Mates - Esquimalt Lagoon
Gillian Cornwall, c. May 2016
Poems and plays have been written, odes have been sung, films have been made and, as a species, it appears to allude us or, at the very least, confuse us:
What the hell is it and why do we sometimes feel like everyone but us is reaping the benefits of its rainbows and lollipops?
The thing is, I'm starting to cotton on to the idea that true love starts within each of us. It lies in a soft, warm bed of self care and self belief. It comes when we set down the baggage we have often taken on from another - simply because they needed us to or they told us to or because it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. We become lifelong pack mules for others because we believe them more worthy of a lighter path than we ourselves deserve. Why?
Practice - that is what I am guessing. Sometimes when we do something for long enough, it becomes our norm. We no longer have a comprehension of lightness of spirit, of space within, of joy and comfort within ourselves because we have lost the ability to set down the baggage of others and move forward without it.
We want someone to notice the sacrifice we have made for them.
What if we just set it all down?
What if we didn't worry about whether anyone cared that we have sacrificed?
What if we let go of our sense of loss?
We all want to be seen, heard and understood. How about we see ourselves, acknowledge that we have carried enough, or even set out to find the person willing to remind us we needn't carry it - the folks who heal and help us rest?
Why do we need permission? We don't need permission. There is a new great lie in the world that busy and tired are badges of honour we receive for giving away too much, for wearing ourselves into the ground without stopping.
This is an errant concept. It serves no-one.
Put your stuff down. Stretch. Breathe. Look in the mirror and love the warrior you see in front of you. When you stop and engage in self-care, you will begin to heal. Love the amazing being that you have become on your journey. You are more than a pack animal of your own history. You are more than a survivor. You are the epitome of life in every step of your journey. You, and you alone, have the autonomy and capacity to reinvent yourself with love, strength and compassion from all you have seen, all you have borne and all those you have helped along the way.
A change of season
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2015
When you stop to heal, you will create space and strength within yourself. You will remember that self care and love for the gift of your life is the essence of true love. In healing your worn and weary soul, in loving yourself truly, you will create the foundation from which the capacity to give love without need for reciprocation grows. With the ability to feel perpetually full without fear of loss and certain of your place among all of life, you will experience the true love that cannot be battered with the changing tides and clamoring of those around us. You will master the art of setting and balancing your own course with self awareness and awareness of others. From excellent self care arises the ability to care well for others.
Find your strength within and know that this is your true love.
Lay down your burden.
Most of it was never yours to carry.
This is your life.
Raise your arms and open them to the universe.
We are with you.
We are inextricably one.
In every cell of your being lies the truth,
the very essence of life and love.
You have everything you require.
You are well.
You are complete.
You are true love.
Autumn Skies - Heaven on Earth
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2014
You are true love, you truly are. You will not find love in another; you will find a reflection of yourself in their eyes, in the smile they have for you because you are you - whole, complete, perfect in each step of your journey.
True love? Go look in the mirror. Look deeply into your own eyes, into your soul light. It's right there. It's you.
Gillian Cornwall, c. September 25, 2016
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2014
Photo of me by Doug Grant
Rifflandia, c. 2014