Friday, December 26, 2008
EAT, PRAY, LOVE
TITLE: EAT, PRAY, LOVE
AUTHOR: ELIZABETH GILBERT
Details: Non Fiction
After a bitter divorce and a deeply felt but unsustainable relationship Liz Gilbert decides to take a year to reassess herself and her life.
She divides her year up into three parts and spends her first four months in Italy where she concentrates on learning Italian and eating good food. During this process she manages to retrieve some sense of fun and (mainly physical) strength.
The next trimester is spend in an Ashram in India, where meditation, hard work, healthy living and big struggles with her demons bring Liz insight into herself, her past, her motivations and insecurities. Thus enlightened she can at last leave the past behind her and start looking towards the future.
Which brings her to the final leg of her journey on Bali. Here, through a toothless medicine man and a female healer she is lead to love. The emotion that through its breakdown brought her on this journey in the first place.
This is a rather special book. The causes of the author's breakdown are recognizable, and her need to go out and find answers as well as herself is one I believe most people come across at some point in their lives.
Of course, not all of us are able to take a year out and travel in order to find our answers, but then, I don't believe that is necessary. I think answers may be found anywhere by those who truly look.
Gilbert's ideas about God and religion are close enough to mine to strike a cord. Having said that, I couldn't see myself doing what she did.
For me the message of this book is loud and clear; in order to be able to truly love another, you must first truly know and love yourself. And as hard as that may be to achieve, it does make perfect sense. If you're not happy in your own company, you will end up bringing that unhappiness into your relationships with others.
Elizabeth Gilbert has to be complimented on not turning this into a heavy, deep, moralizing and preaching book. She has managed to keep it light and at times fun, while sharing some important live lessons in an honest and accessible way.
In my paper reading journal I have several pages of quotes from this book. I'm not sharing these here, because what I take from this book is not necessarily what somebody else needs to read. And whereas this is a public reading journal, my paper one is still for me alone.