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EAT PRAY LOVE
This weekend I finally watched the Elizabeth Gilbert bio-epic, Eat, Pray, Love. I’ll be honest with you, I was resistant to seeing this movie and decided not to see it during its theater run. I enjoyed the book but my judgmental self found Elizabeth Gilbert to be a little self-absorbed while my envious self sure wished someone would give me the money to take a year off after a divorce to travel the world to eat, pray and fall helplessly in love! Really! (BTW, If there are any philanthropists or publishers out there who want to give me a lump sum to take a year off after my divorce, I’ll be happy to accept it! 🙂 ) So, in spite of my previous resistance, I decided to suspend judgment and give Elizabeth Gilbert a second chance. Not only was I pleasantly surprised, I truly enjoyed the movie. Ok, it wasn’t Kundun or Amelie, but it proved to be a pleasant way to spend the evening, made me laugh, cry and provided a few spiritual gems along the way. And, I just might watch it a second time.
There were several spiritual gems of wisdom that spoke to me in watching Eat, Pray, Love. My favorite one (for today anyway) is this quote from the film spoken by Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert:
“God dwells within me, as me.”
Now just sit with that for a moment. God dwells within you, as you! For me, this is a profound statement. Over the years, I have realized more and more profoundly the truth of our Oneness with God. It is this truth that the greatest spiritual teachers have come to realize within themselves and in turn it is to this truth that they point us. Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, the Buddha, Krishna, etc, etc, etc, all came to embrace and embody this truth. We, in turn, are invited to do the same. We are also invited to remember that through this Oneness, God dwells in us and seeks to live through us. Big concepts, I know.
God dwells as me!
But here’s the rub. I can totally get the idea of Oneness with God. I can also attempt to grasp the idea of God living in and through us. But, God dwells as me? When I heard these words in the movie this weekend, it felt like somebody kicked down all the doors and windows of my perfectionism and let the sun shine in! I’ve been moving through this idea of embracing Oneness with God as an invitation to conquer all my fears, compulsions, errors, faults, mistakes, etc. etc. etc. I’ve been moving through this thinking, “In order to embrace this idea of Oneness with God, I have to rid myself of all the “bad” things within me.” For me, that means getting rid of all the things I judge as faulty within me – negative emotions, depression, anger, rage, judgment, hatred, prejudice, impatience, frustration, sorrow, confusion, etc. etc. etc. Going at it from this perspective has allowed me to continue to indulge my inner perfectionist – the one that thinks I have to be perfect in order to be loved and to be happy. The idea of God dwelling within me, as me is giving me pause to consider another path.
Embracing me as me
What if God is seeking to live in and through me JUST AS I AM TODAY???? What if ALL THAT I AM is enough for God? What if I could stop my relentless search for perfection and simply rest in me today? What if this relentless search for perfection has been the obstacle to the peace that is my original nature as One with God? HHHMMM My head is spinning with the thought – God dwells within me as me – exactly as I am in this moment….and God just might be ok with that? Now the question is, can I be?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth