Romantic Fiction, Reality Shaping and The Work

placematt

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I'm on book 6 of the Survivors club. Whilst most of the books didn't have a great impact on me, apart from certain passages. The 5th book in the series Only A Promise had a fairly profound impact on me.

Specifically it happened towards the
end of the book when Ralph goes to see the parents of his fallen friend from the wars
. The level of black and white thinking, assumptions, everything that had stopped the main character from initiating these relationships was so obvious. I myself have fallen into this trap so much and its goes to show how completely destructive it is.

Also the internal considering that he had put himself through and the self importance of everyone blaming him. Even though there was no evidence of this was really quite astounding. How much he made himself suffer due to these actions when there was healing and love available to him.

I must say I was there with the character reading that and so much of my own past and the destructive result of this thinking really hit me. It was essentially a neon sign blinking, this is what happens when you engage in this behavior, this is how destructive it is. It was a really, not even sure how to say it. The best example in my own life of how dangerous internal considering is, how not looking at the grey can have consequences for years. Can create suffering for years. It was really quite profound
 

primeaddict

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
In truth I’m quite aghast at my internal landscape and how “swampy” it is. Reading these books, in the quantity and regularly one after another is forcing one to observe the self. An exercise I thought I understood before but had not truly.

I have a question. What is the difference between internal considering and the predators mind? They seem very similar to me.
So well said and is what is happening to me as well. What I have realized that I have been so focused on the external life that I spend very little time on the internal life. Like you I also realized that I need to live by the internal and only observe the external as that mirror of my internal demons. Talk about doing a 180 on living!

To me the predator mind is focused on keeping us distracted by the externals and to keep us busy chasing our self importance and fulfilling our ego's desires. Whereas our personal internal consideration is focused on severing those attachments to the external illusions and anchor our energies to the soul growth. The predator mind keeps us mired in the delusion of self magnificence. However, when we start using our personal internal consideration that is when we see the true mess. The pain of this realization of my internal mess requires frequent affirmations that "I'm a divine being having a human experience and yes it is messy and imperfect! But it is good enough to be worthy of benefit to others."

Every character in these stories reveals hidden piles and pathetic behavioral patterns that needs internal observations and cleansing. Thank goodness that there are happy endings because if not it would be a double downer.
 

Candice

Jedi
I have had times when my involvement in a messy situation (i.e interactions with a particular person) is so strong it feels like it has become a thing and I literally feed it like an addiction that I am attached to. It actually looks like it has form and when I see it it is a slippery creature with lots of tentacles, sucking greedily the energy from me and the person involved. Horror of all horrors when I realise I had a part in creating this thing. Anyway I chop off its tentacles and let the light dissolve it. I rethink how I’m going to behave AND feel/approach in a positive loving way.
Thank you for sharing, it’s interesting to see someone else observe a similar metaphor to mine. I guess for me this “monster” is more internal, I’m not really unleashing it on others, more on myself. If I do unleash on another, it’s usually from defense and I’m much more consciously aware of it, compared to when it’s my internal dialogue in reference to myself.

I’ve realized while reading other threads on the topic of “internal considering” and the “predators mind” that I’ve taken in the information passively. In that I hadn’t fully acknowledged I too have this. That I guess “it” didn’t want me to. So now my attention is on “it” and I need a battle plan. First, continuing to observe it and journal. Second, doing what it really doesn’t want which is reading the recommended psychology books which I keep putting off. I’m seeing that anything I’m lazy about is probably something “it” doesn’t want me to do. If I want to know who I am separate from “it” and if I want some semblance of control of my machine, I need to get doing things I know I should be doing.

Finally, I think it can’t have much influence if I build up my core of faith. Which does exist, I just unfortunately had neglected it. So even if something triggers a program that causes an emotional reaction feeding “it” and I’m able to recognize it, instead of fighting it, could prayer help? I just think that fighting it and chopping off tentacles doesn’t get to the core issue.

