IN HONOR OF RICHARD FROM TEXAS…and the difference between wishes and plans.
There is perhaps no line in Eat Pray Love which seems to affect people more than this simple adage ("You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be") which my friend Richard from Texas told me one day in India, when I was mourning some sad episode of my past, and wishing it had turned out differently.
He turned my head around so hard with that line, it almost gave me whiplash — but the very best kind of whiplash (the kind of whiplash that wakes you up, and gives you a chance to choose to be powerful instead of tragic.)
A friend of this page named Aaron just made this gorgeous montage of that quote, and I wanted to share it all with you. THANK YOU, AARON!
Please be assured, dear ones, that I have nothing against wishes. But I have to vigilant with myself about what KIND of wishes I am making. I am allowed to make all kinds of wishes about the future (in wishes begin plans, after all, and in plans unfold our lives to come) but I am absolutely not allowed to make wishes about the past. Because I find that I can get trapped there, lost in a dream about something which is already over, desperate for some ending which can never occur. When I find myself doing that, wishing in the past, I hear Richard's voice saying to me firmly: "YOU ARE IN VIOLATION, GROCERIES!"
Then I straighten up my backbone, as he would've wanted me to, and I carry on.
FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER!