Finish India, where she prays a lot. Richard is a major character in this part of the book. He really is a true friend and is brutally honest. I think everyone has a Richard, maybe write a post about that person in your life as well as any general discussion about this section.
This section has always been two things to me: the part I can relate to the least and the part I admire the most. I couldn't even begin to imagine going to the ashram and sitting in silence. I don't think I have ever had or will ever have the self control for that. However, there is no arguing that it worked for her. It is also the hardest part of the book for me to read because it forces me to think about really uncomfortable things, feelings and emotions that we all try to bury. But it is the dealing of these emotions that make me a better version of myself than I was when I first read the book.
I love Richard, he is my favorite part of this book. Some of his lines are my favorite in the entire thing including "See, now that's your problem. You're wishin' too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be." which have become words I try and live by every single day. I have had a few Richards in my life, people who are unfailingly honest and bring out the best in me. For the purposes of this I will tell that my very best friend in the entire world is Jessica and she is definitely that person more than anyone else and I am very lucky to have her, even if we live thousands of miles apart. She also happens to write guest reviews occasionally that you should check out.
I don’t think that I have a friend that brutally honest as ‘Richard from Texas’ was to Liz. I have a couple of people that might come close though. One of those people, my husband, whose real name Richard too, is one person I rely on to tell me the truth. I consider my husband my friend and someone who would be honest with me if I ask him. I don’t know if he would be brutally honest, with me, but honest enough I think. My other friend is a woman I consider my best friend, someone I’ve known since my high school days. I have no doubt that she is someone that would be honest with me about anything I ask her. In my opinion, the reason that ‘Richard from Texas’ could be so brutally honest with Liz is because he really didn’t know her that well. I mean, yes, he knew her, and he understood her (or so it seemed), but they were not friends for a very long time. They met and became friend in just a short matter of months, so I think that is the reason he could be so honest with her, because he only knew of her what he saw and what she told him. There still was a bit of distance in their relationship and because of that he was able to be brutally honest with Liz. I think the closer you are to a person, the less likely you want to hurt them if what you have to tell them might rub them the wrong way. I think we are honest to a certain point with people we have a history with versus those that we don’t.
This is section was the one I was most apprehensive about. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect so I (tried) to continue to keep an open mind. This section was kinda interesting, kinda boring (reminded me of reading a text book at school at some points), and kinda funny (Richard from Texas was funny). But ultimately, I could not connect with Liz in this section. Sure, I understood this was her journey to find God/her spiritual self and I get that. It just felt abstract to me. There was nothing that called to me, nothing that spoke to my inner self that said ‘Ahh… so that’s what she’s talking about’. So, I was left with a feel of, ‘yeah, ok, but what do you want me to do with that information?’. I found her chanting and mediation techniques vaguely interesting. I used to meditate (and do yoga, but it was mainly for exercise, not to connect to the spiritual), but I couldn’t quiet my mind enough to continue with it, so I stopped. I assumed this part is to get you to examine your own spiritual connection. So I did, briefly. I do pray nightly, but it’s mostly for others. I’m still working on my own spiritual connection and I figure it will come in time. Now that we are through this section, I’m almost (almost) eager to see what her ‘Love’ is all about.
Everyone should link up and share what they thought of India.