On "finding yourself"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This week, I watched "Eat Pray Love". I found it to be interesting and entertaining. Julia Roberts is one of my favorites, she's just phenomenal. And the supporting cast was excellent as well. (Ketut, the Indonesian medicine man, had me laughing out loud). I've put off seeing it because I knew the basic story and wasn't really interested: bored rich woman leaves her husband to "find herself". But at a weak moment when Nate was out of town, Netflix suggested it to me. It was on Instantplay, (basically free)!

So I watched it. Despite myself, I found the story compelling and I didn't turn it off. But as the movie continued, I found myself feeling sorry for her. Didn't she know that happiness is not found by looking inward? Didn't she know that happiness is found in our relationships? You can love yourself and other simultaneously. You can "find yourself" when you are married or in a relationship. Like she learned almost too late, "losing balance for love is part of living a balanced life."

But maybe I'm being hypocritical. I left Nate a day after he proposed for two months last summer. For what? To serve? Or for one last bit of freedom and adventure? The fact is that I missed him and cut my two month internship down to one month. I did not want any more adventures without him. He was (and is) my life.

I've learned more about myself since being engaged and married to Nate than I have at any other time of my life. I've learned that I have a lot of flaws. I'm terrible at washing dishes, I steal the covers and forget to re-fill the ice trays. But because of our marriage , I have discovered my redeeming qualities as well. He has encouraged me to follow my dreams and do the things I love. Because of him, I have found an increased satisfaction in doing the things I love. Because he loves me, I have found more reasons to love myself.

But marriage is not about learning to love yourself. It's about trusting another person with your whole self. It's about making someone else the focus of your life and time. I think that is what may have been missing from the movie.

I hope I haven't offended anyone, that was not my intention. It's just that I have found a tremendous blessing in marriage and wish more people could feel the same.


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