I opened YouTube today, searching for something else, and the first thing I saw was this video by Alain de Botton. The title was intriguing so I HAD to start watching (LOL – we all know how that goes!). I found Alain to be pretty hilarious, but he was also sharing some very wise truths.
The first point he makes is that a lot of us are secretly angry about the way our love lives have gone – can you relate? I listen to many clients who perhaps wouldn’t admit it, or may not be in touch with their anger, but perhaps we can admit that we at least have some disappointment with our love lives.
Well, Alain goes on to point out that people who are angry in actuality have a wild optimism that there is a reality in which true love can be perfect. So angry people are actually very optimistic, and he points out that it is hope that drives the rage.
I use different words to express some of the truths Alain teaches. I say that it is our Idealism about love that can keep us disappointed that our love lives are not as ideal as our imaginations believe is possible. [See my article about the Phantom Relationship here.]
Alain goes on to say that our capacity to intuit what is wrong with us is very weak – this is why I personally coach you to reveal what is in your Shadow. Truly, when you know yourself, and you know all that is within you, it frees you to choose what Alain calls a “good-enough” partner rather than continue looking endlessly for the ideal partner.
And then he makes a very valuable point that most of us are addicted to anything that will keep us away from self-knowledge. And of course until you know yourself, you cannot properly relate to another person. He has a more humorous and perhaps brusque way of dealing with this subject (maybe more masculine? more British?).
I use compassion to help you understand that your Shadow wants to keep you in your comfort zone because it’s trying to keep you safe – that is why we steer ourselves away from knowing what is deep within the Shadow, and tend to distract ourselves with any number of things we use in an addictive-like way to do so.
Alain goes on to make many more great points such as “In short, we don’t know very much HOW to love,” or “to love someone is to apply charity and generosity of interpretation” (of their behavior), or “there are no sinners or heros among human beings”. I do hope you watch the entire 22-minute presentation – he is quite brilliant and also quite humorous.
Some things I don’t agree with – such as when he says that following our feelings will ultimately lead us to make a mistake, or that we can’t “think too much about our emotions.” I do believe we can think too much about our emotions and that it would be best to simply feel them in order to know them and the message they’re trying to tell us so that we can release them, and that this is how healing happens.
Alain does end with the GREATEST QUOTE from Kierkegaard – I won’t spoil it for you, watch the entire video and then you will really “get” the quote at the end. The important message of the whole presentation, I think, is “don’t berate yourself for doing what humans do.”
Let me know what you think of this excellent talk in the comments below or on my Facebook page here. This video is truly worth discussing!