I finally finished the movie Eat Pray Love while the kids napped today. I read this book a long time ago and have been watching the movie bit by bit from our DVR.
It reminded me of lessons I've learned, forgotten, relearned and reforgotten through my life. So I thought I would write them down here so I won't forget again.
Biggest lesson: women are crazy. Just accept it. We're always searching for purpose and forgiveness, we hold onto guilt and don't ever give ourselves a break, we don't think we're deserving, we think if we stop and enjoy doing nothing for a minute it just means we're lazy, we're dangerously critical of our own bodies and starve them of things that we love, we admire others but rarely ourselves, we think too much about everything, we're always always looking for God everywhere but are hardly ever still enough - still in our thoughts or our daily lives - to really find him.
An example: there is a part in the movie where the main character, Liz, is eating pizza in Naples, but her friend won't eat, even though she desperately wants to, because she doesn't want to gain any more weight. Liz says, "I'm so tired of saying no and waking up in morning recalling everything single thing I ate the day before, counting every calorie I consumed so I know how much self loathing to take into the shower. I'm going for it. I have no interest in being obese, but I'm just through with the guilt."
Amen to that!
The moral of the story is one I know, one we all know, but need reminded of now and then.
Life is all about balance.
Eat: Be healthy and don't eat everything in sight - having restraint and discipline is important and will power is a good characteristic to have in general. But also indulge sometimes without guilt.
If you love chocolate or bacon (I may be referencing myself here), eat them. Don't starve yourself of those simple pleasures. And don't feel bad about it. Embrace your love of them...just moderate.
Pray: Pray and focus on God and others, pour yourself out to him, admit your mistakes, ask for forgiveness, love Jesus, try to make him proud, and shut up long enough to listen to what he has to say. But don't pray so much that you ignore his blessings that are all around you. (For instance, don't read your Bible when you should be playing with your kids (which I did just this morning). Sorry kids. Sorry God.)
Love: Be open and willing to get hurt to truly experience love. Give into love and trust it and trust the other person and yourself enough to to let it really permeate you. But be smart - don't lose yourself in it or in the other person. Remain your honest and true self so that you and the person who loves you recognize you.
I'm not preaching here. I'm writing this as a reminder to myself to live my life more like this and to teach my kids the same. Life is just too short and precious to let it get so out of control, to not make others and yourself happy, to not respect others and yourself, to lose faith in others and yourself, to not cherish and nurture your relationships, to not adore our God and follow where he leads.
It's just too darn short.
Remember that...live that.