I love movies by Julia Roberts. She plays real life people and she does so, well!
Last night my family watched, "Eat, Love and Pray". The story was about a twenty/thirty something young woman that was seeking to "find herself". The problem was, she had committed to a marriage before she was really ready. She found that her identity was tied up in pleasing her husband and not based real world values, but a futile attempt to "find onself in marriage"! She learned a human lesson that many times ends "empty marriages"; co-dependency.
She eventually asks for a divorce, and ends up seeking her fulfillment with another male companion and a religious identity. Her shallow and under-developed ego grasped onto another relationship and tried to make her own meaning from another's meaning. Her close friend advises her that her religious identity was another "way of escape "dressed up in different form"! She again, eventually faces the fact that she cannot escape her need to "find her own way". She plans again to escape a "wrong relationship" and made plans to travel to Italy, India and Bali.
In her travels abroad, she learns a new language, experiences the kindness of strangers, who become good friends, that offer her comfort, and a challenge to forgive herself for her failures and not to let her failures hinder her future happiness.
She eventually meets her match in Bali. This man had raised his boys alone and she was captivated by his tenderness and kindness. But when he finally faces his own fear of "loving again", she runs for fear of "loosing herself". She has to also face her fear of "love" and acknowledge that loving freely is a choice of value, which is not an enmeshed identity, but a offering of "self" to the other. Her fear of enmeshment was not ungrounded, but needed the challenge of others to help her overcome.
The end of the movie show her taking the challenge of "loving again" and one is left with a sense that this time things will be different. She and he will be free to choose, and live in open dialogue about their needs, fears and visions about their future. This is when love is healthy and of mutual benfit to both parties involved!
I would recommend the movie to anyone that is interested in a journey of human courage and hope.
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