eat, pray & love






I still can’t say whether I will ever want children. I was so astonished to find that I did not want them at thirty; the remembrance of that surprise cautions me against placing any bets on how I will feel at forty. I can only say how I feel now—grateful to be on my own. I also know ,that I won’t go forth and have children just in case I might regret missing it later in life; I don’t think this is a strong enough motivation to bring more babies onto the earth. Though I suppose people do reproduce sometimes for that reason—for insurance against later regret. I think people have children for all manner of reasons.

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It is this happiness, that gets me to thinking upon my return to Rome that I need to do something about David. That maybe it’s time for us to end our story forever. We were already separated, that was official, but there was still a window of hope left open that perhaps someday (maybe after my travels, maybe after a year apart) we could give things another try. We loved each other. That was never the question. It’s just that we couldn’t figure out how to stop making each other desperately, shriekingly, soul-punishingly miserable.

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I loved David, but how lonely and heartsick it made me to be with this person who was always disappearing from the room, from the bed, from the planet.

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People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

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This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.

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Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it.

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eventually, everything goes away.

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“I know I’m right, baby. Listen, you’re a powerful woman and you’re used to getting what you want out of life, and you didn’t get what you wanted in your last few relationships and it’s got you all jammed up. Your husband didn’t behave the way you wanted him to and David didn’t either. Life didn’t go your way for once. And nothing pisses off a control freak more than life not goin’ her way.”

“Don’t call me a control freak, please.”

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To be honest, I’ve been talking too much my whole life, but I’ve really been talking too much during my stay at the Ashram. I have another two months here, and I don’t want to waste the greatest spiritual opportunity of my life by being all social and chatty the whole time , But I’ve been thinking lately that this is maybe a spiritual liability. Silence and solitude are universally recognized spiritual practices, and there are good reasons for this. Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.

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He a rich man, your boyfriend?”

“No, Ketut. He’s not a rich man. But he has enough money.”

“Medium rich?” The medicine man wants details, spreadsheets.

“He has enough money.”

My answer seemed to irritate Ketut. “You ask this man for money, he can give to you, or

not?”

“Ketut, I don’t want money from him. I’ve never taken money from a man.”

“You spend every night with him?”

“Yes.”

“Good. He spoil you?”

“Very much.”

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“I was perfectly happy in my boring life before you came along,” he always says. about how he saw me at the party that night, standing with my back to him, and how I did not even need to turn my head and show him my face before he had realized somewhere deep in his gut, “That is my woman. I will do anything to have that woman.”

“And it was easy to get you,” he says. “All I had to do was beg and plead for weeks.”

“You didn’t beg and plead.”

“You didn’t notice me begging and pleading?”

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I recognize that you don’t love me yet the way I love you, but the truth is that I don’t really care. For some reason You can decide to feel however you want to, but I love you and I will always love you. Even if we never see each other again, you already brought me back to life, and that’s a lot.

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          “You have bad dreams anymore?”

“No.”

“You happy now with God?”

“Very.”

“You love new boyfriend?”

“I think so. Yes.”

“Then you must spoil him. And he must spoil you.”

“OK,” I promised.

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I’m the cake that just came out of the oven, and it still needs some more time to cool before it can be frosted. I don’t want to cheat myself out of this precious time. I don’t want to lose control of my life again.

Of course Felipe said that he understood, and that I should do whatever’s best for me, and that hehoped I would forgive him for bringing up the question in the first place. (“It had to be asked, my lovely darling, sooner or later.”)


 He assured me that, whatever I decided, we would still keep our friendship, since it seemed to be so good for both of us, all this time we spent together.

“Although,” he went on, “you do need to let me make my case now.”

“Fair enough,” I said.

“For another thing, I think I know what you’re worried about. Some man is going to come into your life and take everything from you again. I won’t do that to you, darling. I’ve been alone for a long time, too, and I’ve lost a great deal in love, just like you have. I don’t want us to takeanything from each other. It’s just that I’ve never enjoyed anyone’s company as much as I enjoy yours, and I’d like to be with you,

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But my heart said to my mind in the dark silence of that beach: “I love you, I will never leave you, I will always take care of you.” That promise floated up out of my heart and I caught it in my mouth and held it there,

tasting it as I left the beach and walked back to the little shack where I was staying. I found an empty notebook, opened it up to the first page—and only then did I open my mouth and speak those words into the air, letting them free. I let those words break my silence and then I allowed my pencil to document their colossal statement onto the page: “I love you, I will never leave you, I will always take care of you.”

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