Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recognize Yourself as a Friend

A few weeks ago, my cousin Sara Liz and I went to yoga and then out to lunch at one of my favorite restaurants nearby. Afterward, she dropped me off at my apartment and we sat in the car and chatted for a little while. Before getting out I noticed that she had a tub of colored chalk in the passenger's seat. We decided right then and there we would like to play with the chalk. It just so happens my apartment has a giant, empty parking lot. We decided to decorate 2 parking spaces. And what did we draw? Oursleves. We decided - rather spontaneously - that we would outline eachother. We then started coloring our outlined selves. I chose to fill myself up entirely with blue greenish yellow colors. It was so healing, almost like I was constructing a positive voodoo doll of myself to heal. And it reminded me of a part in the book Eat, Pray, Love:

“This is what I find myself writing to myself on the page:

‘I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you…There is nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.’

Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship- the lending of a hand from me to myself- reminds me of something that happened to me in New York City. I walked into an office building and dashed into the elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glimpse of myself in the mirror. In that moment my brain did an odd thing- it fired off this split-second message: ‘Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant, of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page:

 Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”

~pp. 54, "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert

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