Ironically, as I'm on the countdown to lock down, I'm reading Elizabeth Gilbert's new book Committed - A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage. Let me give you some context and a little back story. Liz is also the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Eat Pray Love - One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India & Indonesia.
Holiday time 2007 I got my heart broken for the very first time in my 32 years of life. I've loved before - hard, but I was the one doing the disconnecting and heartbreaking. Dude and I had a love across thousands of miles. We met in Miami, he lived in Seattle and I in NY. For a year a four months, we traveled across the US enjoying life and falling in love for the first time - every time (so I thought). Suffice to say after he put us on "time out" and then finally said he was done, I went into a state of shock. I didn't see it coming - although I should have.
I started reading EPL at this time as if it was a text book to mending my broken heart. The underlines, sidebar notes and my own personal commentary are pretty hilarious to thumb through now. I'm a pretty intense chick and more introspective/reflective than most. So as Liz journeyed across the world to heal her broken heart, the words she streamed together made so much sense. Stuff like:
"I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume thatYea, word...I was feeling Liz, and I found it wildly ironic that now that I'm on the road to marriage, I find myself traveling down the road again with Liz. That's right - after we ate and prayed, we found love again. Actually love found me and I seriously believe that the journey on the search for ourselves during healing provided the foundation for the space I now stand in. Clearly while in the darkness I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel - for many months. But hindsight is indeed 20/20 and I am where I am because of what I've gone through.
everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen
in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man,
rather than with the man himself, and then I hung on to the relationship for a
long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own
greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."
Enter Committed almost on cue.
Liz and Felipe are quite content being together forever and not married. Their respective divorces shocked their emotional systems. But once confronted with the prospect of involuntarily separating their union, the only other option in the United States is marriage. While this book takes a both a practical and an emotional approach toward marriage, I still find Liz confronting my deepest thoughts and fears.
The whole wedding thing is just that - a wedding, one day. When you get at it, and RK and I know this from our Pre-Marital classes, marriage is where the commitment comes into play. While I'm only half way through the book I have found myself walking through some points with RK. Really good and healthy discussions, and this one place in particular, Liz slight neurosis sparked a thought provoking dialogue between her and Felipe about their respective character flaws. The conclusion:
"If we are at all self-aware, we work hard to keep these more dicey aspects of
our nature under control, but they don't go away. Also good to note: If
Felipe has character flaws that he cannot change in himself, it would be unwise
of me to believe that I could change them on his behalf. Likewise in reverse, of
course. And some of the things that we cannot change about ourselves are
mirthless to behold. To be fully seen by somebody, then, and to be loved anyhow
- this is a human offering that can border on the miraculous."
Riiiight! So as RK prepare for what we believe will be the rest of our lives together, the consideration of acceptance reaches far beyond the scope of my understanding sometimes. This partnership that we are entering into speaks to issues of communication, finances, sex & fidelity, personal & professional choices, children, life and death. It's not for the weak.
One thing I have realized in between these 3 years and 2 books, that it is so easy to quit. To stay and work through and work it out, now that right there requires that you be committed. Never in my life have I challenged myself to push through my comfort zone the way I have now. I never thought I was a quitter, but when the kid is done, she's done. With RK, God challenges me to stay committed first to HIM and then to RK. The trick is you have to want to be committed. Ain't no half steppin with this thing here. Love is choice and love is patient - that 1 Corinthians 13 scripture is real. And here we are - a work in progress - 75 days until forever. I'm ready to be committed.