Book Report #13: Committed

I finally finished Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It took awhile; I also had a 30+ page research paper to finish.  🙂 

I still love, love, love Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing.  I disagreed with her for about 70% of this book, and yet, I couldn’t put it down because she is just that good!  She is smart-funny, which I love, and she really knows how to put a sentence together. 

Everybody has their own crap to deal with.  I firmly believe that everyone has something in their life that is their particular scar, their particular pain that colors nearly every experience, every decision, every momentous and not-so-momentous event that follows it.  The reason for this is that none of us are perfect, and each one of us has been hurt along the way by one or more of those other imperfect people.  A very wise person told me recently that the choice is whether or not to go through the process of healing from it, and turning a bleeding wound into a scar so that my pain can help someone with theirs.  As long as it’s still a wound, I’m all caught up in myself, and I can’t help anyone very effectively.  As soon as it’s a scar, it can be a positive.  I can see how I’ve gone through what I’ve gone through for a reason; that I can help someone else in a way that someone without pain could never do.

Ms. Gilbert seems incredibly honest and intimate in sharing the shadowed corners of her soul, and I love that about her writing.  Her particular pain seems to be her divorce from her first marriage.  And she is most certainly all caught up in herself, at least in what she shares in this book.  The most disturbing thing, to me, was that she focuses so much on the idea that a woman who gets married or has children is sacraficing a big part of herself for these higher causes.  First of all, she doesn’t acknowledge anywhere in the book that being a wife or a mother might be some women’s calling, truly their most fulfilling work.  She doesn’t acknowledge that some women sacrafice greatly of themselves, against their will, if they feel called to be mothers but can’t have children.  Or if they feel called to stay home with children, but who financially need to work.  Secondly, and maybe this is because her belief system differs so greatly from mine, she really doesn’t get that sacraficing of one’s self can be an incredibly joyous and emotionally satisfying thing.  She doesn’t seem to be able to make a forward move unless she can see how it can increase her happiness in some way.  I’m sad for her, because I feel something better than happiness when I sacrafice of myself for others, knowing that I belong to Someone other than myself, and she doesn’t experience that.

But I really, really enjoyed her writing.  🙂

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