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This is a book review series I do the first Wednesday of every month. I review books related to divorce, love, relationships, and self-growth. I also review some fiction books. So snuggle in with a cup of joe and a blanket and let's get reading :)
Today, I'm featuring Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Gosh darn it! It changed my life.
I know it's become somewhat of a cliche to say that Eat, Pray, Love changed your life. But gosh darn it! It changed my life.
For as long as I can remember, I considered myself an atheist. I believed that if I couldn't support every single facet of a religion then I had no right believing or following anything about that religion at all. I'm not quite sure where I got this belief but it was deep seeded. It entangled my mind so much that I began to believe that there was something wrong with me. How could everyone else (it seemed like) believe in something with all their hearts and I couldn't? For a very long time, the topic of faith was a point of embarrassment, shame, and confusion for me.
And then I read Eat, Pray, Love.
Elizabeth Gilbert chronicles a year during her divorce and subsequent journey to 3 countries in order to examine 3 important aspects of herself: her love of food, her quest for faith, and her desire to love herself and find love again. Elizabeth has a comforting style of writing that makes you feel like you are sitting with her on a couch at a coffee shop. It's also a non-fiction book written like a fiction book. Which is my FAVORITE style of writing!
Eat, Pray, Love helped me come to terms with and accept my unique belief system by showing me that I can flow from one faith to another guilt-free. I connect with so many pieces from so many different faiths and spiritual paths. Over the years, I have bundled these pieces together in a way that makes sense to me. Elizabeth's writing helped me realize that I can build my own spiritual guidebook from what speaks to me, not what is dictated to me.
Even if you have a firm footing in one faith, I believe you will still benefit from reading Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth's journey to rediscover herself after her divorce is inspiring. Granted, she traveled around the world on her journey and most of us don't have that kind of time, money, or freedom. But we can copy the essence of her journey. Elizabeth focused on the 3 most important parts of herself during her year after divorce. I encourage you to do the same. I know after I left my husband (heck, even before I left my husband) I was having a hard time figuring out who I was. I still occasionally have a hard time but it's gotten easier as I've paid more and more attention to myself and refocused on what makes me who I am. I think we can all benefit from diving deep into the 3 most important parts of ourselves.
In Loving Myself, I'm Able To Find Love
Eat, Pray, Love also helped me see that in loving myself, I'm able to find love. Too often after heartbreak, we jump right back into a relationship to fill the void and try to mend our broken hearts. Elizabeth did it. I did it. And I know many other women who have done the same. I'm not judging any of us for doing this. Heartbreak is tormenting, piercing, aching. During separation and divorce our emotions are crazy and untethered, causing us to try anything to heal the pain. Shortly after I left my husband, I jumped right into another relationship and I quickly realized it was corrupting my healing process. You can't begin to properly heal if you twist your emotions around another person. Eat, Pray, Love reminded me that I need to work on my relationship with myself if I ever hope to have a quality relationship with someone else.
Sometimes the best books find you when you need them most. Eat, Pray, Love is one such book for me. It is one of my all-time-desert-island favorite books. I will always have a special place for Elizabeth's divorce journey in my heart.
"This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something."
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love