Maui - North Shore
Oil Pastel on Paper | Approx. 8"x 10"
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2012
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2012
I originally posted this piece in 2014. I wanted to reflect on it from my perspective today. I hope it gives something to you too:
My brother once told me, "Expect nothing and hope for the best." Many seasons have passed since he imparted this sage advice and, to this day, hope and expectation can blur on my page like once vivid watercolours, running from brilliant individual rivulets into a murky pool.
Love. Fear. Love. Fear. Love. Fear. Love. Fear. Love. Fear. Love.
There they go again, marching across the page, weaving together the precept of every piece I've ever written. Tiresome, isn't it? ...but also true. With every step, every breath, every crossroad, we must decide which path to tread.
This brings me to the title of this week's piece. Let's look at the parts:
Brilliant: bright, clever, impressive, excellent - from the French brillant: shining
Bold: willing to take risks, confident, courageous
Mitigate: make something (bad) less severe or lessen the gravity of something painful; from Latin mitigat- softened, alleviated
So, it looks like I'm saying: shine and be courageous but make sure you do it as your truth rather than from a desire to receive a response or change from something or someone because if you expect results, you can be disappointed or hurt. Yes, that is what I meant. Good. Sorry to take you down that road with me but I wanted to make sure I was going where I need to go with this.
Hope: v. want something to happen or be the case
Interestingly, as a verb, hope relates more to want than expectation; whereas, as a noun, expectation is dominant in the use of the word
Expect: v. regard something as likely to happen
My brother's wise words convey that it is okay to want something but not to rely on it. I agree with this too.
Recognize that the greater your brilliance, boldness and joie de vivre, the more likely it is that you will be met with an equal and opposite energy of naysayers and folks who need to shadow themselves from your light. I want to remind you that reaction is not a measurement of the value of your action. If your intent is for the positive, if your action comes from a place of love rather than fear, then you may listen and consider but it is not for you to own or carry the reaction of another.
So if you shine, shine. Be bold. Explore. Your light may be the very thing that someone needs to light their path or it may take you to a place that opens your heart and soul to reaches you have never imagined. Do not let your brilliance and boldness be extinguished by other people's fears. Your light is a foundation of greatness, of living a full and passionate life. Do not walk your path as though it is a red carpet, looking for applause or judgement. Walk your path for the journey, for the delight and learning of life. I'll see you along the way.
-Gillian Cornwall, August 24, 2014*
* Since I wrote this back in 2014, I feel I have changed. Perhaps my hope is less vivid in the spectrum. I see so much fear around me and everyone struggling to maintain what they see online as the way a person should live if they are to be considered a success. My experience lately has shown what lengths people will go to in order to "win." I see less care for one another and more greed. I hope it is just in my realm and not worldwide, but I am not hopeful. Out of being brilliant, bold and mitigating expectations, I feel only capable of the last.
May we have less fear and more love on each of our paths. That which we hold too tightly will only result in loss. The tighter we try to hold on to that which we have, the more likely it is to slip through our fingers to where there is room for it to be without pressure. Let go. Don't buy in to the fear. Houses, X-Box, private school - it's all for naught if you believe it is a must have. May we make more decisions out of love and less out of fear. Wishing each of you some freedom in letting go of fear. Share what you have if you can give it freely and without expectation of return on investment - other than the good feeling of having given something. Avoid resentment. It is toxic and will poison your well-being.
Be well and live with as much freedom as you can and, to all the folks that keep shining in their brilliance, thank you for your light.