Eat Pray Love... and chips.

I find myself in a quandary. (Yes, another one.) I've been in sort of a funk lately, and I desperately want to blog and just get all my thoughts out, yet at the same time, I feel just rather... stuck. Stifled. Like I can't get it out, and I don't particularly want to expend all the effort it would take to pry these thoughts out of me and slap them onto a piece of virtual paper.

But here I am.
Maybe it's not the internet shutting off that is my problem. It's probably just me.

I watched Eat Pray Love. It was pretty good. The only bad thing is that when she goes to Italy, the amazingly delicious food in vast quantities always gets my hunger up... so I gorged on potato chips, and now I feel sick. This always happens when I eat potato chips. You think I'd learn to leave them alone. But, no. It's insanity. Delicious, oily, crispy insanity.

Eat Pray Love. The things she learns on her voyage of self-discovery. First, Liz learns to eat. She cultivates an appetite- not just for food, but for relationships other than romantic ones. Second, she learns to pray. She seeks God, and peace. She goes through many struggles, but finally forgives. Third, she faces her fear of loving again, and learns to live a balanced life.

It's interesting, the journey that Liz goes on... so similar to my own, in ways...she finds truths that I, myself have found... but in some weird places. Like an ashram in India. Or a medicine man's hut in Bali. Or a pizza shop in Naples. Hmm.

Actually, I watched it twice. Once yesterday, and once today, with a notebook by my side and a pencil in my hand. So many things resonated with me that I couldn't just remember them all, so I wrote down a lot of quotes. I'll divide them up by location.

But first, I think the biggest, biggest thing that struck me about Liz's journey and the conclusions she came to is that she learned to enjoy life, not to simply endure it. What about me? How do I learn to enjoy life, to live with... passion, purpose, gusto, joy... all those heady words that I don't know how to apply to real life???

New York
(She's married/divorcing/dating/deciding to pursue self-discovery)
-Her first prayer- ever. She starts with the cliche, "Thanks for all the blessings," etc., but quickly breaks down. The tsunami of her pain sweeps away the forms, and she simply begs for help, for direction... and finally realizes, I think, that she is deeply unhappy.

-Permeable membrane: "I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have it all. My money, my time, my body, my dog, my dog's money. I will assume your debts, and project upon you all sorts of nifty qualities that you've never actually cultivated in yourself. I will give you all this and more, until I am so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover is by being infatuated with someone else." Oh. My. Lands. This so accurately describes how I have conducted my romantic relationships all my life. This is what I saw modeled. Seriously... how co-dependent. I give all to make you happy... and when I can't take it anymore, I leave. Maybe not even physically. When I was with C, I went through this cycle several times... yet I never physically left. I stayed in the relationship, but my heart was elsewhere. And this... this is what is touted as love in our culture. This is what I am so desperate to avoid... and this is why it didn't work out with GM, either. I was dissolving, melting... becoming GM, Jr.... so that he would like me... so that he would love me, and I wouldn't be alone anymore... I wouldn't hurt anymore... Well, it didn't work. It hurt like hell, despite my absorption (probably because of it). No wonder I couldn't breathe.

-Dove out of marriage into new relationship, disappearing completely (in her own words). This is in keeping with her relational pattern... and the sick thing is, he knows it. He doesn't care. He just wants to enjoy her while he can, and hopefully keep her forever.

-"You know what I felt when I woke up this morning?...Nothing! I have no pulse! I want to marvel at something!" (I consolidated a whole speech into this fragment.) She is waking up to the fact that she is still not happy, even with this new relationship... and realizes that romantic relationships have not filled her. She is empty. She doesn't even know who she is, because she's never given herself time to discover it. SO ME.

-"I am not checking out! I need to change."

-It strikes me as interesting that she could so easily have jumped into a relationship with her Italian tutor, yet she refrained... even though she realizes, "I am alone." She begins to enjoy herself... with just herself.

-"My word is writer." "That's what you do, not who you are."

-"We all want things to stay the same. We settle for living in misery because we're afraid of change, of things crumbling into ruins...Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation." I agree. It is in breaking down the crumbling citadels of past lies, past dysfunctions, past hurts and bruises and heartaches and mistakes and failures that we find the foundations for our tomorrows. We must not fear change.

-Her new friends are grateful for Liz helping them to appreciate life... even though she is just learning herself. She took them on her quest with her, I guess.

