RUIN AND THE ROAD TO TRANSFORMATION
If you haven’t seen the movie EAT, PRAY, LOVE…you should. I refer to that movie as my therapist. Every time I watch it I learn something new about myself. In a phrase or in some beautiful struggle that Julia Roberts goes through, I see a reflection of myself and am delivered a piece of my own puzzle. This movie is amazing to me and I am so grateful that it exists.
In 2010 when the movie came out, my life was in ruins. My sister and niece had just been murdered in December of 2009, all three of my boys had been diagnosed with Autism at the same time, and my family had been in back to back car accidents, 13 days apart. On top of all that, I was waking up to the fact that I was in an abusive marriage. S%#t was real. Like real real.
As I sat at the theatre with my ex-husband, silently wishing he wasn’t there (so I could actually enjoy myself without feeling judged or like a performing monkey)…Julia delivered this line:
“RUIN IS A GIFT. RUIN IS THE ROAD TO TRANSFORMATION.”
I knew in that moment, something had shifted inside me. I was sitting in my life thinking nothing was going to get better and everything was awful and horrible…like that rotten day book from when I was a child. I felt powerless. Something in this line about transformation gave me the kick in the a$$ I needed to unlock my inner go-getter. My “I can do it myself”.
I realized in that moment that even if my life was in ruins, it was ok. Ruins was where it needed to be. Ruins was beautiful. The Universe in all it’s glory had helped me to tear down all the things that were not working and delivered me one hell of a wake up call. Now I was listening.
What I had was the OPPORTUNITY to rebuild my life the way I wanted it to be. I had the opportunity to transform myself.
Opportunity is amazing. Opportunity is the gift. When it all comes crumbling down, the opportunity to rebuild it back better, is a magnificent thing. If you grab it. If you accept the challenge. If you are willing to do the work it takes. And it is work. Transformation is hard work.
Have you ever seen a caterpillar transform into a butterfly? I have. It’s the most beautiful thing in the world. We all know a caterpillar makes a chrysalis and then magically a butterfly emerges. But did you know that inside that chrysalis the caterpillar digests itself and turns into this like protein-y goo? It completely breaks down. And when the butterfly emerges, it’s wings are wet. Before it can fly, they have to drip dry. How amazing is that?! How symbolic of personal transformation?!!! This is why the butterfly is my symbol.
In the last 7 years since the movie came out, since my sister and niece were murdered and the boys were diagnosed and I had my wake up call…I have transformed. I completely digested myself. I accepted the challenge. It was the best thing I have ever done.
I thought I had nothing. I was ready to give up. Hell, three days before their murder, I even tried to commit suicide. Yeah. Life seemed that worthless. How far I’ve come from those days. Semicolon strong. I chose me.
Every. Single. Day.
What I’ve learned is this…how can we truly have nothing if we have ourselves? I didn’t have myself back then so I felt like I had nothing. I was so empty inside. A product of past hurts, deep wounding and limiting beliefs. And I almost gave up. Let those things win. Let my abusive husband get the best of me. Let my kiddos live without a Mom.
What I needed to do was LOVE myself. Marry myself. Mother myself. Partner myself. Be the person to myself that no one outside me had been or would be. That is how I transformed. It was effing grueling. Digesting myself into a protein-y goo. I mean, really? Yeah. It was THAT gross. But, have you seen the beautiful butterfly I am today? I have. I look at myself in the mirror everyday and love what I see. So do my boys.
What I didn’t know and couldn’t have expected, was that as I transformed, so did the boys. Every relationship in my life changed. We are flying high now.
Elizabeth Gilbert, I am SO grateful to you for that movie. For that quote. For writing my therapeutic road to transformation. I am lovin’ life and livin’ large. It truly was a gift.
Are you ready to accept YOUR opportunity?