Loving Yourself In Your Own Language

Connecting two dots whose connections seem obvious once they’re next to each other: you must love yourself, and whether an action is loving can only be determined by the person receiving it. (You don’t get to say “I’m doing this because I love you” if what you’re doing to that person hurts them.) So, assuming there’s a “you” and there’s a “yourself” whom you must love, logically, you should express your love for yourself in the love language that reaches you best.

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Robert Heinlein famously said that specialization is for insects. (GIYF.) As someone who doesn’t like paying someone to perform every job I need done except for my own, but also enjoys the comforts provided by civilization, I’ve long struggled to find a balance between Heinlein’s quote and the reality that civilization can’t possibly get this far unless everyone chooses to ignore almost everything that isn’t their specialty.

A dear friend and mentor recently pointed out to me that saying yes to one thing implicitly means saying no to any number of other things. It was a light bulb moment. The concept is obvious once you’ve heard it, but opaque until then. Starting a family means I will probably never learn to play that Rachmaninoff concerto I love so much.

Should Rachmaninoff have written novels? Should Heinlein have composed symphonies?

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Relationships may not end, but they do change.

At the start of the day yesterday, I held a core belief that all relationships end, usually badly. It was, for me, obviously correct. By the end of the day, it was obviously incorrect. Here is the thought that replaced it: It is the nature of relationships to change. Ending is just one kind of change a relationship can make. Reading that statement now, it is as obviously correct as the old thought used to be.

It’s what I would call a breakthrough. The change was sudden, and I could feel its impact immediately. This is what happens when you play the game honestly. Keep reading.

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The Profound Indifference

A great spiritual teacher gave me an exercise I could not do┬ábecause of where I live. There’s more value in doing the exercise, but there’s value in just knowing what it is, too.

A warning before we proceed: this is not “the truth.” It’s a perspective–a very useful perspective–but it’s not gospel. So do the exercise, and get whatever you get from it, and then let it be something you read and maybe did, because that’s all it will be.

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