Well, it’s finally here. Don’t give me that look, you knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time before I blogged about books, this is onewithbooks after all. Music, manners, mystical feelings, those have all been covered, but not books. I have decided to kick off finally getting around to discussing literature by not doing a book review, but a series of blogs on one book. Its go big or go home here! I thought I would chronicle my way through the book Eat Pray Love. I have done this via email with another book, but now I am bringing it to the blog! It will be a journal of emotions, spiritual thoughts, and hopefully, some humor.
If you have not read this book, and don’t want spoilers, stop here. If you have read the book and or are just curious, then sit back, relax and let’s get one with the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
This book is made up of 108 chapters, and a special introduction representing the 109 beads on a japa mala. My first wow moment came in the third chapter. We find that Elizabeth has come to the realization that being married is not going to work for her anymore and she has come to this realization while crying on her bathroom floor. It is in this moment she turns to God. Before she gets into that though, she explains her view on God.
In Chapter 3 I find myself relating to her. She says that the one big rule of Christianity that she can’t swallow is Jesus being the only path to God. Amen sister! Can I get a hallelujah? I am right there with her on that. It just is not logical to me. If God created the world, and He made man, and Jesus is the only one true way to salvation, what happened to the billions of people who died before He was born? That just doesn’t sit right with me. The God I belive in is a benevolent God. I don’t feel like he is going to make someone rot in hell because they call their god Allah. I can’t do that.
She also says that she responds with “breathless excitement” to those who have traveled to the center of their hearts and who return to say that “God is an experience of supreme love”. I too believe that this is what God is. I believe that He, in part, is the best of humanity, and what in humanity is better than love? It is such an amazing emotion there are hundreds of types of love, from being head over heels in love to the love a mother has for her child. An interesting thought just occurred to me. There are many ways to love, but only one way to hate. Maybe God wanted us to love one another so badly He broadened our view of love to encourage us to not stop, to not limit how we can love.
Another part I really appreciated, still in chapter three, is where she discusses what kind of God she believes in. She tells of having a dog, who was a mutt, and when people would ask what kind of dog he was she would say “A brown dog”. When someone asks her what kind of God she believes in, she says “A magnificent God”. Bravo. I agree. My answer usually comes in the form of “A benevolent God”. I choose to believe my God is a god of second chances.
In chapter 4, she tells of her prayer to God for Him to help her to know what to do, she realized she hasn’t ever really spoken to Him before, but hopes He knows how grateful she is for her blessings. This causes her to cry harder. I know this place. I have been to this place. As she is praying she begins to plead and beg for help in a flood of unending tears. I know this kind of crying. Heck, I blogged about it. It is a sort of raw emotional spiritual battle cry in which your soul is being beaten and trying to make one last stand for survival.
She goes on to talk about the river of tears that would not stop, until, they did. When they stopped, she heard a voice telling her “Go back to bed Liz”. She recognized that as the wise words of God, though it was in her own voice. She had cried enough tears. There would be time enough for the stress but right now, it was time for her to rest so she could handle it all. I love the line “Go back to bed Liz, because I love you, go back to bed.” In my night of tears I too had this moment. It was the moment I could finally stand up and walk away from the tears.
I didn’t hear a voice like she did. Mine was more of a sensation of it was done, I could go on now. I had given all I could. All my tears, all my emotions went with Him. It took awhile to recover from that and even the next morning I was foggy. But through it all I knew I could handle it. I had that faith. I could “Go back to life, because He loved me, I go back to life”. I had given it to Him, just the way she had. There was no more I could do, everything had been done, I only had to accept it.