The pain of this realization of my internal mess requires frequent affirmations that "I'm a divine being having a human experience and yes it is messy and imperfect! But it is good enough to be worthy of benefit to others."
Yes thank you for this reminder. That’s why I think with a strong core of faith we can navigate the internal better, not be so hard on ourselves and just keep unraveling the mess like its a project. Work that needs to get done.
 

dennis

Jedi
This is not applicable to all situations but to many that lead to argument and petty grievances.

The stoic teaching of "you cannot control what others do, only how you react to what others do" is something to consider. The conditioning imprints a mechanical reflexive in kind (or greater) response to threats and insults to one's ego (and sense of security). Most of the time any kind of reaction at all is not warranted, just let it go. The looming mountain is really just a little molehill in the greater scheme of things. Our sense of self importance places us in jeopardy of being caught up in the whirlwinds of negative interpersonal interactions.

If a response is necessary, if possible let it soak overnight and interject a stretch of time into the frequency of the interaction. Not to let the wound fester but give it time to heal. This gives you the opportunity to consider the other person's situation, and gives them the opportunity to do the same or latch onto someone else if they are so inclined. Who knows what pressures are driving them? Assuming that they are having a bad day and you merely crossed their path de-escalates the feedback loop from your perspective.

If you have truly caused the affront, give sincere apology, make amends and the path to reconciliation is opened for the other person to either accept or reject. If they are the culprit, calmly and succinctly explain the error to them and forgive them for doing so letting them know you are putting it behind you and they have an opportunity to refresh the relationship.

Correct me if I'm wrong on this perspective, and I thank you for your consideration.
 

PERLOU

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Je viens de terminer "La Dette" de la série les amants de Londres - Tome 3
Je vais commencer "Le Traitre" de Grace Burrowes

I just finished "The Debt" from the London Lovers series - Volume 3
I'm going to start "The Traitor" by Grace Burrowes
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Finished quite a few since last reporting.

The Devil's Web (last of the Gilded Web series) - this was a read I've been looking forward to, since there was so much build up of the relationship and tension between Madeline and James. And it hurt to see them fight and struggle against one another due to their own insecurities and fears of what the other felt, and their own wounds.
I felt a lot of deep admiration and love for Madeline having the self respect to get up and leave outright. A strong lesson is there about assuming the best in people without evidence vis-a-vis James' neighbors and the troublesome scandals from long ago that still stoked vindictive and vengeful fires. The one bad thing I could say about the novel, and this is a first for me re: Balogh, was that I felt there were some missed opportunities to flesh James out more with respect to his sister Alexandra; there seemed to me to be some dissonance between his treatment of Madeline and Alexandra in terms of his ability to trust and be open and so on. These were things he overcame during his private conversations with Madeline leading up to their marriage.

Heartless - this was a great, and yet haunting read.
I liked both the characters, even if the male protagonist was a bit of a cold s.o.b. at the beginning. I could identify with and look up to that type of decisiveness and grace (eg, when he handled a fortune hunter after his sister, and worked to discipline his brother's spendthrift ways). But his armoring comes for a good reason - from a deep sense of betrayal he had early on with his family throwing him under the bus. Anna's own story of a very deep violation at the hands of a stalker, and the miasma of gaslighting and victimization she had to fight her way out of was a very engrossing read. The protagonist's brother Elliot also was a very interesting person to read about, and seeing him visibly change over the course of the story felt rewarding. He reminded me of Dominic from Gilded Web a lot.

