~ Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I recently finished reading ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. I know there are numerous reviews out there on this book (the book only remained on the New York Times Best Seller list for 158 weeks), but I thought I would share with you my thoughts on it. Most simply, I would have to say it was one of the best books I have read. Elizabeth Gilbert, in this creation of genius, was so easy to read and relate to that I was able to finish this book in just a couple weeks (I’m a slow reader, and don’t get oodles of time to read, so that’s a good pace). It was funny, encouraging, and inspiring. I’m not sure how the male readers feel (so please weigh in if you are reading), but as a woman I loved how it showed the journey of one woman who was able to discover who she was by realizing who she didn’t want to be. It’s a story of love, in learning to love another, but most importantly in learning to love yourself. It’s a story of new beginnings, in fighting through despair and finding happiness on the other side. It’s a story of finding your spirit, in being able to be still and find your god, while allowing others to find theirs without judgment. It is a magnificent story, and I recommend you read it.
In order to emphasize how good this book really is I want to share with you 12 quotes from the book itself. I hope they resonate with you as much as they did with me.
“I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.”
“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”
“In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.”
“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.”
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
“Tis’ better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s perfectly.”
“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.”
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”
“I am a better person when I have less on my plate.”
“Some days are meant to be counted, others are meant to be weighed.”
“I have good idea, for if you meet some person from different religion and he want to make argument about God. My idea is, you listen to everything this man say about God. Never argue about God with him. Best thing to say is, ‘I agree with you.’ Then you go home, pray what you want. This is my idea for people to have peace about religion.”
In case you can’t get enough and you want more inspiration from “Liz” Gilbert herself, check out her TED Talk on nurturing creativity. This is a great talk on distancing ourselves from our creative anguish, and to have the courage to show up every day to do what you can, even if your creative genius isn’t always there. (click here if you cannot see the video below).
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