He had made the same mistake, although the way that it had come about was different than before, for he had thought that he had learnt, and would be able to avoid it. Now the lesson he had taken from this ultimate surprise was that the same would always happen in a way that he could never have foreseen, and that the only way to cope was to accept it in advance. At the base of this acceptance was a difficult acceptance of himself, which came about by the rejection of those fanciful ideas of who he was, and of the kind of recognition he believed that he deserved and would have coming. In a strange way this acceptance of himself as he had shamefully perceived himself had brought him great relief, as if a weight that he had carried for as long as he remembered had been lifted from his back; and he felt that having seen him face to face, the man he was was now no longer, and the future had been opened in a way that he had never sensed before. He was the same man after all; but the fact that he accepted who he was had made him someone else entirely. He embraced his shame, and thought of it as that which would reveal another nature, and as that which would direct him to make better kinds of choices.