Silent Melody, I felt so tremendously touched by Emily and Elliot's relationship.
Even some of their intimate encounters were deeply tender and really telegraphed a deep and profound connection with one another that anyone on earth would be thankful to experience, such that I actually cried. The fact that the Emily was a deaf mute made it all the more interesting, as her own private world gradually began to percolate into Elliot's. One amusing thing I felt while reading this was the early set up about Elliot visiting with his wife and son, and with some hints dropped that he may be suffering some health condition. He and Emily were introduced as the main POVs, so this was disorienting because normally they become the lovers; this couldn't happen though since he was happily married wasn't he? I thought it was going to be somewhat less conventional than other MB books, and I was interested in seeing how it would turn out. Then it get's dropped a bit later that he lied and his new family *actually* died in a horrific fire accident a year ago. That tragedy gets introduced, and it is terrible, but at the same time I'm ashamed to admit a part of me was thinking, "woohoo, formulaic happy ending inbound!" I would have thought Elliot's thoughts would have drifted to his late wife and son more... but it was kept hidden from the reader as well for awhile, and I admit wondering what sort of dramatic device it was intended to serve in doing so.

I also read a bunch of novellas to clean up a few of the series I read before (The Suitor, Days of Rakes and Roses, and Three Proposals and a Scandal). The Suitor was quite a simple love story, and a bit similar. Days of Rakes and Roses like I was reading The Suitor if it had been written by Anna Campbell, since the stories are quite similar, only with Campbell's being more rogue than gentleman.
Cam's sister Lydia... I thought it was interesting since Cam himself professed wanting nothing to do with love, yet he participated in sabotaging her betrothal with a rake who for all Cam knew may have long forgotten about her. Reading this in sequence it foreshadows some of what's in What a Duke Dares. I wanted to throttle the protagonist Simon for compromising her so publicly and instigating a scandal and duel, which the writing made clear ripped open a wound Lydia hasn't really even healed yet. But it's okay because happy endings.

Three Proposals was really enjoyable. There are themes about authenticity there, and seeing past the facades people have. The protagonist was imo a perfect gentleman and she a lady.
Even one of the competing suitors was quite respectable and admirable (Desborough). The woman's intolerant father I was disappointed in for going along with an intentional framing of her, and it brought up a lot of visceral anger of my own at being falsely accused, although I've cleared a lot of that emotion up long ago.

I do notice that I need to pay much closer attention and be more actively engaged to absorb the emotional impact of Anna Cambell's writing, since it's not as brilliantly conveyed as Balogh (hence maybe why the commentary is a bit sparser??? :-[)
 

primeaddict

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I'm reading book 6, The Highlander's English Bride, Anna Campbell's Lairds Most Likely series were Hammish has to merry Emily to avoid a scandal. To make it more interesting she hates him! I had to laugh at the plot premise because it reminded me of at joke from PBS, Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion annual joke athon. The man's definition of marriage is to find someone who hates you and buy her a house. :rotfl:

I admired Hammish for the way he dealt with this dilemma and the anguish he endured at the Emily's initial cold hearted behavior. If I were in his shoes I would not have behaved as nobly as he did. However, Hammish had better training in proper behavior so part of my awareness of my less than noble behavior would stem from my nurturing. That said, I can see that with better upbringing would have had better results. This is how we are programmed to navigate our social class.
 

