Eat Pray Love is one of those books that is so famous, so inextricably linked with a collective moment in our culture's history that it's easy to forget how soul-shaking and deliciously personal it felt when you first read it alone in your room, without Oprah's input and without Julia Roberts' toothy mug plastered all over whatever image you originally had in your mind of it's plucky narrator, Elizabeth Gilbert.
That's why I had so much fun picking up my old, tattered copy and rereading the many notes in the margins. I do that. I talk to my books in pink & orange hearts & squiggles and neon yellow highlighter.
And- what I got from flipping through Eat Pray Love this past weekend is that I want to read it again. (But first- I've got to get to her latest release, The Signature Of All Things, which I'd already promised myself I'd do sometime this year- maybe this summer?)
Elizabeth Gilbert is a writer with charisma. She is laugh-out-loud funny, self-aware and often wise, sometimes all at the same time, and so it is my total pleasure to share a few of my favorite excerpts from Eat Pray Love with you here now... ENJOY!
★ "'I love you, I will never leave you, I will always take care of you.' Those were the first words I ever wrote in that private notebook of mine, which I would carry with me from that moment forth, turning back to it many times over the next two years, always asking for help- and always finding it, even when I was most deadly sad or afraid." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "I don't want to be married anymore. I was trying so hard not to know this, but the truth kept insisting itself to me." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never even dared to admit that you wanted- an emotional speedball, perhaps of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with the hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is withheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but who now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore- despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, goddamn it, because he used to give it to you for free." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "Medicating the symptom of any illness without exploring it's root cause is just a classically hair-brained Western way to think that anyone could ever truly get better." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby- I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to- I just don't care." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "...somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "Faith is a way of saying 'Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.'" -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "I respond with gratitude to anyone who has ever voyaged to the center of that heart, and who has then returned to the world with a report for the rest of us that God is an experience of supreme love. In every religious tradition on earth, there have always been mystical saints and transcendents who report exactly this experience." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "...somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme Self who is eternally at peace. That supreme Self is our true identity, universal and divine." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "Yoga is the effort to experience one's divinity personally and then to hold on to that experience forever. Yoga is about self-mastery and the dedicated effort to haul your attention away from your endless brooding over the past and your nonstop worrying about the future so that you can seek, instead, a place of eternal presence from which you may regard yourself and your surroundings with poise. Only from that point of even-mindedness will the true nature of the world (and yourself) be revealed to you." -Elizabeth Gilbert
★ "You may not come here anymore with your hard and abusive thoughts, with your plague ships of thoughts, with your slave ships of thoughts, with your war ships of thoughts- all these will be turned away. Likewise, any thoughts that are filled with angry or starving exiles, with malcontents and pamphleteers, mutineers and violent assassins, desperate prostitutes, pimps and seditious stowaways- you may not come here anymore, either. Cannibalistic thoughts, for obvious reasons, will no longer be received. Even missionaries will be screened carefully, for sincerity. This is a peaceful harbor, the entryway to a fine and proud island that is only now beginning to cultivate tranquility." -Elizabeth Gilbert
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