Sunday, December 20, 2015

Patient Love

The Rose
Photograph by Gillian Cornwall, c.2012

I am reposting a version of this because I feel it is a valuable post and I think that patient love is the ideal Christmas gift to one another.

There Once Was a Kid who Asked, "Why?"

Every kid asks, "Why?" Some of us grow into adults who ask, "Why?" I am one of those people. It's who I am. At times, it exhausts and erodes me and the people around me. At times I am granite and at times I am worn to sand. I am an explorer of that which is claimed to be known and that which is beyond. I am not one to accept, simply because it is said. If that were the case, I would never have taken the risk of marching in a Pride parade over 30 years ago or refusing to accept a gender binary. I never would have been the first girl in my hometown to take wood shop and metal shop instead of sewing and cooking and I never would have followed my heart to the coast and learned to surf. I never would have kept writing in the face of my own parent telling me I would never be good enough. 

Today, I read a friend's post and she used the term 'patient love". The two words resonated with me and, being who I am, I had to unpack this phrase to understand "why" it has imprinted on my heart and in my vocabulary:

Patient - According to the Oxford English Dictionary, as an adjective or noun:
...enduring pain, affliction, inconvenience, etc., calmly without discontent or complaint; characterized by or showing such endurance...

as a verb: trans.To make patient; (refl.) to calm or quiet oneself; to be patient

Love v. trans. To have or feel love towards (a person, a thing personified) (for a quality or attribute); to entertain a great affection, fondness or regard for; to hold dear...

So... calmly, without discontent or complaint, holding someone dear - this is patient love. I like it. I like it very much. This is a great response to those who perpetually ask, "Why?" Perhaps it is not a common response when one continues to question and remain inquisitive past childhood but it is a good response. May there be more patient love in the world and may there always be people who ask, "Why?" 

May there always be those who stop to question, to question injustice, hate, hurt and that which is widely known or accepted. May we have patient love for those in our lives through sickness and in health. May we not assume we know each other or what we are feeling or how justified our pain or fear or love may be. May we learn and grow with patient love. 

May we allow ourselves and one another the space to reinvent ourselves daily and may we all be blessed to share our lives with those who make us stop to consider patient love.

I dedicate this post to the people with whom I have a bond - to all the people who show me patient love, at a soul-cellular level. I originally dedicated this post to a person who has the capacity to place just what I need before me, sometimes before I even know that I need it. This person is my dear friend, Sheila Jeffries. Sheila is an exceptionally talented artist and writer and one who embodies the term, "patient love". 

Have a look at her website and read her books: 

Sheila has a new book out, Timba Comes Home, through Simon and Schuster. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am! 

-Gillian Cornwall, December 20, 2015
(Original post date, September 21, 2014)

Heart Rock
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2014

Photo by Gillian Cornwall, c. 2014


Diane Scurr said...

Gillian, this touched me more than you can know. As the mother of a questioning non binary child, I am learning to love patiently. I am learning to breath, to be and hold a space for all that my child may become. I wish you peace and joy this Christmas time and throughout the coming year. With patient love, Diane

Gillian said...

Dearest Diane,

Thank you so very much for this comment. I am grateful - both for your candour and for your patient love. Gender is a social construct that helps others keep us in a box and limits our potential at times. As my dear friend, best selling author Sheila Jeffries, says, Angels have no gender." None of it matters; rather, how we live, the grace we choose for ourselves and how we lift one another up for our exceptional being and growing, that makes a difference. With the greatest love and respect for you and your child on your individual journeys and your journeys together.