I first read this book when it was published in 2006. I lent the book to my colleague and she never returned it (but she insisted that she has returned it to me). I wanted to reread this book so I got the Kindle version.
Since then, “Eat, Love, Pray” created a worldwide phenomenon and it has apparently helped millions of women all over the world. Many women have since embarked on their own ELP trip.
I totally get why this book is so successful. Many of the things that the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, experiences resonates with readers all over the world. Every year, thousands if not millions of couple divorce, and many of those women have probably experienced some of that hopelessness that Elizabeth Gilbert experienced.
For me, the part that resonates with me the most is the part where we (Elizabeth Gilbert and me) realization about mortality. She realized it when she was 9 years old turning 10, I realized it much later at 29 years old turning 30. I think it has something to do with the transition from the 20s to the 30s that shocked me how fast time passes. Wait, maybe I had it much younger. Since young, my life motto has always been “experience as much of life as possible” or something to that effect, I must have had this mortality realization for me to have this life motto? Anyway, from then on, I kept thinking of how fast each day, each week, each month, each year passes and how I have wasted each day. I can’t do much about weekdays when I have to spend the majority of my time working, but I have major issues with weekends where I can distribute time as I like. I end almost every Sunday with the regret and feeling that I wasted yet another Sunday, no matter how much I have done that day.
According to this book “according to the mystics, this search for divine bliss is the entire purpose of the a human life”. In that case, should I also go to India for a retreat? I would definitely like to do that some day, but right now I think what I need to do the most is to swim/cycle as the doctor advises and get my back pain and knee pain sorted out. I also need to restart praying to God and ask God what I should be working as because I am not happy at my current workplace. According to this book (and I believe this wholeheartedly), I don’t have to be a Christian to pray, you can pick your religion (for those of us who are previleged not to be born into a family with strict religious ties).
Most of all, I think the message that “Eat, Love, Pray” is trying to tell me (and anyone who read this book) is: no matter what you have been try, you can always rebuild your life back. What a comforting thing to know.