Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ruin is a gift.....

I have been watching movies all day and just vegging around the house. Basically gave myself permission to do nothing today. To grieve my loss of my daughter and grandson living with me. I slept horribly last night couldn't get my mind to shut off for nothing and when I woke early this morning I tried with all my heart to go back to sleep but it just wasn't happening. 

At first I started out the day watching horror and zombie movies but I got tired of those and put on the movie "Eat Pray Love" with Julia Roberts. If you have never seen this movie I highly recommend it. I have watched it before but with a two year old running around you don't catch everything so I watched it again. 

The premise of the movie is that she is recently divorced because she realizes that she isn't happy and immediately jumps into another relationship. She finally realizes that since she was the age of 15 she has been in or just getting out a relationship with a man. She decides she is going to move to Italy for 3-4 months and then India and then Bali. To basically find herself. 

I always thought that the concept of "finding oneself" was kind of weird. You have lived with yourself your entire life how could you not know who or what you are. 

It reminded me of another Julia Roberts movie "Runaway Bride", how she goes through this as well. Finding out what eggs she likes. 

There is a part in "Eat Pray Love" where they ask her what her word is and she proceeds to list "...a daughter good at that, a wife not so good at that, a girlfriend not so good at that. So I guess my word would be writer. I am a writer." Her friends point out to her that that is what she does not who she is. That whole thing of not knowing who you are again. 

I sat here watching the movie and wondering to myself who am I? What is my word? I have no idea. My list started the same as hers. A mother, a daughter, a widow, an artist. Not only are those what I do but they are who I am in connection to others. I don't want to "define" myself for what I do or for the relationships that I have with others. 

Right before Julia is getting ready to leave Italy she visits an old Roman building that is in ruins and is used by the homeless now. As she was sitting there thinking about the ruins she makes the statement "Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation."

I woke up this morning thinking my life was in ruin. Why? Because I was alone? Because I don't have a lot of people in my life and definitely none that I really connect with and even more definitely any that I truly trust. Any that I can tell anything to and not worry about judgement. 

There's only one person I have that with and that is me. Though at times I judge myself but it's more of thinking about what I did and how I could have handled it better not so much that I am a screw up and can't get anything right. I gave up that way of thinking a while ago. Just had to change the recording. 

I don't have a word though. I can't even come close to thinking of one. Maybe because of the grieving I am going through right now. 

Another statement in the movie "Send him love and light and let it go. Be quiet and the universe will rush in." Let go of the grieving. Easier said then done but I am going to do the work to get to that point. And I am definitely going to be quiet and let the universe rush in.

I guess the main point of this post is that I was thinking I have never sat with just myself in total silence. I always have to have noise around me. It's my way of quieting the mind. While thinking about that earlier I realized I don't know me. I never took the time to get to know myself. I never sat and just listened to me. 

I never went to a pond and just sat quietly watching the ducks in the water. 

I never went to a museum and just enjoyed the painting on the wall with out thinking or talking. 

I never sat in an empty field and watched the stars in the night sky.

It's just hit me...I have never even stayed in the shower and enjoyed that.

I'm not saying that this is the way to find oneself but I think for me it just might be the ticket.  I have never done anything outside of my house by myself. Something that I would enjoy by myself. Sure the usual running of errands, but nothing that would bring me joy. Never took the time for me. 

I never dated myself. 

So I have decided to take myself on a date. Maybe just go to a park and watch the people go buy. Maybe go to that pond and watch the ducks. Maybe go to a museum and just enjoy the art in silence. Maybe find an empty field and stare up at the stars. Don't care what it is maybe all of them. 

Dear Julia, 

I would love the honor of taking you on a date so we can get a chance to know each other and building a lasting and amazing relationship. 



Dear Self, 

The honor would be all mine. There is nothing that would make me happier than to get to know you as well. 



May your day be filled with many smiles and blessings. 



  1. ah yes, my friend, ruin truly is a gift. But we don't realize it as such until a little time goes by and we're over the shock. You know, it takes a long time to find your "word." In the first part of our lives we are creating ourselves and in the second part of our lives we are taking ourselves apart. Eventually with a lot of work we become comfortable with ourselves. As is. I just love the last part of your post and your letter to yourself. It's so beautiful. Go - be with yourself and - well, just be. See what happens.

  2. I absolutely love this beautiful post! You know, I never took myself out on a date either, but after the dimise of my 2nd marriage, I did have to look me. Who I am, what I like, don't like, what I needed, etc. At first this scared the daylights out of me, but as I began to go further in my counseling at the time, I began to see this wonderful picture of Jennifer!

    Now, at 40, I can actually say I like myself, for the most part I know who I am, what I need or don't need, and so on. BUT, I still have never taken myself out on a date. Sounds good to me!~

    If I had to choose a word that I think is me it would have to be *Gypsy*-For years of moving, running away, not being able to settle in one place, that is what I was then...Now, I still use that term because I just feel it suits me, but more so in my creative, artful life. I'm always *traveling* from one creative project to the next, but having fun along the way.

    I hope you enjoy your date! Brightest Blessings, Jennifer