Time really does (help) heal, but the truth is, in life there will be pain that we can’t avoid.
Journal Entry: 2/18/2016
In the movie Eat, Pray, Love (2010) with Julie Roberts I got to experience her character, Liz Gilbert’s, transformation. In all honesty, I didn’t like the movie at first because it dove in stone-cold to a place where she was divorced, broken and lonely. It was too uncomfortable. It quickly hit too close to home because I knew that place too well. In all selfishness, I was hoping to see a woman who was single, traveling, empowered and living life to the fullest; at least that’s what the trailer looked like. The disappointment when I expected to feel instantly empowered in my womanhood and individuality only to go through the agony of another broken woman’s journey.
She had to go through the hard stuff. She had to sacrifice her entire life as she knew it. She had to be alone while everyone around her was surrounded by loved ones. She had to be unsure of herself. She had to be emotionally unstable. She had to rumble through her dark places.
Then she had to journey. She lived in lowly places in India I would have dreaded; but she found a humility that only experience can buy. And no healing happened overnight (I hated that part. It would have made things much happier and less like reality). A prayer and some meditation with a few encouraging words didn’t take her brokenness away then and there. However, she made friends with strangers in odd places- some of the most unlikely people in age, race and background and grew from each of them in different ways. She shared only face-to-face in-person interaction (gasp!). In fact, I never really saw her use a cell phone, electronic device or the internet except to correspond with a few friends in the US toward the end.
She eventually learned how to come to acceptance with her past- her mistakes, forgive herself and move forward. She learned how to renew her mind and empty the clutter of the past- of life. She got a very simplistic, minimalist place in Bali surrounded purely by nature. By the end of the movie she was radiating with esteem. She grew and evolved into her peace and her wholeness. She was even afraid of losing the restored state she was in to the new man that eventually comes into her life.
Now I’m not here to give a movie review (even though that’s what I basically just did), but I do know I couldn’t have watched this at a better time. I say that because I was now on the other side of my pain and my past where I was finding me again, enjoying me again and learning to live whole-heartedly again. I realized these things aren’t just handed to you. You don’t just learn it and it changes you overnight. No, this is endured and fought for and rumbled through. You pick up gems through every struggle. It refines you and you earn it.
I started thinking about my journey to wholeness after living with a wounded heart. Maybe it’s a process you can’t avoid. Maybe it’s one you need even though you don’t know it in the moment because all you want is out. You want to skip it. You want to go around. You want to avoid the pain, and the brokenness and letting God do a real work in you that might break you before it rebuilds you.
But I know this: I will forever be better because I faced myself. I know that when I do enter marriage again (God willing), wow, I will be a completely different person than I ever was.
I’m even more sure of who I am,
and I’m ambitious in all the right places.
My past is no longer a wound but a scar- it shows me where I’ve been and what I’m capable of facing and I’m not hiding it.
I say all this to say, I don’t think we’re meant to go around. I think we’re suppose to go through. Sometimes pain is unavoidable and that’s okay. These trials and heartbreaks are not meant to paralyze us but to show us who we really are and deposit treasures of wisdom and strength. Sometimes we go through the worst to find the best of ourselves and that can be a really good thing.
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