Living Life Imperfectly

30 Oct


My computer is still sitting somewhere in the bowels of a repair centre in George. I have not called to find out how it is doing. I hope my baby forgives me, but I am rather enjoying my internet-less-ness.


Having said that, I feel compelled (for various reasons) to write this post. A while ago I started reading “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert, hoping that it would give me some kind of desperately needed guidance. I devoured the first two sections – Eat and Pray – in a matter of days, but I hit a speedbump at the Love section. I just couldn’t get through it. I put the book down for a few weeks and only recently picked it up again. I promptly finished it in a day.


It is a wonderful book about finding yourself, your spirituality, grace and love. I now suspect that true love is not possible without first finding yourself and your spirituality.


Here are a few quotes from the book that really struck a chord with me. I hope that you will indulge me for a while and allow me to ‘cut & paste’ a whole lot of quotes. But, I think, if you take the time to absorb them, you will fin them quite profound.


“…They flank me-Depression on my left, loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show their badges. I know these guys very well… then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity; but he always does that

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” 

“I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that 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 I have 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

In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place

“I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, ‘There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And who’s in charge?'” 

“If I am truly to become an autonomous woman, then I must take over that role of being my own guardian…I not only have to become my own husband, but I need to be my own father, too

“To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life

“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’s 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

“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it

“I thought about one of my favorite Sufi poems, which says that God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now. I was never not coming here. This was never not going to happen.”

“Life, if you keep chasing it so hard, will drive you to death. Time – when pursued like a bandit – will behave like one, always remaining one county or one room ahead of you, changing its name and hair color to elude you, slipping out the back door of the motel just as you’re banging through the lobby with your newest search warrant, leaving only a burning cigarette in the ashtray to taunt you. At some point you have to stop because it won’t. You have to admit that you can’t catch it. That you’re not supposed to catch it. At some point, you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you”

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”


5 Responses to “Living Life Imperfectly”

  1. sandra green October 30, 2008 at 10:27 pm #

    The biggest problem with happiness is that we don’t recognise it when we meet it.
    Unhappiness we are all good at . We know it, we see it and we offer it hospitality.
    It is, I believe, a far easier thing to be unhappy than to be happy.
    I love your new journey. Relish and absorb it…but never allow it to become written in stone.

  2. Nanee October 31, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    Wow – these are so profound – can’t wait to read the book now!

  3. Sue October 31, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    I’m dying to read this book!!! My mom’s busy with it and I’m hoping to pick it up after her. Thanks for sharing the quotes, makes me more keen to get it in my grubby little paws. Oh, and I must also say, I completely agree with Sandra’s comments. It’s so easy to overlook happiness when you’re not looking for it…


  4. odette November 6, 2008 at 10:11 am #

    beautiful book!
    i’m looking forward to read it too. stay strong pia!

  5. iluvgreen November 13, 2008 at 10:11 am #

    hi pia i hope everything is well with you, miss your post.

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