Jo Bugman

Padawan Learner
I finished reading Mary Balogh's One Night For Love and I certainly agree with others, she is a great writer!
It was a real struggle for me to get through. Lily was an admirable character, always seeing the beauty in life. However,
once she made the decision to leave Neville I almost put the book down. I was very upset and angry at her decision. From my point of view, it seemed very foolish to do, Neville was so kind to her and was a good man. She loved him and he loved her, but yet she chose to leave because she felt had to. I kept thinking it was so selfish of her, to tear this man's heart out simply because she's too scared to tell the truth, and proud to let herself be helped, so they can work through her problems together.
A terribly relatable experience for me, yet again, when it seems like even if you do everything right and do your best to be a good person, the reward is rejection and ending up alone again, despite it all. There was a passage in there that really hit me, when Lily realized that Neville did love her because he allowed her to do such a thing. Coincidently, I used to tell my ex the same thing, but have I really been following through with it? I know how it feels to love someone who has had a terrible past, to understand that there are many ways they are going to go through struggles of dealing with it.
In fact, we all struggle with our past, but I think I've become too short with people that don't want to put in the effort to fix it, that are too scared of facing their demons. It is something I have done, it is something many of you have done from reading through your posts, so why can't everyone do it? Is it wrong to expect the best from people? To expect that they keep trying even when they fail? I feel this book comes in a timely manner, where I feel I've been balancing on a thin line lately of whether people are worth putting the effort into, when it seems like I'm always let down.
But that in itself is a selfish thought, people are free to live their lives their way and if they want to live at the bottom of a barrel then they are free to do so. But is it selfish again to see how much their careless actions hurt others, especially those that care for them? There is a passage from The Zelator by Mark Hedsel that often runs through my mind. One of Mark's teachers is walking through town when he sees a disinterested mother, which then brings a haunting thought:
'You realize how great the gulf is between yourself and those others. There is a curtain between you. Now you understand that this curtain is good for neither of you. The house out there is burning. You can see the flames, but those others cannot see the flames. All you have learned from those books, and from those conversations with wise men, from all those meditations, is to see the flames. Now the question is, can you leave those people in the flames? Would it not be the act of a Fool to snatch one, or perhaps two, out of the conflagration?'
'If that is what they want'
'They cannot see the flames, but they do not wish to be burned.'
Perhaps this makes sense, or perhaps I'm going off on a tangent here. It just becomes very tiresome to see people be fooled, to give into their fears, to hate one another. Of course, everything has a happy ending in the novel, but in reality Neville would be left in his estate, never to hear from her again, wondering what he did to reach this outcome. This is where faith comes into play, I suppose, having enough trust to know that things are going the way they should be, as long as we keep working on ourselves. This is what my latest read has got me thinking about lately. I'm certainly enjoying the struggles of reading these books.
 

Redrock12

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Completed Someone To Honor. This one, like the previous Westcott novels, forces the protagonists to move beyond the parameters of social class, tradition and, in Abigail's case, not to be defeated or circumscribed by circumstances: "I survived by learning to embrace that black emptiness, and I discovered that actually it was an infinity of light and possibility. I learned that my real self is inner and infinite and indestructible and quite independent of circumstances or labels." And then Gil's response:"One is not defined by the circumstances of one's life even though they shape one's destiny and character and give one a place in the world. They shape how other people see one. Other people never see the real person."
Again, like the previous Westcott novels, there is the theme of the helplessness, dependence and innocence of children which really wrung an emotional response from this reader. Joel and Camille have adopted another child, and there is the whole issue of Gil's beautiful little daughter Katy.
And, again like the previous Westcott novels, there are the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Kudos once again to Mary B.
My only criticism of this narrative is I found it far-fetched that Gil's mother refused all financial assistance from Gil's father, forcing her and Gil to an existence of poverty and extreme hardship. Doesn't make sense.
 

iamthatis

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Finally, I think it can’t have much influence if I build up my core of faith. Which does exist, I just unfortunately had neglected it. So even if something triggers a program that causes an emotional reaction feeding “it” and I’m able to recognize it, instead of fighting it, could prayer help? I just think that fighting it and chopping off tentacles doesn’t get to the core issue.

It depends what you're doing vibrationally when you pray; how you pray, and to whom. If you are offloading personal responsibility to an external saviour, then no, that will not help, it will not grow your Soul. In fact, this mode of prayer is exactly what the 4D controllers has installed over millennia to induce people give up the fight against their own internal beast and plead for a messiah, or ask Creator for pity, or try to bribe 'The Spirits' to take care of this or that with an offering or sacrifice.

The example of the characters in these novels demonstrates another form of prayer, an active prayer, a living prayer, or a kind of demonstration that you are worthy of blessing based on how you live your life.

Even in the most desperate circumstances, the protagonists don't fall to their knees and beg for mercy from a higher power. Instead, they turn and face their fears (even if it takes them a good kick in the pants to finally do so). They rely on their own very imperfect human hearts and minds, their courage, and their faith, to pull them through. Oftentimes, their success is only possible through the assistance of their beloved, their family, their friends.

