We spend our down time watching DVDs (they get 30 films on one disc and they usually come themed like Angelina vs. Julia Roberts), walking (one or two are runners but not me), playing games, cooking and reading. I received Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert as a gift (thanks T) and I have captured a few thoughts from it to share with you for your reading (and maybe thought-provoking) pleasure.
The first I’ll share comes from the author’s experience in India. A New Zealand “plumber/poet” has listened as Gilbert claims to want true resolution to a bad relationship but hasn’t found it. He takes her to an Ashram rooftop and indicates she’s to climb to the top of the minaret. The view is of the entire river valley with mountains and farmland stretching before her and soon the stars will be out. He passes her a page with the following:
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FREEDOM
1. Life’s metaphors are God’s instructions.
2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.
3. The day is ending. It’s time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your bein ghere is God’s response. Let go, and watch the stars come out – on the outside and on the inside.
5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.
6. With all your heart, forgive hi, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him go.
7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.
8. Watch the heat of day pass into the cool night. Let go.
9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.
10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.
Later, Gilbert concludes, “This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don’t have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn’t have the specific ritual you’re craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet. If you bring the right earnestness to your homemade ceremony, God will provide the grace. And that is why we need God.”
(p. 184-85, 187)