With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.
“She supports me”
“We support each other”
“I don’t know where I’d be without her support”
It runs alongside…
“She understands me”
“We understand each other”
“I don’t know where I’d be without her understanding”
How could I have lived this long without realizing the power of those simple statements?
Oh, you’ve always known them, having been raised in a loving and nurturing environment.
Maybe. Maybe known but not felt. Maybe after so many years of never feeling it I considered it a luxury. After all, it isn’t a felt known unless she has patience. If she has patience then those two things are possible.
I can explain support or understanding or patience. I can give examples and create a picture what it looks like but I cannot do the same for love. It is a word with much power, like the word faith.
I call upon love as the thing preceding patience but it is a known and not a felt known.
And so I investigate.
She would need a reason to be patient. She doesn’t have to be. She wants to be. She feels something for me and in turn, wants to be patient. It could be love but why isn’t it as solvable a word as the others? Another word, perhaps, more concrete and explainable.
When I stop and think of another word, heart comes to mind. Something to do with the heart. But that’s a physical thing. An organ. It is not heart but the warmth of the heart. And back into the abstract we go.
By the way, like and love are equally confusing. And care can be thrown into that mix as well.
What would make her want to be patient with me?
Let’s expand what we know.
Patience is taking your time. It’s calculated and methodical.
Understanding is using patience to learn something you didn’t know before.
Support is using patience and understanding to actively ally with someone else.
From there we get the partnership, union and togetherness.
With this building block of words comes the idea of foundation.
I find it amazing how easy it is to grow the words into the stable fortress of a relationship but to clarify how it all began is the real challenge.
To be patient and to understand and offer support you have to be thinking of someone other than yourself. The motivation may be selfish, as in this experience is good for me, but the balance has been struck.
The possibility of patience comes from a willingness to suspend selfishness.
So I just asked my wife, my bride, my angel for some assistance.
She said the key is reciprocity. She can display patience, show understanding and offer support because she believes the same will be done for her.
(She also said love, so much love for me from her heart that she thinks sometimes it will burst into a million pieces… but when I asked her to define love she just looked at me)
No wonder we get along so well.