One of the things you can do, if you're in doubt, if you're shaken, is to stare at the person you love across a table in candlelight when there are other people around and they don't know that you're looking at them. Just watch them twinkle and interact when you know they're hurting inside but they're a master at appearing unruffled and erudite and sound and engaged. Watch them objectively, as a visitor would, forget that they're a part of you, that you've forgotten sometimes where they end and where you start, forget the irksome horribleness of the day, not created by them, but just circumstance - forget circumstance - and watch. You may have a glass of wine, but maybe just one because you are driving, and you may be using your sparkle as a shield - it can be a useful place to hide - and you may have also done that special meditation that brings the white light in when you think nothing could possibly work. You may have driven across the Cotswolds in despair while trying to apply mascara and wondered about the state of the world, and how indeed you are going to survive with horribleness you have witnessed. You may have heard things you should not have heard, so much of it that your chest filled with jaggedy energy that made your mouth dry and your heart pound. You may have spoken to your child - a man now and wise and empathic - with whom you have strange telepathy - and listened to his words, your son, who is now advising you in his quiet, kind way on how to negotiate your way through the darkness. But then, after all of this, at a dear friend's table, with a white cloth, and candles and a small china dachsund sitting in the middle of it amongst the blowsy flowers, watch your person dispassionately, as if you are a stranger, and see how it feels to witness love for the first time - kind, unconditional, rising up through the suffering. This is a good man, you think. This is a brave, sexy man. This is the person that loves me. This is a person worth fighting for.