I’m reading this book a second time. (I rarely if ever do that.) I also recently saw the movie. Despite those who bemoan how movies do not do justice to books, I think this one does. And it’s not a “chick” book. It’s a book about being human, searching for the deepest truth in oneself, and having the courage to live authentically. I would hope this pertains to all of us. In re-reading this book, I forgot how absolutely funny the author is. The thing I like most about this work is how in the midst of personal angst, she finds a ray of humor. She is able and willing to embrace her vulnerabilities and yet take herself as lightly as possible. Can you? I think this is a great skill in life.
I am hearing that many women are reacting to this movie with “How selfish of her!” This is an interesting phenomenon. After two waves of feminism (some say three), there are women who still hold a double standard for their own gender. Judging anyone for anything is not wise. I’ll offer the famous Rumi poem, “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing there is a field, I’ll meet you there.” Liz finds herself on her knees after years of reaching for “right-doing” according to everyone in her life, including herself. Once she releases judgement she hears her own pure thoughts and feels her own deepest feelings. It takes human courage not to run at this point, in any direction.
I like this book and movie a lot. Mostly because I love the theme, which in my understanding is this — “Who are you?” and “What are you here for?” The two most important questions any human can embrace. The two answers which keep one on the path of authenticity and intimacy. The only road to love.
And so I will recommend both the movie and the book to you (all of you). I will also recommend that you sit with your close circles and talk about some of what comes up for you. Keep it real. There is ever so much difference between conversing and gossiping. I’d love to hear from you about what this book (and movie) unearths in you. While it would be wonderful to take a year and travel to far off lands in search of self, it can be done much closer to home. As long as we are willing to release the known, face our fears, and stay true to our deepest intuitions, I’d say we are definitely on track. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to eat…..pray…..and love along the way.