23. There was a danger that Chloe and I would trap ourselves in just such a Marxist spiral. But a happier resolution emerged. I returned home from the breakfast guilty, shamfaced, apologetic, and ready to do anything to win Chloe back. It wasn’t easy. She hung up on me at first, then asked me whether I made a point of behaving like a “small-time suburban punk” with women I had slept with. But after apologies, insults, laughter, and tears, Romeo and Juliet were to be seen together later that afternoon, mushily holding hands in the dark at a four-thirty screening of Love and Death at the National Film Theatre. Happy endings—for now at least.
24. There is usually a Marxist moment in every relationship, the moment when it becomes clear that love is reciprocated. The way it is resolved depends on the balance between self-love and self-hatred. If self-hatred gains the upper hand, then the one who has received love will declare that the beloved (on some excuse or other) is not good enough for them (not good enough by virtue of associating with no-goods). But if self-love gains the upper hand, both partners may accept that seeing their love reciprocated is not proof of how low the beloved is, but of how lovable they have themselves turned out to be.
On love by Alain de Botton
Always let self-love gain the upper hand. It reminds me of the card I picked this morning:
You are ready to release control of situations or people and lovingly embrace the rhythm of life
Throughout your sojourn on Earth, you will be presented with many obstacles and lessons that will test you. One of the most beautiful parts of life is its unpredictability. Nothing is permanent—everything is constantly moving and evolving. Especially you! In your life, you can progress faster spiritually by being open to the ebb and flow of events, and the twists and turns that your soul companions—the fellow humans on your journey—provide. Now is the time to become aware of this gift and acknowledge that these moments are not stumbling blocks but merely opportunities to grow. Although circumstances may seem difficult and worrisome, if you look at the bigger picture and live for the present moment, you can easily follow the natural course of life. But don’t let the mind-set of acceptance distract you from your ability to change the situations that hinder your soul’s growth. You are always in charge!
This morning I found out that my best friend went to a dangerous place that I don’t wish her to go. I get that she loves traveling but there are other options and she understands that it’s dangerous.
While getting ready for work, I was getting more and more upset. I got to work, still feeling cranky, and I put the card in front of my monitor.
I can’t control everything. I can’t control my best friend. The only thing I can control is myself and my mind. I can change my mood to be happy and joyful because I am in control.
And I will still be there for her. I will always love her no matter what. So why worry about it and waste my precious time and energy? Once I changed my whole mindset, my day got immediately better. I was engaging with coworkers and had fun conversations, ping pong matches, and great work offsite ideas!
My day could have gone very differently if I had not gotten control of how I feel and focus on here and now. Acceptance also means accepting myself entirely. See where I am at and who I am and accept it no matter what. Accepting myself leads to loving myself as who I am here and now. Always let self-love gain the upper hand.