This is what the C's were gesturing at, perhaps, when they said, "Life is religion. Life experiences reflect how one interacts with God. Those who are asleep are those of little faith in terms of their interaction with the creation. Some people think that the world exists for them to overcome or ignore or shut out. For those individuals, the worlds will cease. They will become exactly what they give to life. They will become merely a dream in the "past." People who pay strict attention to objective reality right and left, become the reality of the "Future." In other words, everything we do is a prayer for how we want our life to be.

As is clear in your 'The Doctrine of the Present' post, without an internal struggle, there's no friction, and no internal fire. So as you fight the tentacled virus, as you turn and face it and don't give it a single drop of your life energy, that sounds like a great form of prayer to me. I'm fairly certain Don Juan would probably give you two thumbs up... and then ask you to cook him some calamari!

I can understand your questioning of the fight, though. It's a jungle. I used to spend a lot of time in the image-forming part of my mind, and would get really involved in the story of the fight against the Predator. In reality, I was in 'me-so-speshul land'. There's also the trap of getting obsessed by the hideous thing, which is another aspect of garden-variety narcissism - navel-gazing. From what you've wrote, it doesn't sound like you're up against either of these, though.

Your focus on faith is definitely on point. As is made clear below, the good fight and keeping the faith are both necessary. And also complementary. One doesn't Work without the other.

Q: (L) Well, choosing makes me think of what the Apostle Paul was saying when he talked about making... I mean, basically what it amounted to was making your choices based on the unseen world or on unseen realities. In a funny sort of way, today I had like a little realization because I was trying to understand why for Paul, the death of his Christ or the crucifixion was THE most important thing. For him it was the death, not the resurrection. It finally occurred to me that the reason it was so important was because - and this is according to Paul - his Christ went to his death with absolute faith even in the face of everything being wrong and against him. The way it's depicted in the Gospel of Mark, not only did the disciples not understand, not only is he abused, tortured, and rejected by literally everybody... I mean, everybody flees from him in the Gospel of Mark, which is the first gospel. Everybody. There are no women at the cross. There are no supporters. There's nobody. He did that willingly - the way it's depicted, and it's an allegory - because his faith in the unseen necessity and the other world and what would happen after the death was so strong he could and would do it. It was a matter of this faith that what was unseen was more real and lasting that the seen reality. Am I right? Seeing the unseen is the key?

A: Yes

Q: (L) So Paul was concerned with restoring humanity to the Edenic state. He uses the symbol as one man, the First Adam, and death came to all. And then by one man life came to all. It struck me that the possibility... Well, what the C's have said is that when the Fall happened, it happened to everyone. It wasn't just like one person. It happened to everyone. So it seems to me that this primal man that is Adam is a representation of all. It's not just one man that caused everybody to go kaflooey. And they've said that it was the female energy consorted with the STS reality. Is that what we're looking at here, only the reversal of the process? In other words, a group of people that have that kind of faith that in the face of everything being literally awful as it is in our world today, that they still have faith in the other reality, they still have faith in doing good, doing right, being loving, that they do not buy into the whole Darwinian materialistic thing, and basically they don’t believe those lies and by those means they are able to, at a certain point in time that Paul called the culmination of the ages, be restored to this Edenic state... in other words a 4D STO reality. Am I interpreting that correctly?

A: Oh that was beautiful!! We are impressed!

Q: (L) Well la-dee-da! So that's basically what the anchoring of the frequency is about. And that's part of the interior state that people have to be in in order to anchor that frequency - to have that kind of faith. It’s not where you are, but who you are and what you see? Even in the face of everything being against your ideas, against what you think, against what you've figured out...

(Joe) Even things inside you being against you. The internal fight. You have faith that doing what it doesn't like that you will kind of achieve something worth having.

(Andromeda) Right.

(Joe) It's internally and externally at the same time.

