The first time I watched Eat, Pray, Love, starring Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem, it meant nothing to me. Now at the time I hadn’t read the original book, and I know that books far outweigh their filmic counterparts, more often than not, but still, it did not resonate with me. I had yet to face any real struggles. Four years later, I decided to revisit Elizabeth Gilbert‘s story and to my surprise, I enjoyed a profoundly different experience. In fact I hung on her every word, proving as she does, the wealth of learning to come from life’s dizzying heights and overwhelming lows.
Though the film was critically ill received, I’ve yet to come across a movie so full to the brim with pearls of wisdom, so much so that they continue to ring in your ears long after the credits have rolled. Given the timeless nature of Liz’s story, and the fact that so many of us will venture down a similar river in search of enlightenment, complete with life’s inevitable ebb and flow, I feel compelled to bring you back to some of Eat, Pray, Love’s most enduring quotes (from both book and movie).
On the searing pain of heartache: “This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”
On the kind of love that stands the test of time: “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.”
On the constant search for that thing we call ‘happiness’: “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.”
On loneliness and accepting what is: “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.”
On our frazzled minds: “I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the ‘monkey mind’ — the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl.”
On the futility of feeling bad for our emotions: “Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.”
On the transient nature of life: “eventually, everything goes away.”
On trying too hard: “At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.”
On the truth within us all: “We don’t realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme self who is eternally at peace.”
On her ultimate realisation: “I’ve come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call “The Physics of The Quest” — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” Or so I’ve come to believe.”
So, a trip to Bali, anyone?