eat, pray, love – with a bow on top

eat, pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a beautiful book. It is the kind of book that women gravitate toward, in a search to find themselves among the pages.

Like a few of my offerings here on this blog, this is not originally a “self-help” book, although it became one.

It empowers. It inspires. It spawned a movie that a lot of people hated, though I don’t know why. I liked it. But I digress. As usual.

The trouble with writing about this kind of book – years after it was published – is that life goes on after the story is over. Oh, don’t get me wrong… the story in the pages of this book have not changed… well, until the end. Oh shoot. Getting ahead of myself again.

The woman who wrote the book cannot be separated from story, since it is HER story. Elizabeth Gilbert did what many women want to do, but cannot – for myriad reasons: fear, a lack of funds and/or time, chief among them.

But I’m still getting ahead of myself… because I want to tell you something she did before she did it… something that (since reading it) I have tried. It is a life-changer.

As she was going through an acrimonious divorce from her first husband, a friend gave her this idea: She petitioned God in writing to ease the conflict of their hearts and peacefully finalize the divorce.

There’s more, be patient. lol

She imagined who would sign the prayer/ petition in agreement with her. In her mind’s eye, her parents signed it, her sister, friends and family. She was asked to think bigger. Anyone can sign it. Names began to flood into her mind and she imagined them signing it… from famous people to dignitaries, including St. Francis of Assisi! Tell me you don’t love that!?

When your petition/prayers are answered… you’ll know that it was all that good attention, intention and juju… and maybe a little bit God’s doing, too? 🙂

God did answer her prayer, by the way…

But she was left with the sadness or depression that comes for so many of us after that kind of life change. Reading about her depression was very familiar… and may be a trigger to some.

Yet, she still found the strength to step outside her comfort zone and journey to healing places. She quit her job and set off for Italy (to eat), then India (pray) and finally Bali (love).

Now, back to that paragraph above… about how it’s difficult to write about this book because of what we now know. Life indeed did (and does) go on. Gilbert’s life has been… difficult, of late.

Spoiler alert I, though I almost don’t think it’s necessary: Gilbert married the man she falls in love with at the end of the book.

Spoiler alert II, they divorced last year, after 12 years of marriage.

Spoiler alert III, soon after, she fell in love with a woman (Rayya Elias) who became ill, and who has since passed away.

None of it takes away from the beauty of the book or the lessons and messages within its pages. In the light of her recent experiences, the book does, however, almost feel… darn… what am I feeling?… I guess… a little naive?

See, I’m at a loss for words. I know none of it *should* matter… but somehow, to me, it does.

Why?

Ah, yes, I see now. This is me, when I’m trying to put things in prim, sturdy, little boxes with nicely tied bows on top.

But life isn’t like that. It’s messy. And we can learn from absolutely everything.

Elizabeth Gilbert is a very human, beautiful soul. Her recent experiences have done nothing to mar the light that is within, nor does it take away anything from this book.

I like her. I love this book. As I said, I liked the movie. This is good stuff, folks. Well worth the read, if you haven’t yet.