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One of the best ways to be self-sufficient on your homestead is to use solar panels. If you’re on the energy grid, they’re a great way to save money in the long term; if you’re off-grid, they ensure survival!

Solar panels can feel a little overwhelming to a newcomer, but once you know what you need, it’s a breeze! Use this quick start guide to produce your own energy in no time.

Solar panel basics

Before you plan your off-grid solar system, it’s important to remember that this the system will supply all of your energy needs. It’s best to overestimate energy usage so you build a system that can last decades. Although DIY is a popular option, it’s usually safest to have a professional to install your solar system for safety and efficiency.

When looking at a solar system, you’ll need:

Solar panels
This is the fun part! Choose a middle-road, reasonable solar panel in the 24 to 48 volt range. Know what voltage you want before you buy. If you’re providing power to your entire property with solar, you’ll want 24 volts or higher.

Combiner box
The wiring for your solar panels needs to connect in one place: that’s what the combiner box is for. The solar panels terminate into the combiner box, which then runs to your controller.

Make sure you buy a charge controller with the correct voltage for your system setup. The charge controller regulates the voltage and current in the solar system. This keeps the batteries from overcharging, ensuring the system runs smoothly.

The battery is the brains of the solar operation, converting sunlight energy into stored electricity. Go for quality when setting up your battery system: this is what will supply power to your home on overcast days!

DC to AC inverter
The electricity in a battery can’t always be used in a home. For that reason, you’ll need a DC to AC inverter, which changes direct current to alternating current.

Solar panels can be complex to set up at first, but they’re a phenomenal way to be self-reliant when you’re roughing it in the wilderness. When in doubt, partner up with a reliable solar energy company to get your system set up.

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How Forgiveness Can Benefit You

People often think of forgiveness as beneficial for the individual who is pardoned. Indeed, letting them off the hook can help them feel good. Exonerating others may also benefit you though. Additionally, when you stop blaming yourself for mistakes, you are free from stress and can learn from them.

Forgiveness helps you drop pain

Holding a grudge is hard. People can become crippled under the weight of anger and resentment. As they let go, the pressure lifts. They are free and recognize bitterness once held them in bondage. When liberated, they look at what caused their distress with new eyes and begin to heal.

Gain a healing perspective

When people’s emotions cloud with resentment, they can’t see the entirety of what’s occurred. They look at the situation with narrow vision. Their vision widens If they practice forgiveness. They can then recognize the suffering of whoever they once blamed for their anguish. Such understanding is healing.

Forgiveness isn’t the same as acceptance

It’s possible to forgive others without accepting what they did that hurt you. By forgiving, you don’t give them your blessing to mistreat you. Nor do you send the message that their behavior was okay in the past. When you forgive, you signal you’re ready to move on and learn from the experience. Doing so provides insight and awareness, which you can’t gain when you don’t let go of misgivings.

Why forgiving yourself is advantageous

People are often less forgiving of themselves than they are of others. They experience guilt and shame for past behaviors, which makes them ill and unhappy. When you forgive yourself, you are free from self-punishment. You might still wish you had behaved differently, but accept you can learn from your mistakes and not repeat them.

Forgiving yourself also helps you recognize others mistakes are part of a learning process too. You may not always like how they act, but you can see they do what they can with the knowledge they have at the moment. Knowing no one is infallible helps you feel compassion for them and yourself.

Forgiveness widens awareness and compassion. It provides an expansive view of the world and the behavior of others. When you forgive, you set yourself free from the burden of painful emotions that weigh you down.

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