A conversation with a dear friend brought old wisdom into new light. The conversation was about waiting for a partner to come to a deeper, kinder, more embracing position on a challenging issue. When my lovely, loving friend expressed her belief that her favorite person would get there in their own time, I was moved and inspired by her faith and patience.
Today, I’m imagining Faith and Patience personified as two angels who arrive to enrich our relationships. Two archetypal beings under whose benign influence, we realize we’ve agreed … we’ve committed. We give thanks for the deep wells of trust that fill our hearts and expand our inner reach. We will wait for him or her or them. We’ll respect and love them as they work towards resolution.
I see Philip and me standing on a bridge in Bern, Switzerland years ago. We were furious, red-hot enraged. Surrounded by ancient architectural beauty and the sun breaking through a cloud-covered sky, light glittered on the water that ran swiftly below. Yet we–caught in the division of our egos—were blind to beauty. We were like C.S. Lewis’s dwarves hiding in their hut—small and benighted by fear. The War was over, Winter melted into Spring. But the dwarves–lost in fear of change–were blind to the peace and beauty surrounding them. They still huddled against a storm that was no longer there. Philip and I, too, nearly missed the moment in Bern.
About to say something awful, another angel/archetype—Grace–descended. And I–as if struck by lightning–knew with more certainty than ever that I was not going to walk away, not going to call it quits—not then, not ever. Faith, Patience, and Grace stepped onto that bridge and brought sanity back. Our relationship shifted on that day, was saved on that bridge when I believed in Philip beyond the mess of that moment. Believed he would pull through the storm and come to a wider, more expansive place. Love would win … and we would each be better beings for it.
It occurs to me that my friend’s loving trust in her partner (and mine in Philip) calls forward an energetic response from the archetypal realm. Trust creates the receptive atmosphere necessary for growth. And in this crucible of faith and patience, we and our partners find the strength to do the work. Individual support aided by the collective field of Trust is unconsciously felt and received. And in that fertile ground, the best of human nature germinates and takes root. It is this space of faith that is our gift to give. As David Whyte says, “… we are a form of invitation to others …” Our trust is our invitation to partners and ourselves to become more of who we are meant to be, to grow larger in spirit and soul.
Mark Nepo asks, “Don’t we help birth another the instant we encourage them to see with their heart? Don’t we help birth the world each time we give someone confidence to build what they see with their heart?” I sense we accomplish this in the alchemical mystery and the supporting alembic of loving relationships. When the other knows we’re not going anywhere, when they feel our underlying trust infused with that which is greater than the personal, then, as novelist Louise Penny reminds us, “Ca va bien aller” (All will be well).
The King of Cups was my tarot card this morning. The King of Cups as an archetype connotes a blessing, emotional balancing, and spiritual leaning into compassionate awareness. There’s loyalty, reliability, and consideration. These treasured qualities are embodied and flower under the influence of Faith and Patience.
A beautiful conversation, a reading for this date in Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening, and the morning’s tarot reading are signs for the day. They come together in a curious congruence that reminds me of the need for Faith and Patience. In my relationship with Philip, and in the friendships that grace my life now, this is one of the greatest gifts I have to offer…. and, to gratefully receive.