Friday, July 18, 2008

Seeking, Truth, Spiritual, Warrior---Words For Who I Am

One of the many books that I am currently reading is "Eat, Pray, Love, One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia" written by Elizabeth Gilbert. On pages 102-105, Elizabeth tells her readers about a discussion that she has with an Italian friend of hers. Elizabeth has come to the realization that Rome isn't where she really belongs even though she loves the country of Italy. Her friend Giulio says the reason she doesn't belong is because her word is not the same as the word of Rome.

His theory is that each city has one word that describes it. Giulo says (paraphrased by Elizabeth) that ". . . every city has a single word that defines it, that identifies most people who live there. If you could read people's thoughts as they were passing you on the streets of any given place, you would discover that most of them are thinking the same thought. Whatever that majority thought might be---that is the word of the city. And if your personal word does not match the word of the city, then you don't really belong there." According to Giulo the word for Rome is SEX. The word for the Vatican is POWER. According to Elizabeth, the word for New York City is probably ACHIEVE and for Los Angeles the word would be SUCCEED.

Giulo then proceeded to ask Elizabeth, "What was the word in your family when you were growing up?" Then he asked Elizabeth was her word was?

The word in my family when I was growing up would have to be RAGE. Rage overpowered every word, every act, every thought in my family when I was growing up. What was the word for your family? Are you still living that word or has it changed? Has that word become the pattern that you have recreated in relationship after relationship in your adulthood? Many of us do this until something causes us to wake up and see what we are creating.

What would be my word today? SEEKING could be my word. TRUTH could be another. It is really difficult to stick with just one. SPIRITUAL would be good. Some days, WARRIOR is true.

When I first left home, APPROVAL was probably my word. I wanted the approval of others at any cost. If I had your approval, I must be ok. I must have value. I must be good enough if you liked me. Today, it is ok if you approve of me but my own approval is much more valuable to me. If you don't approve of me today, that is ok too. I know that I can't please everyone. For the most part, as long as I am true to who I am, I really don't care much what you think. My true value comes from me, not you.

What is your word?


Tamara said...

First, I LOVED, loved, loved that book. I was also able to hear her speak and she is captivating.

Wonderful post. I think my words were and still are to a large extent fear and approval. Guess I'd better think what I want to change them to and get busy. ;-)

Thanks for the prod!

Irene | Light Beckons said...

Hi Patricia, this concept of using just one word to describe a city, family or myself is interesting ... I've never thought of that before! If I need to describe myself at this moment, it may be ACCEPTANCE or PEACE. I feel I've reached a stage in life where there's a deep level of self-acceptance, as well as for people and things around me. I'm not as bothered as I used to be, and I say this in a good way. I've stopped struggling with myself and with external influences. There is a nice sense of inner peace, and I'm enjoying it. :) Thanks for sharing this ... it's a really fun exercise and a great idea for meditation.

Patricia Singleton said...

Tamara, You are welcome. Sometimes we all need someone to light a fire under us to get us to move.

Where I am today is a much better place that I was in when my words were FEAR and APPROVAL. I wish you a glorious journey of leaving those words behind. You will be in a much better place.

Patricia Singleton said...

Irene, I really like the words ACCEPTANCE and PEACE. I am there much of the time right now. Using just one or two words to describe yourself is a new concept for me as well. I will have to check out using one word for my meditations too. Thanks. Have a glorious day.

Corinne Edwards said...

This article really made me think.
What is my word? Of course, being a former New Yorker, I could pick
that one. I do like to achieve.

But I think I like curious better.

I am always seeking a new challenge!

Your blog is changing. So much new and varied information. Love reading your articles.

Patricia Singleton said...

Corinne, I like CURIOUS too. I think I was born with my share and more of curious.

I hope that my blog changes and reflects my own changes and growth. Thanks.

I will revisit old issues such as incest because helping others is my main purpose for writing. I am working on several articles along those lines right now.

Pat R said...

Patricia - I loved this post. I can see what your friend was saying in that cities do have one word that express it. Never quite thought of it quite that way before.

I guess you could say my words as a child were a mix between SURVIVAL and OBSERVATION but now I'm happy to say for the most part my words would be CONTENTMENT with still a little OBSERVATION.

Isn't it interesting how we evolve over the years and how life changes us? Love it!


Patricia Singleton said...

Pat, as a child, one of my words probably was SURVIVAL too. Yes, it is interesting and a blessing to be able to look back and see how much we have evolved from childhood or even from a few years ago.

J said...

I love that book also. My words are CONTENTMENT or HOPEFUL.

Patricia Singleton said...

J, thanks for sharing your words. It is a great book.

Blademonkey said...

I am MADNESS and CHAOS. FURY and VENGEANCE are also with me.

I exist.

Patricia Singleton said...

Blademonkey, Existing is a good place to be. Been there, done that with the CHAOS and FURY. Didn't enjoy either of them.

Stephen Hopson said...

Great food for thought.

I would have to say the words I use would be communicator, connector, miracle.

I heard about the best-selling book - haven't gotten it yet but it keeps popping up - a sign from the universe?

Patricia Singleton said...

Stephen, I enjoyed the book. I can see those words as good descriptions of who you are.

CK said...

I loved Eat, Pray, Love. You have a better memory than I do when it comes to what was said in the book.

My word is EMPOWER. The cool thing is that when we discover what our word is, we can allow it to permeate our lives and spread out into the world. I LOVE my word.

Patricia Singleton said...

CK, I like the word Empower too. I really enjoyed the book. I wanted to read it because of the part about her India experience.