I’m a baby and don’t know everything. But I DO remember the important stuff!”
We will be checking in with Punkin/Bella often to get from her more details about her purpose in life, but meanwhile her joyous presence is lighting up the life of M.K. and Mike, and they have no doubt whatsoever that their Punkin’s soul is back home with them.
All I know is that, having worked with Punkin and M.K. for years, this is going to be a fascinating journey and a wild ride!!! So stay tuned ………
To read more about Punkin, go HERE. And for a little more on animal afterlife just check out “The Afterlife” category to the right. You might also enjoy this post on visitations from our animals in spirit.
Is that even possible?
Hamilton says it’s not only possible, it simply IS.
Over the years I have had many human clients who, upon the loss of their beloved animal, felt they could not go on. They could not function. They weren’t eating or sleeping normally and, frankly, many of them wanted to die themselves. A common thread was that they had never felt as close to any other being, animal or human, as they had to the particular animal they were then grieving for.
Last week I had such a client who lost her beloved Shar Pei, Hamilton, very recently. Hamilton was only three years old, so my client was not only wracked with grief, but also wrestling with guilt about whether she could have saved him or not . . . or at least have prolonged his life a bit. She was completely inconsolable. All she could focus on was hoping he would come back to her, reincarnated as another Shar Pei inhabited by only his soul. She wanted only his soul back in her life.
Talking with Hamilton was one of the most amazing experiences I have yet had as an animal communicator. He is a very high soul with much to impart. I felt like I could have talked to him for hours.
You know the Buddhists believe that we humans can incarnate as animals. Now that’s a pretty darn large and ancient spiritual sect, dating back long before our more modern religions, so who am I (or anyone else) to say this is not so. Having had more than one animal tell and show me previous lifetimes as a human, I certainly don’t feel qualified to refute this possibility.
So back to Hamilton.
Most of what Hamilton had to say was private, just between him and his person. But one of his most important messages was that the two of them could never be separated. And that we who are still in the physical must learn to trust and perceive beyond our limited bounds, for the connections with the departed are still there. Meditation was one technique Hamilton emphasized for his human to be able to “feel” that connection and his presence. Any time she wanted or needed to.
But the most surprising thing Hamilton told us was that he and his person were soul mates. And that that was why she was feeling the way she was feeling. He explained at length how people often feel this way about other people, but that it can also pertain to those we are close to in animal form. He was definitely this person’s soul mate. No doubt about it. Period.
There was, obviously, a lot more detail in our discussion, but I was definitely mind-blown from this revelation. I had never had an animal spirit address this relationship before, much less proclaim that it exists.
Do I believe it? Yes. I think I have an animal soul mate in my life right now. I guess I just hadn’t expressed it that way . . . even to myself. It’s a beautiful thing. Deep beyond belief. And I’m so glad to have Hamilton’s reassuring words about this. I will keep them in mind as I go through the coming years, for both myself and my wonderful clients, who will hopefully find comfort in Hamilton’s message.
Do you think dogs have a concept of Heaven and believe in a higher power? Punkin the Shar Pei sure does.
I never thought about this question until I was talking to Punkin a couple of weeks ago. After a fairly lengthy struggle her body was shutting down, and her people wanted to help her avoid as much pain and suffering as possible. So they contacted me to talk to her about the option of euthanasia, and just to be sure she knew how dearly she was loved and treasured. We spoke to her both before and after her passing.
The sessions were amazing. I had talked to Punkin a couple of times in her early life, and those sessions were characterized by her insecurities and clinginess to Mary Kay, her mistress. It would never have occurred to me at that point that Punkin was a wise and old soul
When I talked to her again just recently, her deep wisdom and awareness were stunning. She talked at length about her life and life’s purpose and where she felt she had fallen short. She understood the dying process and was totally ready to go and thankful for the help. She knew for certain she wanted to come back, to the same family, as another Shar Pei, to further fulfill her darma. When asked why a Shar Pei, given the difficulties the breed is prone to, she referred to the breed as a race, and said:
Now let me address the Shar Pei issue that concerns Mary Kay and Mike. The Shar Pei embodies ancient wisdom that few other dog breeds contain. It’s in their DNA and genetic make-up. There are a few other breeds that possess similar information and wisdom, but each is specific to a different racial mindset and history. And the Shar Pei is one of the most ancient. It’s like a leg up on soul evolution. Anyone who comes back as a Shar Pei is ready to progress through at least some degree of suffering. There are parallels in the human world – those who choose to be born with great handicaps, for instance, or in certain areas of the world. Each form of incarnation has its own set of challenges, benefits, privileges, and so on.
