"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Monday, August 18, 2008

Barren Bitches Book Brigade Tour #14: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The current book being reviewed by the Barren Bitches Book Brigade is not one that inspires a neutral response. People tend to either really love Eat, Pray, Love or they really hate it. I fall into the "Love It" category. I really learned a lot about myself from this book. Among other things, Ms. Gilbert really got me to contemplate how I pray and what I pray for.

At the start of the book, the author states that she will not go into the details of her divorce. Could you accept this and move on to the rest of the book, or did this lack of explanation influence your opinion of the entire book?
Initially, I thought it would bother me to not know the details of her divorce since that was so obviously the start of this spiritual journey. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was better not to know about the divorce. If I had known the details, it would have influenced my opinion of her and, therefore, my opinion of the journey. Once I realized that, the nagging questions about why she divorced faded into the background.

Do you believe in reincarnation and that a soul chooses its lessons before each lifetime? Or do you believe it's all just random challenge? Do you believe you are doing a good job dealing with the cards you've been dealt? What do you think your challenges are trying to teach you about the big picture that other people might miss ...that you might have missed if your life didn't take these turns?
I do not believe everyone is reincarnated but I DO BELIEVE some people are reincarnated. I do believe that certain unresolved issues can cause a soul to return. I know one couple where the husband is fairly certain his soul has been here before. His wife teases him and says he kept coming back because he hadn’t found his soul mate… and that now that he has found her, he won’t have to keep coming back.

I think I am dealing fairly well with the curves life has thrown at me. I have clung to my faith and come out of my battle with secondary infertility even stronger than I went it. I by no means think I am doing a perfect job of learning the lessons God and life are trying to teach me but I am trying. My battles with SIF and the financial trials we have suffered through because of my husband’s career ending injury have taught me patience. They’ve taught me to be frugal (although I still dream big). They’ve taught me that my husband and I can face anything, can deal with anything as long as we stick together. They’ve taught me that I can plan all I want but sometimes God has a different agenda. I might not have learned those lessons had we not dealt with those trials.

In Elizabeth's journey, she meets several characters ... Richard (who calls her 'Groceries') and Ketut and Italy itself ... who see her 'from outside of the frame,' who offer her valuable, catalytic perspective and they help her to penetrate her misery. Who are the characters in your own life that have performed/perform this role for you? What have they helped you to understand? ... Sometimes perspective can come from a book, rather than a person IRL ... so if it was a book that gave you this gift, which one(s)?
Interestingly enough, the person “who offer [me a] valuable, catalytic perspective and help[ed me] to penetrate [my] misery dealing with our multiple miscarriages was someone I haven’t met. In fact, I don’t even know her name. The incomparable Getupgrrl of Chez Miscarriage was the first one that showed me that we could use humor to mitigate the pain of our losses. Grrl was my introduction to ALI (adoption, loss, infertility) blogging and I am forever thankful for that. I hope Grrl is enjoying every minute of every day with her son but I hope the message of how much we miss her reaches her.

Elizabeth Gilbert writes that "when you're lost in the woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize you are lost. For the longest time you can convince yourself that you've just wandered a few feet off the path...then night falls again and again and you still have no idea where you are, and it's time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off path that you don't even know from which direction the sun rises anymore." Have you had a similar experience and if so, when did you come to realize you were lost and how did you find your way back?
I really do feel I went through a similar experience. I tend to be a glass half full kind of person. I know I have been blessed and am thankful for all I have. But, with each miscarriage, I found myself more and more depressed. Things I normally would have been excited about seemed more of an annoyance. After the loss of our Eva, I felt like I was being sucked down into a deep dark hole. I really felt like I would never escape from it. You know its bad when your parents offer to take you and your kids to Florida and Disney World and all you think of is what a hassle its going to be. That was the moment I finally realized I needed some help. My wonderful OB prescribed Lexapro for me and it was enough to help me shake off the depression. I was only on it a short time but it made a world of difference for me.

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at Stirrup Queens . You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Baby Trail by Sinead Moriarty (with author participation).

8 comments:

Heather J. said...

I totally agree with you on question 1!

Cassandra said...

Personally going to Disney World still sounds like a hassle, but that's just me! :)

Chris said...

My IRL book club read this book last year. We seemed to fall into the either loved it or hated it idea. I loved it.

JuliaS said...

I liked your take on the first question - that is an interesting way of thinking about it. I wasn't bothered by not knowing the details - though I am not surprised that others were.

I struggled with depression following my first 3 miscarriages and then after the births of some of my living children. It was very difficult for me to accept taking medication and I also downplayed things a bit to my doctor - mostly out of fear that she would institutionalize me because I felt so crazy at times. I can appreciate the reticence.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

loribeth said...

Interesting way of looking at the divorce question. (It didn't bother me either.) I also liked what you had to say about dealing with the life's curves. Sounds like you have a great attitude!

Lori said...

I'm with you in not needing to know the details of the divorce. I hadn't thought of your reason, though -- a good one.

Mine was that she probably didn't feel like it was appropriate to share someone else's intimate story. I think that's a challenge bloggers face -- how much about our loved ones is it appropriate to tell?

Deb said...

Interesting thoughts on reincarnation. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences!

Lexapro Prescription Medication said...
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