A couple of days ago, the self-help, passionate living guru, Elizabeth Gilbert, posted a deeply personal piece on facebook. In it, she shared with the masses how she has realized that she’s in love with her best friend, who happens to be a woman, had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer (incurable), and that it was not coincidental that she announced her divorce from her husband this past summer as, upon closer inspection, it will be noticeable that the timing of divorce and her lover’s diagnosis were linked.
In her post, Ms. Gilbert asks her readers, and the facebook public to “receive [this news] with grace.” Oh, Ms. Gilbert, I receive your news with so much more than grace … I receive you news with indignation that you feel you must share this intensely private news with the world because you believe that you need to explain your life as you live within the public eye because you’re an author who’s “made it” big. I receive your news with exasperation that, in 2016, it is remarkable and newsworthy that a woman has fallen in love with another woman. I receive your news with hope that you and your love will savor the time and life blessings that you have without being affected or infected by the public glare of the lives that you lead. I receive your news with sadness for everyone involved in this shift in your life as heartache, heartbreak and change spare no one and, no matter how valiantly truthful we are, the emotional tremors of human relationships carry pain as well as love. I receive your news with excitement as the realization and recognition of the depth of feeling you have for your person is a beautiful, heart-fluttering journey. I receive your news with bafflement that it is now seemingly necessary, for public relations and marketing purposes, to share the most intimate details of one’s life with a mass of perfect strangers on social media. I receive your news with fury as, within the hour of your facebook posting, a deluge of news stories, opinion pieces, commentary, blog posts and comments sprung up across the internet critically commenting on your life and love.
This morning, after re-reading your post several times, holding my wife’s hand through a challenging week and remembering the start of the many love stories in my life, I receive your news with wishes and thoughts of divine synergy, as I light a candle for you and yours. For whatever reason, your life is being lived in the public eye, and you have have moved through your love and life stories with an uncommon grace and openness. You have, obviously, touched the thoughts and hearts of hundreds of thousands of people and many of those people feel connected to you enough as to feel that
they we have the right to comment on the who’s and why’s and how’s of your life. This life, as determined by our momentary choices as by our divine purpose, is beautifully orchestrated and sublimely chaotic; may the life you continue to lead bring you rainbows and blessings and enough love to outweigh the pain.