Eat, Pray, Love (EPL) seems like an uplifting story of someone who finds a new sense of self and goes seeking to create a bigger life. Yet some folks I’ve met and talked to interpret the protagonist as someone who avoids the reality that happiness is something we create within ourselves, regardless of his/her situation, i.e. it is not something we “find” by leaving a tough situation.
There’s an ongoing, philisophical argument about whether love is an emotion or love is and action (or choice).
IMHO, love IS an emotion. It is contrary to lust and should not be confused with the chemical stimulation that can create lust.
Love becomes an action or choice, by what we do, how we act, and our choices, which come from a loving place. We cannot act out of love or choose out of love if we are not first feeling love.
Which brings me to a new one that I’ve noticed recently. There is a belief that we can not be happy in a relationship if we are not first happy and single in order to be able to share that with others. Like EPL’s main character, s/he seems to take that thought literally and feel s/he must leave a relationship/marriage in order to find their happiness as a single person. Haven’t they heard that happiness comes from within?
Rather, when we become genuine and operate from a place which is true to ourselves, that we find our happiness. We can do that single AND in a relationship. It need not be an either/or.
Anger and bitterness that shows up for anyone, whether in a relationship break down or in life in general, is toxic. It often comes from frustrations of being unable to accept that we cannot control things that aren’t meant to be controlled by us, especially people. It can come from our unwillingness to be responsible, to live responsibly, because it’s easier to live as a victim.
Understanding the difference between entitlement and deservedness, and further understanding that by nature or by God we are entitled to nothing. We are simply blessed to be on this earth. Everything else is ours to create.
It’s one thing to accept. It’s another thing to surrender (from which major growth occurs).
Buddhism states it as ‘strive diligently’. Christianity states it as ‘turning the other cheek’.
What kind of life could we create for ourselves if we strove to be the best we are all capable of being?