Eat Pray Love is a book written by Elizabeth Gilbert that I loved reading several years ago. It is also a movie I watched this Christmas holiday. Both the movie and the book contain events and passages that speak to me intimately: The part in the beginning where she talks about having gone from relationship to relationship without any time in between to know who she is; the way she loses herself completely in others; and the scene in India where she’s on the roof garden and her Texan friend Richard tells her to stay there until she has forgiven herself. That spoke to me – to forgive oneself. I have a lot to forgive, mostly of myself. Forgiving others, it seems to me, is somehow much easier.
And there is much in the character, or in the Liz Gilbert persona, that I relate to. At the very end of the movie Liz Gilbert, the author/protagonist, suddenly realizes that there is indeed a certain kind of karmic dynamic to life’s quest. She calls this the physics of the quest. In short, one has to be truly open to everything that they encounter, open to the meaning, the significance, even the necessity of the encounter. I have learned I’m forever a student, and everyone I encounter along this journey my teacher. I think I already knew that. But this is a reminder for me to be more aware, to look harder at each person and what they have to teach me. Everyone – every single person that I encounter – from the friend who taught me how to burn the croutons right before I crashed into her parked car, to the grouchy neighbor I wave to on my walk – everyone is in my path as my guide, my teacher, a beacon. How often have I forgotten or ignored such lights guiding me along life’s waypoints.
Liz’s favorite word, the one she chooses as her own, is attraversiamo. In Italian it means in essence to take a leap of faith, to cross over. Such a beautiful and brave word. And as with the karmic dynamic to be open to all encounters with people, it is about being open to all events and occurrences as significant, no matter how small or large they may be.
After the movie, I wondered what my word might be. Liz couldn’t figure it out until she lost herself and in the process found herself again. I’ve done that recently. So, mine? I like Passione !!!
Copyright 2016. Christine Tsen. All rights reserved.