Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
The first time I read the book Eat, Pray, Love, I was still
happily married. I was swept up in the story and my soul yearned for freedom. I remember trying to share with my then-husband about all I felt. I gushed about traveling to places like India and Thailand in effort to find something I felt was missing; he gave me the patronizing smile and changed the subject. Inside I cried because I knew I was not fully happy but I continued to go through the motions.
This book came to mind because I sat down to watch TV and the movie was on. I have read the book and watched the movie several times over the years. It almost feels like the guide post that I measure how I am feeling about my own life. The scene came on when she realized she was not happy in her marriage and she goes into her bathroom and prays for the first time to God. Tears rolled down my cheeks because I remembered my own moment like this. I had already learned about his affairs and the marriage was over. I felt like my life was over. I came home from work, went straight upstairs to my bedroom and collapsed on the floor. I was in fetal position crying, cursing, and crying more until I was physically exhausted. I have no idea how long I was there. When I had no more tears, I looked out my windows and could see the moon. I rolled on my back and prayed. I finally let it all go and told God I was not strong enough and needed Him to take it for me. It was then I felt as if the weight of it all had been lifted off of me. I could finally breathe. I got up, crawled into bed, and fell asleep. It was my first restful night where I truly slept.
Some may read this and think prayer is a natural step. At that point in my life it wasn’t. I have had an up and down relationship with God and it is still a learning experience for me. My father was always spiritual and believed he was closest to God when he was in nature. My mother was raised strict protestant in Germany and still to this day she fears for my soul because I was not baptized as a baby. I am about to be 43 and still not baptized. My dad left this Earth with the same beliefs he taught me and my sweet mom is probably still worried about my lack of being baptized.
Not all of us have the luxury of traveling the world for one year searching for themselves. I do have a bucket list of places I do want to experience but to me it isn’t about the actual destination. It is truly about the journey. I didn’t understand that at one point in my life right after my world seemed to fall apart. I am already on my own eat, pray, love pilgrimage. I am making a more conscious effort of eating to live as opposed to living to eat. I pray several times a day although I have separated it from it being connected to a certain religion. I have been learning to love myself more and more. I am on my third year of the process and I have come so far.
I am thankful for the gift of ruin that came into my life three years ago. Honestly, it started years before that but the clear break was in 2013. There were many days when I was not sure I could get out of bed much less make it through a day. Now, I look forward to waking in the morning and smile knowing I am a much better person now than I was then. I am still transforming and will until my last breath. This week alone I have enjoyed the happiest moments without even leaving my house. I am reminded of the people in my life who love me, I experienced the best Christmas I have had in years, and I am still here.
Now I embrace another quote from the movie.
I think I deserve something beautiful
We all do.