There are some things I am unlearning—ideas that don’t fit with my life or what happened in it, and that make everything in it nonsensical, chaotic, frightening.

I was thinking about this because I still cannot process an expression C had last week as she came around a corner and saw me suddenly. I know the expression itself is not that important. I know it’s okay if I don’t understand it. But I also think I cannot process her expression because I cannot process whatever it connects to: in some way, that expression connects to things too painful or frightening to think clearly about, and I need to keep working at this.

My thinking is different now. Sometimes in my posts I try to get at that. It’s hard to demonstrate. It is not what I think, but how I think that is different. What I think is probably different too, but that doesn’t strike me as noticeably. My thinking used to be very tight, like a magic trick you can see all the illusion in so that there wasn’t any magic anymore. Now, it isn’t like that. It is faster, and I end up quite far afield from where I started from. There are jumps and leaps in it, thoughts I am not sure how I got to, but that seem correct enough. Now it is like a magic trick. A pigeon suddenly flies up, a rabbit appears, the coin is miraculously in another place. It’s because I am using more of both systems now—the slow one, and the fast one. And the fast one feels like a magic trick. You need both of them to think well, and I wasn’t before. Or I was not using them together.

Anyway, I haven’t processed the expression still, but I’ve come to satisfactory conclusions about other things.

The new thought this morning relates again to worth.

I have all these ideas that I need to feel worthy. I can’t make it add up, I realize. As long as I hang onto this idea of worth, nothing in my life makes sense, and everything feels dangerous and frightening because of that.

Someone risked her life to protect me. She did it repeatedly. She eventually died because of that. She risked her life, not because of my worth as a human being—I am not worth than the children she didn’t die for—but because of her capacity to love and because we happened to connect.

People love you not because of your worth, but because of their capacity to love, and because the two of you find a way to connect. You develop a relationship somehow, and how it develops is a bit mysterious. It probably needn’t be mysterious. You could, I think, break it down to a bunch of chemicals released in the brain due to various behaviours that then trigger other behaviours. But as it is happening, it feels mysterious. It feels like something that just happens. Let’s leave it at that. I am not in a scientific mood today. I don’t feel like rambling on about oxytocin or whatever.

Natashka loved me because she could love. She died because of her capacity for love and because of her courage. She didn’t die because I was so amazingly wonderful.

Some people have a greater capacity to love than others. You are loved because you seek those people out in your life and you find ways to connect with them. Being loved has nothing to do with your worth or how much you believe in your worth. People don’t love you because you deserve it. They love you because they can.

And there are always people who can’t love or can’t love very much. They have broken abilities to empathize with others or their attachments are shallow and easily broken or they can’t manage their emotions well enough to keep their thinking intact enough to consider the feelings of others. You can feel you deserve better, but you won’t get better. They have nothing to give you. But there are other people who can.

Love is not an entitlement. It is a gift. It’s a wonderful gift to have within yourself—to have a capacity for love. And it is a wonderful gift to receive.

It makes my life make sense to me this way, because it implies that people won’t go on dying for me. Nata’s sacrifice was a gift. It wasn’t a reward for a job well done or even a reward for being an outstanding person. It’s something she gave me because she felt like giving it to me, the same way a girl in my Class 4 came running to me at the end of the day and gave me our special Class 4 handshake before leaving.