After Punkin passed, I asked her who she’d been talking to in the picture of her looking up to Heaven. Her guides and angels, she said. Then I asked her if she believed in God, and here’s what she said to that:
Of course I believe in God. But God is in everything and it is easy to feel that energy in this state (here she meant in her spirit form). But also, there does seem to be a great source of light and energy that drives all of this, and I suppose that would be the source of it all. Is that God?
Such a precious and pure comment.
Punkin is now visiting her family and friends frequently, in the form of what she calls ‘flyers’: birds, bees, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and more. She is full of joy and determined to evolve ever higher in her awareness. And even though they miss her terribly, her family is full of joy as well just knowing that Punkin is so happy and free. And they notice and enjoy the frequent flyer visits they gifted with often.
Postscript: After Punkin passed, Mary Kay sent me this picture of her as a puppy, looking out the window at Cuddles’ grave. Cuddles was the Shar Pei who preceded her. She again fixed an intent gaze on Cuddles’ grave after talking to her angels, just before she passed.
FOR MORE ABOUT WHAT ANIMALS THINK OF HEAVEN, GO HERE.
If so, you are not alone. And, contrary to what some skeptics would say, if you think you did, you did.
A recent comment on one of my blog posts prompted me to write on this topic. The author and her daughter had both seen their departed cat in the house a couple of weeks after his passing. Each sighting was very brief — just a mere glimpse out of the corner of an eye. They wondered if they really did see their cat or if they just missed him so much they imagined it.
My opinion is that they surely did. Many clients have reported similar experiences, usually not long after their animal’s passing. Most common is a visual sighting, always brief and unexpected. Sometimes they will feel their animal walk by them, perhaps the tail feathers of their Golden Retriever, or the whiskers of their cat. Smell can be involved as well, as can hearing the animal’s movements in the house in a familiar way.
I won’t say we might not conjure up such impressions out of our devastation and grief, but, as someone whose profession is animal-related and who hears countless stories about these kinds of things, I believe they are far too common and frequent to all be written off as wishful thinking.
So many animals I talk to after their passing tell me that they visit their people regularly. Some even choose to stay there for long periods of time, well aware that they can go to the light, and knowing they will some day, but they simply are not ready to leave their families yet. Is it any wonder that at least a few of these become obvious in some way, shape, or form to family members?
I had my own such experience several years ago, and it took a unique form. My precious black cat, Seka, passed away from a cancerous tumor, so it was a somewhat lengthy and very sad process for all of us. Seka always slept on my bed, on top of the covers, on the right side of my feet. She always hopped up there after I was well settled, had finished reading, and had the lights out.
A few nights after her passing, up she hopped, and went through her usual curling up motions against my right ankle. I could feel her weight when she landed on the bed as well as how she pressed the covers down when she settled up against me.
The first night it felt completely normal to me . . . until I roused enough to remember that Seka was gone. Even though I felt hopeful and excited that it might be her, I just figured it was one of the other cats (I had two others). I was, however, surprised that they would jump right up in what they knew was Seka’s place so soon after her departure.
After lying there a while I finally had to look, to see who it was. And, of course, no cat.
This continued to happen several nights in a row. I promised myself I would not look again, but would let Seka rest in peace where she always loved to sleep. But about the fourth or fifth night, the sensations were so strong, her weight so heavy and real, that I just couldn’t resist checking one more time. So I did. I raised up and looked, she wasn’t there, and then I felt her spirit just whisk away. She never returned — at least that I perceived — and I was heartsick that I had somehow made her leave by doubting her presence.
So don’t doubt. Just trust and accept. These sightings and sensings always occur when you’re not looking for them to, and hopefully they will bring you feelings of a joyful, if brief, reunion with your loved one.
In my practice I am frequently called upon to help with end-of-life issues. When an animal is old and nearing its “time,” or when it is suffering tremendously or extremely ill, its caretaker or human companion is often anguished and at a loss as to what action to take, if any, that might help. The options … of course … include euthanasia, and that is usually the source of the greatest confusion, fear, and grief.
From my experience, most animals simply are not attached to their bodies in the same way humans are. And many of them understand the process of death and dying and remember having gone through it before. They are usually ready to go. This doesn’t mean they don’t have concerns.