(L) So it's not faith IN Jesus as Ashworth points out. It's faith OF Jesus that sets the example. And the example was put in a metaphor of the story of this crucifixion or death, but the metaphor represents basically the crucifixion of every person. They're crucified inside and outside because they are faced with this reality that rejects their consciousness, their more or less divine connection, their spiritual connection. They say that everything is just random mutations and random evolution, and that's wrong. That's the Big Lie.

A: Yes. We can retire now!
 

Alejo

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Hi guys,

It took me a bit to put it all down, but I think I am content with the following regarding the Bedwyn Saga by Mary Balogh, it is six books on the main series, as I know there are two prequels and a sequel if I am not mistaken.

I tried to put the main ideas, the ones that most impacted me, the most memorable and expand on them a little. It was truly a very well put together series of stories, as I wrote earlier, all truly moving.

I will try to be brief, and discuss book by book the ideas that most made an impression on me.

Slightly Married, deals with Aidan Bedwyn's story and turns a promise based on duty into a love match. Not only this but Aidan, being a military man, is very rigid and doesn't really allow himself access to his emotions, in the process of this book, the idea of doing what is right doesn't have to be cold or emotionless, is explored. There are also themes of forgiveness and honesty with oneself, finding one's place in life, when Aidan decides to leave the army to work the land with his wife and adoptive children. It is through forgiving his older brother, the Duke of Bewcastle, being honest with himself, getting back in tough with his emotional side that he finds it within himself the best way to be the best version of himself he could be, to himself, to his wife, to his children and to the world at large. It reminded me of Caesar and his phrase: " Be true to your own nature, and fear nothing"

Aidan went from Duty to Love through honesty with the self

Slightly Wicked is somewhat the opposite, we meet Rannulf, who is a free spirit, who is a gentleman, but not afraid to lie and bend the rules. He has a chance encounter with Judith, they both lie about their identity and when the truth became apparent, their conflict began. The whole story has an acting theme, so that is used as a metaphor quite nicely. Acting as a way to run away from life, acting as a way to express what you truly feel but your stubborn head or propriety won't allow you, acting as a way to be honest through the use of a lie. The theme of honesty and connection with one's own emotions is deeply explored as well, but also the idea of making amends, you can't hope to sincerely apologize to someone, or make amends to that person, if all you're seeking to calm is your own guilt or anxiety. This is crucial and brilliant I thought.

Rannulf went from immaturity to maturity through becoming responsible for his actions and his person.

Slightly Scandalous is probably the most entertaining and funny of the bunch, we meet Freyja, who is a no nonsense kind of gal, she knows her place in society and uses it to the extreme. Unafraid, outspoken, proud, always out for a victory and ready to fight for it. Wearing a outer shell of confidence that is slowly shown to be quite fragile. Her story explores bravery, real and fake bravery. It is through becoming aware of our fears, and admitting that they're ours and their impact on us, that we find the true strength to navigate them, not by pretending they're not there. Freyja has a habit in the book, she walks towards what she knows she's afraid of, heights, speed, and so on and that is what ends up being the key for her in the end, walking towards love because she was afraid of trusting someone again.

Freyja walked in the direction of her fears and found herself afraid still, but brave.

Slightly Tempted explores Morgan, a young girl looking to prove herself, this story explores friendship, true friendship but one born out of a deception and a desire for revenge. but probably the most interesting idea explored here is forgiveness. I will try to make it short and understandable. Morgan’s future husband Gervais, sought to woo her in order to get revenge at her brother, the Duke, as because of him, Gervais was sent on exile to Europe, all over a lie that the Duke’s ex manipulated Gervais into. There’s honor, lies and intrigue flying all over the place on this story. But that makes it that much more clear when it all starts to unravel, the only way to truly conquer lies is with the truth.

My favorite idea from the book was: Forgiveness is for the forgiver, not for the forgiven, resentment is like allowing a drop of poison to fall on your heart every day. It takes maturity, it takes courage to forgive, and not only that, not forgiving someone is also very profitable, we can forever misbehave on the pretext of our hurt that we refuse to let go of.

