Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Learn to Love Yourself

This weekend I started watching "Eat, Pray, Love" which was as disappointing as the book hah.... I never even finished the book (I got as far as India) so I don't know why I thought the movie would be any better... Ironically I only made it as far as India in the movie as well before getting bored and doing something else. I only just finished the rest of it last night.... but there were a few good quotes in the movie that made me look up other quotes by the author and I ended up finding this one that moved me to tears Saturday morning....
I think it is so beautiful and so perfectly articulates this deep rooted sense of loneliness that I struggle with. My life today is full, and I do have a relationship with my family, but there is still some type of unconditional love that I can't seem to grasp when I'm in a rough spot. I know it needs to come from God, and it does, but it also needs to come from myself, which is what I reaaaaaaally have trouble with... Over the past few years I have been working on making peace with my past but sometimes life gets hard and when that happens I just feel so alone. I know I'm not alone and I understand that intellectually but I still feel that way. Anyways, I think this passage is so beautiful.........

"So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave.
I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled.
This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance.
In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too." — Elizabeth Gilbert

I love this.... and it's so weird that I found it on Saturday because I had just gotten through a rough spot the week before so it was as if this piece of writing helped me air out "depression's lingering smoke" and take a deep breath of fresh, clean air.
I know that I can't change my past or the things I've done or that have been done to me, but sometimes I work so hard trying to forgive and let go that I get tired and suddenly feel broken. I know that I can only do so much and that God and Time have to do the rest, but in those moments when I feel raw and exhausted I need to be gentle with myself and let God hold me until the feeling passes. And it always passes, it does... I will learn to love myself eventually but until then I can just let God love me.
I did some hard work with my friend Carole this morning and I am digesting some new information about myself which is always a lovely growth opportunity haha.... I think I'll go for a run now and do some reflecting...........

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