I love myself when I stop thinking about myself. When I’m emptied out and spacious. Love is self-forgetting. In the biblical sense, I love myself when I deny myself. When selfless love hits the headlines, it’s called heroism.
Forget for now the new beginning. Focus instead on what awaits its end. Endings are essential. High-quality endings are gem-like in their simplicity and clarity. Until something old dies, nothing new is born. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat, having fallen to the ground, should die, it abides alone; but if it should die, it bears much fruit.”
What are we to take away from Jesus’ towering silence before Pilate? At the very least, this: Don’t explain yourself.
When we are careful about what we eat but careless about what we think, we get Brad Pitt in Burn After Reading. Well, okay. A less exalted version thereof. But still a mess.
All of the world’s great religious traditions agree on this: There is something more important happening than me and mine.