That’s why you should forgive when appropriate, (you do need to metabolize being hurt) so you stop the self centered and self righteous dynamic of holding everyone involved in a jail of disgrace, including yourself.

Slightly Sinful is one of my favorites, we meet Allain, who lost his memory in the battle of Waterloo. Another story that explores honesty and truth, friendship and honor. But the most interesting take away is this very esoteric idea of rebirth. Allain through being without memory realizes he can become a new man, better than who he was. It’s like dying and reviving anew, given a chance to start fresh consciously.

Sometimes we need something as drastic and as devastating as loosing our memory would be, in order to change who we are for the better if we chose to. Sometimes part of us needs o die, or fall asleep for us to grow. Hitting rock bottom certainly has tremendous utility.

Slightly Dangerous is the culmination of all the stories. out of all the brother’s Wolfrick, is the eldest and he is the Duke of Bewcastle, powerful, arrogant and influencial, not to mention wealthy and single. His story is quite interestingly developed. He has an interesting role in all the stories of his brothers, if you start to notice, he shows up at the right moments disguised as the holder of duty, but he always arrives at the point where the characters need to face the truth.

His brother’s resent him due to this fact, but he represents the truth you may not ignored any longer. It’s his job, he was born into it. We all hate the truth, we all hate to have to face it, we resent those who bring it to us, that is the Duke in the past 5 books.

Bewcastle is described as cold and terrifying, a man in control, which he remains till the end. And one would think that his character arch would be one where he simply learns to not be the dutiful Duke, and accept his emotions.

But Balogh does something wonderful, he places him with his perfect match, a woman that does not care who he is and is not intimidated by him, but who can’t get her eyes off of him. And she does not melt his icy exterior. He simply uses her love to shine a light into the rest of him.

He wasn’t only duty, he was also love and emotion, but he explained to her that he could not stop being the cold and calculating Duke, the world and his family needed him to be who he is. He offered her both, I thought this was wonderful, it was the most responsible and mature depiction of a relationship I saw, we can of course act passionately, but we ought to not forger who we are and what we’re here to do, we can find love and accept our emotional worlds but not become them.

Accept our animal side, our instincts, our emotional world and get in touch with them, but use it to continue to do what is right.

In the end it was very rewarding to see how the Duke helped all his brothers attain love, by honestly questioning them and giving them a hand, and they all came to his rescue, and returned the favor. Lovely done.

Now I think this is not considered a spoiler, but this series of books left me with an idea that I have been chewing for the past few days, so it may come out a bit incomplete.

It’s the idea of accepting and being at peace with what we feel and what we want and how that somehow relates to this concept of non-anticipation, and free will.

So, let me try to expand on that, using a romantic example. Sometimes, maybe all the time, we think that what we feel and what we want is the same thing, and it’s not. What causes us anxiety is what we want, which hides behind what we feel. We want to be with someone because we love that person.

But I think that both of those could be separated and could coexist, but aren’t mutually exclusive nor they need to be. You could accept you love someone, and be at peace with that, and accept that you want to be with them, and be at peace with that also, but be ok with the idea that you can continue to love that person even if you can’t be with them.

It’s the whole, if you love something set it free. Now, that idea of accepting how you feel and what you want separately, even if related, can perhaps work with everything.

Guilt, shame, anger, hurt, fear, etc. You may feel those, and maybe you also want to Hide, run, revenge, numb your pain, etc. And if you separate them as such, as independent entities, then one does not always have to follow the next, and it becomes easier to choose your reaction. So guilt can turn into forgiveness instead of hiding, shame into honest vulnerability instead of running away, hurt into strength instead of numbness, and fear into bravery.

I hope I didn’t ramble too much on this idea, and I truly hope it makes sense. I realized as I was finishing this post that what I am reasoning through is this : The space between stimulus and reaction, that's where freedom lies. :P And me thinks that unless you apply that freedom, you won't truly grow, or it'll be very difficult.

Thanks for reading.
 
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