-"You have to learn to select your thoughts the way you select your clothes every day. Now that's a power you can cultivate... You wanna control your life so bad, work on the mind, and that's the only thing you should be trying to control. 'Cause if you can't master your thoughts, you're in trouble forever."
I probably would have taken beef with this not too long ago... but even Christianity teaches this. Our thoughts are, generally, something we can control. Like my friend says, you can't stop the birds from flying overhead, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair. So even if unwanted thoughts come, just let them go. Is that a prescription for ADD or what?

-"I know you feel awful, but your life's changing. That's not a bad thing."
Yes. Change feels awful. At least, it has for me. But it's not a bad thing... riiiiiight?

-"God's not interested in watching a performance of how a spiritual person looks and behaves. The quiet girl who glides silently through the place with a gentle, ethereal smile on her face, who is that person? ...that's not me."
She goes on to say that "God dwells within me, as me," but I disagree with that. I'm really impressed with the truths she's discovered, though. Seriously, because of my "Christianity programming", I thought for some time that all other religions were basically from the devil and nothing good could come from them. I've now adopted a slightly different point of view... while I do believe that the premise that a lot of these other religions operate from are faulty, I do see that God works even with this. The adversary wreaks havoc everywhere... even in "Christian" places. It cannot be a black/white-thisplaceiswrong/thisplaceisright issue, because then you lose the focus of the entire matter. You can be a Bible worker in an upstanding church and still not know God. You can be a devotee in an ashram in India, pursuing God with all your heart... who am I to judge? I cannot. I know that I believe differently, and, yes, I do believe that religions like Buddhism and Hinduism and etc. etc. are, in reality, designed to keep people from knowing the true character of God (like I have a lot of room to talk, eh?). But I do know that God has children in every nook and cranny... as well as enemies.

-" order to stay happy, you must always know where you are, every moment. Right here is perfect for balance. Right at meeting of heaven and earth. Not too much God, not too much selfish. Otherwise, life too crazy. You lose balance, you lose power."
Ever hear the saying, "They're so heavenly-minded that they're of no earthly good"? Unbalanced. In my opinion, there's a lot of that up here where I'm at... And while I don't think that we are to purposely keep selfish, for the purpose of staying balanced, he has a good point...

-"Now you are afraid to open your heart. You are afraid hurt will happen to you again. Only way to heal is to trust. This okay. To have broken heart mean you have tried for something."
If your heart is never broken... you have never let anyone in. Easy on paper, hard in practice.

-"Don't feel bad about Filipe. Everybody needs affection, honey. Make people do funny things. Everyone gets like that at beginning of relationship. Want too much happiness, too much pleasure, until make yourself sick. Even to Wayan, this happen at the beginning of my love affair. I lose myself, Liz."
Another one of those things I'm desperate to avoid. This is what I am afraid will happen if I date again.

-Liz: I can't. I'm sorry, I can't.
Filipe: Why?
Liz: I haven't been home in 5 days. I haven't seen Ketut in weeks. It's just too much.
Filipe: It's not much. To get into a boat with me, to be by ourselves... it is too much for you?
Okay, here's where I rant. I am so frustrated with this guy! He's sucking her in, she's losing her balanced life and she knows it, and when she tries to put up boundaries, he dismisses them. "No, you're wrong. It's really not much. You're making this into a big deal, but it's really not." It smacks of, "If you love me, you will ______." Also, maybe I have a personal vendetta against this guy because he reminds me so much of Mom's creepy boyfriends... not in looks, but just in actions, how he treats her... Ugh. Get your tentacles off of her, and let her be herself.

Yes, she was yelling. And I say, Amen! You tell him, girl!

-"I ended it. I couldn't keep my balance."
"Sometimes losing balance for love is part of living balanced life."
What?! No it's not! Are you trying to tear down everything you've built up in her? He's smothering her! *Sigh*

Okay, get ready for a huge run-on sentence...

-"The Physics of The Quest: If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you."

I'm still super frustrated that she went back to him. I feel like she's falling into the same old relational habits again... only this time, it must be true love, right? Gag me with a spoon. He's a leech. You went around the world to find yourself, and now you give it up for a guy? Look, if he won't respect your boundaries, or give you the freedom to be a person and have a life separate from himself and your "sexy time" together, then there are some serious red-flag issues to be resolved. If you can't say "No", you had better watch out. I say run for your life.

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