Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Permeable Membrane


For many reasons the following passage speaks to me. I loved it in the movie and I couldn't wait to find it in the book, so I could read it, chew on it for a bit, and then fully digest it. I know people who always live like this, and I have been guilty of it myself from time to time. It's dangerous, and it doesn't typically work out.


"To have issues with boundaries, one must have boundaries in the first place, right? But I disappear into the person I love. I am the permeable membrane. If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog's money, my dog's time—everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family….I will give you all of this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else." Page 65, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I am sharing this passage because I think it's important, for women especially, to take control of their own happiness. Being in love shouldn't be a chore, and it shouldn't deplete you. It is supposed to lift you up, keep you warm at night, and keep you sane during the tough times. If you lose yourself in that one person, in that love, then what's left to be lifted? If your only way out, is to start all over loving someone new, then what have you gained?

Finding balance is a huge theme in this book, and now in my life. I want to feel whole…content… fulfilled. But I won't rely on someone else to make me feel that way. I am in control of my destiny. I will love with all of my heart, whether it's for my husband, my kids, my extended family, my friends, or my neighbors. There is a joy in loving openly, and I intend to welcome it. And just as fiercely as I feel that love, I will protect it. I have worked for the life that I have and no one will take it from me without a fight.

So I would say that my membrane is selectively-permeable, allowing some things to pass through and keeping others out. It allows me to maintain my boundaries, while being open to new experiences. It's permeable to the love that I have for others, and the love that they share back with me. However, I will retain my shape, and do my best to keep out those who would do me harm, however inadvertently. I will resist the urge to melt into my husband, taking on only his interests and sharing only his views. I will not allow myself to live only for the joy of my children, negating what is fulfilling to me. I can have it all, and I'm on my way to figuring that out…finally!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't normally leave comments on blogs that I find randomly on the internet. But thank you for writing what you have on Eat Pray Love. I just watched the movie, and that quote particularly resonated with me as well, because much like the main character, I've always been like a permeable membrane, loving deeply until I love someone else.

Thank you for writing what you have. I am going to pick up Eat Pray Love (the book) tomorrow.

Cul-de-Sac Mom said...

You are so welcome! I am glad my words spoke to you personally.

Anonymous said...

Well said.. simply beautiful.

Keaidy Bennett said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. This original passage spoke volumes for me when I first heard it in the movie. It moved me even more when I read it out loud and heard my own voice.
You're right. Love should be uplifting. I shouldn't be looking for someone else to love like that cause that would have meant that the original love was never love since it's supposed to be forever and not until the next best thing comes along.
THANKS AGAIN

Cul-de-Sac Mom said...

Thank you for you comments! I'm always happy when my words resonate with others!

Anonymous said...

Love, Love, Love your words.

Flee89 said...

I know this is a year later than most comments but who cares!!

I fell in love with this story and like others it resonates with me now years later reading that passage I look back and say wow how unhappy was i ....always wondering why i never took a break between relationships and wondering why they would break down...always me and always because i wasn't happy.....

thank you so so much i have book marked this page so i can go back and reflect when i need to


thank you

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