More True Now Than Then ...
I know a lot of people didn't like Eat, Pray, Love. Some found it indulgent. Others found it vexing.
But I really liked it, partly because I think my writing style is very similar to Liz Gilbert's writing style, and hey, if she can write an international bestseller ... .
I also really liked it because of this passage, though, a conversation between Liz and her new friend Richard (who calls her Groceries because of how much she can eat):
"I think the reason it's so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate."
"He probably was. Your problem is you don't understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with your soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can't let this one go. It's over, Groceries. David's purpose was to shake you up ... tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in ... . That was his job, and he did great, but now it's over. Problem is, you can't accept that this relationship had a real short shelf life. You're like a dog at the dump, baby — you're just lickin' at an empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you're not careful, that can's gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it."
"But I love him."
"So love him."
"But I miss him."
"So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think of him, and then drop it. You're just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you'll really be alone ... . But here's what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you're using right now to obsess about this guy, you'll have a vacuum up there, an open spot — a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with that doorway? It will rush in ... and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go."
"But I wish me and David could —"
He cuts me off. "See, now, that's your problem. You're wishin' too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be."
I included that passage in my original post, which I wrote in December 2007.
In October 2010, I finally, finally said goodbye to a similar situation in my life.
And damn if things didn't change.
I had tethered myself to a futile notion, confined myself to a radius of confusion, making excuses and allowances that were never right.
I had convinced myself that the pain of letting go would be too much to bear. But the real pain came from holding on.
So I said goodbye. I let go of the tether. And realized that now I have the whole world to roam.
I do think of him from time to time. And I do just like Richard said: I send him some light and love and then drop it.
I'm grateful to have known him, grateful that he brought me to my own attention.
Life is even better now.