So what DO animals need from us when it is their time, or when it might be a blessing to help them on their way through euthanasia? What ARE their main concerns. Three things stand out in the hundreds of such cases I’ve handled. Our animals want:
Information - Permission - Honoring
If the animal doesn’t understand the death-and-dying process, that is the first thing to explain. My way of doing that is to reassure them that we all leave our bodies eventually, but that our spirit lives on in an aware state and is free and light. This usually puts the animal at ease and in a frame of mind where he can then participate in a discussion about the form his passing might take. Sometimes the animal wants to let his body shut down naturally, especially if he’s not suffering too much and the end-of-life vigil won’t be too distressing or difficult for his person.
If the animal is suffering, he is often relieved to be given the option of euthanasia. I had the good fortune a few years ago of having the way euthanasia feels explained to me by a wise horse spirit, “Mo,” after his death, and you can read his word-for-word explanation HERE. I have shared his message (with permission of course) with many clients, both human and animal, and it has brought great solace to both in many instances. Mo stresses the importance of being told about what is going on and about being given a voice in deciding on euthanasia.
Often animals will hang on and on, long past the time their bodies should have quit, because their loved ones haven’t told them they can leave. It’s as simple as that. If you know it’s “time,” please remember to give your animals permission to “leave.” Simply tell them they can go on, that you will be okay. They’ll know you’re grieving and may still hang on because of that, but tell them that it’s a normal part of the process and you will eventually be okay — you want them to go . . . for their sake.
Many animals I talk to, both before and after passing, request a ceremony. They want to be honored. Boo, the horse in the first picture above, talked quite specifically about this to me just last week. He was euthanized at an equine clinic, so his message is relevant to not dying at home, but I have found that those lucky enough to pass at home request similar recognition. I will leave you with excerpts from Boo’s message and hope we will all honor the spirits of those we love who pass over.
It is very important to honor one’s spirit during the process of dying. . . . I am sharing this information for future purposes and needs. . . . I would like a ceremony . . .This should be done for all who have to pass other than naturally. . . . Everyone needs to know this. I am not conveying this as a complaint about my situation. I am sending it as a message to help people understand what the spirit needs when it is passing – honor, first and foremost.
If you are concerned about the passing of one of your animals, you might find these posts helpful:
Remember the movie Ghost from the early 90′s? It starred Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, who was shot and killed in an untimely manner and then went to great lengths to make Demi aware of his continued existence — albeit in the spiritual realm rather than the physical one.
If you remember the movie you will recall the heinous, dark, tramp spirit of a street bum who inhabited a subway train. He had no idea he was dead so existed in an indefinite and miserable state of limbo, terrorizing whomever he could. You can see a great clip of him HERE.
There are many souls who become “trapped” like this — either because they left their bodies very suddenly, as in a horrible traumatic accident, or are simply too attached to their physical body to let go. Supposedly these are the spirits who manifest as troublesome ghosts, poltergeists, and other haunting energies. They are lost souls and are usually quite unhappy and unfulfilled so tend to wreak havoc on the people and places they inhabit. They either don’t know they are dead so continue acting as if they had a body (like the bear ghost in this cartoon), or they are so angry at having died they have no desire to move on and so stay around and stir things up.
It is a sad situation either way, and, although there is apparently no time limit on reaching nirvana or saving one’s own soul, this limbo-land certainly seems like a tormented state in which one’s consciousness should exist. I’m not sure, but I suppose this would be akin to purgatory in Catholicism.
This state can happen to animals too, and for the same reasons. In tuning into the departed spirits of animals on behalf of their beloved humans, usually simply to make sure they have made the journey to the other side successfully, I have found many who were disoriented, did not realize where they were, and did not know they had left their bodies.
There is much that can be done to help these spirits, be they animal or human — largely through invoking help from the angelic or spiritual realm (or whatever your particular belief system would like to call benevolent spirits who exist outside our usual worldy paradigm — guardian angels to the rescue).
In a case I had just this week I was asked to check in on a horse who had been hit by a car and subsequently had to be put down due to shattered bones and major injuries. It all happened very fast, and was of course horribly traumatic for all concerned.
I found the horse drifting about ten feet off the ground, over the stalls of the other horses he had lived with, trying to interact with them and not understanding at all why they didn’t acknowledge him or act normally toward him. One young 2-year-old colt knew he was there but was equally confused due to the strange new aspect of his barn buddy of just a few days before.
