I just watched this movie again. I know what you’re maybe thinking, especially if you’re like my husband, “such a cheesy and farfetched movie”. But when I watch it I see so much fun, self discovery and adventure in it. The lead character (played by Julia Roberts) goes on a journey of self discovery. Her adventures take her all over the world. So exciting! Going overseas to Italy, India or Bali and really experiencing a different culture. Not like a tourist. But like someone who really joins in, becomes a resident and puts down roots.
For most people this is an impossible dream because of those pesky little things like time and money. But what if it weren’t a consideration? I actually don’t know where the lead character gets all her money. I mean, aren’t things kind of expensive overseas? Just the airplane fare, transportation and food would be too much for most people. But supposing it wasn’t a consideration? What then? Would you travel and experience things like she did in the movie? I know I would.
There are other things in the movie that make actual sense to me. Because I’m a Christian I see things through that lens. I understand that we have a great deal to benefit by what happens to us – the good and the bad. The pain and loss of our lives is how God teaches us valuable lessons. Our own personal journey of pain and loss, triumph and victory. They make us or break us. We go on a journey. We dig deep. We pray. We seek. And sometimes in that process – we find ourselves. At least we come close to understanding our purpose for the “why” questions we all have. Because God made us all unique and understands how we all think and process, I believe He works within us and reveals things to us during times of helplessness and vulnerability. Those times when we know we can’t do it on our own. Without a supernatural revelation and help, we are lost.
The lead character goes on this journey to try to find answers for her restlessness and pain. She discovers that people cannot fill her up – so important to live with forgiveness and no regret – just love. In one scene she is taken to an old abandoned ruin called the Augusteum in Rome. This is what she says about it…
“It’s one of the quietest and loneliest places in Rome. The whole city has grown up around it over centuries…like a precious wound – like a heartbreak that won’t let go, cause it hurts too good…I looked around at this place, at the chaos it’s endured. The way it’s been adapted, pillaged, burned and built itself back up again. And I was reassured. Maybe my life hasn’t been that chaotic – it’s the world that is….Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”
I am still trying to make sense of that ruin in my own life. My ability to push beyond fear. Even now. For things in the past – and in the present. Do we ever get over being afraid to face certain things we don’t understand? Or of things we can’t even see yet? Those things in live that have tried to steal our joy and beat us down? Ruin and regret are all a part of life – as much as joy and happiness. Finding a peace and sense of purpose for each new day in spite of all life has to throw our way – is a gift.
If you know the Lord as I do – it doesn’t mean you don’t still have questions and doubts. It just means that together with Him, you can work it out and He will be that strong arm to lean on. That together you can make sense of ruin, loss, discouragement and doubt. That there is a greater hope and a deep joy regardless of circumstance. And I believe – a supernatural way of looking at a problem, sizing it up and finding the beauty in pain. We need to discover who we are – in Him – how He made us – and flow with our natural gifting. I believe that this is the true secret to Eat Pray Love.