Saturday, January 29, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

"I was in the upstairs bathroom of the big house in the suburbs of New York which I'd recently purchased with my husband. It was a cold November, around three o'clock in the morning. My husband was sleeping in our bed. I was hiding in the bathroom for something like the forty-seventh consecutive night, and - just as during all those nights before - I was sobbing. Sobbing so hard, in fact, that a great lake of tears and snot was spreading before me on the bathroom tiles, a veritable Lake Inferior (if you will) of all my shame and fear and confusion and grief. This part of my story is not a happy one, I know. But I share here because something was about to occur on that bathroom floor that would change forever the progression of my life. What happened was that I started to pray. You know - like, to God."

"When you're lost in the woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you ARE lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you've just wandered a few feet off the path, that you'll find your way back to the trail head any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it's time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don't even know from which direction the sun rises anymore."

"I tried so hard to fight the endless sobbing. I remember asking myself one night while I was curled up in the same old corner of my same old couch in tears yet again over the same old repetition of sorrowful thoughts, "Is there anything about this scene you can change, Liz?" And all I could think to do was stand up, while still sobbing, and try to balance on one foot in the middle of my living room. Just to prove that - while I couldn't stop the tears or change my dismal internal dialogue - I was not yet totally out of control: at least I could cry hysterically while balanced on one foot. Hey, it was a start."

"The Bhagavad Gita - that ancient Indian Yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection."

"I told her my thoughts about praying. I don't like asking, "Will you change this or that thing in my life that's difficult for me?" Because - who knows? - God might want me to be facing that particular challenge for a reason. Instead, I feel more comfortable praying for the courage to face whatever occurs in my life with equanimity, no matter how things turn out."

"That some vital transformation is happening in my life, and this transformation needs time and room in order to finish it's process undisturbed. That basically, I'm the cake that just came out of the oven, and it still needs some more time to cool before it can be frosted. I don't want to cheat myself out of this precious time. I don't want to lose control of my life again."

"I think about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I am now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live this life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself. I think of everything I endured before getting here and wonder if it was me - I mean, this happy and balanced me, who is now dozing on the deck of this small Indonesian fishing boat - who pulled the other, younger, more confused, and more struggling me forward during all those hard years. The younger me was the acorn full of potential, but it was the older me, the already-existent oak, who was saying the whole time: "Yes -grow! Change! Evolve! Come and meet me here, where I already exist in wholeness and maturity! I need you to grow into me!" And maybe it was this present and fully actualized me who was hovering four years ago over that young married sobbing girl on the bathroom floor, and maybe it was this me who whispered lovingly into that depserate girl's ear, "Go back to bed, Liz..." Knowing already that everything would eventually bring us together here. Right here, right to this moment. Where I was waiting in peace and contentment, always waiting for her to arrive and join me."


  1. I might just have to read this book...

  2. I first read this book during the fall of 2008 and ever since then, it has been one of my most favorite books!

    The movie is good but the book is SO much better! So you should read it, for sure! ; )