Gentle communication is helpful here, introducing the spirit slowly to the idea that he is now in a new realm. Reassurance is key, and letting him know that his people and other friends know he is present, even if not physically, is crucial. Otherwise he feels abandoned and ignored. Talking to a spirit in this condition consistently over a period of time, while showing him the spirit world, the light, the helpers who await him, will usually calm his soul and help him make the transition to the other side within a few days to a few weeks.
This is what transpired in the current case, and I feel sure this horse will adjust to his new reality soon. Fortunately, his person is herself a gifted communicator so will continue to talk to him daily and reinforce all the new information we have given him. He is lucky to be so loved and well understood, and we are all sending blessings and prayers for his safe passage.
Oh, and rent Ghost if you haven’t seen it. It’s great!
IF YOU LIKED THIS TOPIC, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS:
My vote is ‘yes,’ and other animals can too.
I’ll never forget the first time I noticed this. I was lying on my bed, in an old abandoned Texas farmhouse I had bought and brought up to livable condition. It had been the homestead on a large, old cattle ranch in central Texas and was built in the late 1800’s. In the 60’s the ranch was sold and developed into 5- to 20-acre plots. I had come across the old place, which was nestled on six acres bordering a large spring-fed pool, and fell in love with it. It was very magical.
The place came with lots of spirits, and lots of strange things happened during the 13 years I lived there.
It was that first year, and I was lying on my high, antique, four-poster bed one evening, probably reading. My grey cat Rose hopped up beside me for a little attention. But she was quickly distracted and walked over to the far edge of the bed, very alert, where she sat down and started watching something I couldn’t see. It was clearly up in the air, a little higher than we were, and she sat watching it for about 10 minutes or so. You know how cats move their whole head when they watch something. Well, hers was swinging right and left wildly, going in circles and zig-zags. It was as if an invisible mouse was turning acrobatic flips in the air right in front of her!
It really gave me the heeby-jeebies. At first I didn’t think too much of it. But then I started watching her watching “it” (or “them”), and before too many minutes slowly edged myself out of the bed and into another room. I continued to watch Rose as she observed the invisible spectacle, which she did until it either left or she was satisfied, at which point she turned around, curled up, and went to sleep. Whoever it was, and whatever she’d been watching obviously didn’t bother her at all.
This was about 20 years ago so was around the same time I was beginning my animal communication practice in earnest. As I became more adept at communication over the next couple of years and built up a history of a few hundred cases, I realized that what I had observed was apparently not too uncommon: an animal seeing spirits or ghosts, or perhaps fairies or other kinds of energies. And all kinds of animals reported it, not just cats.
Here is an example of the kind of thing animals have shown and told me over the years. This is from a session I did in 2005 because the subject dog, Maggie, had started acting very strangely – nervous and anxious and barking a lot.
L: Maggie, I feel that you are anxious about something and a little nervous, expectant? And like that keeps you somewhat upset. Can you tell or show me why?
M: Maggie shows me there is energy on the property that should not be there. I see it in the backyard, as if through her eyes: wavy energy. The impression she conveys to me is that it has not always been there.
L: Does it move around?
L: Has it always been there?
M: No. And sometimes it wants to go in the house.
L: Can you help me by identifying this energy? Can you tell if it’s from a person or not?
M: She thinks it is. It is a “visitor.” She feels she needs to try to watch it all the time, though it’s not like she can really “see” it all the time. She feels it more than anything else.
L: I understand. And this is a new thing?
M: Yes. It came one night.
L: All of a sudden?
L: How were you aware of it?
M: When I went outside it was there (she shows me it was dark then).
The session went on from there, and it took some weeks for Linda to figure out what was going on energetically in her back yard and take care of it. The explanation was a vortex, which seemed to have become a “high-traffic” area for ghosts or spirits. Fortunately, Linda did not doubt what Maggie had told us so immediately enlisted the aid of someone who works with this kind of phenomenon, and the problem was taken care of very quickly. After the vortex was closed, things went back to normal, and Maggie returned to her easy-going self.
Hard to believe? Maybe. But I’ve handled way too many such cases over the years to doubt them any more, and many times the animals have helped solve nebulous, long-existing problems that no one else could explain.
So if you are having odd occurrences and think you may have a ghost or a poltergeist, you might consider asking your dog or cat to check the situation out for you!