I’m in love with this book. It has healed me and help me grow in so many ways I never thought possible. I’ve always loved the movie and whenever I went through a break up I would run to the nearest DVD rental store, get some wine, watch it, cry and start over. But I recently went through a really bad heartbreak (that’s a story for another day) and even after watching my reliable heart healer DVD, I was still torn. I then realised that I was not only trying to heal from just the heartbreak but a lot of things in my life. Everything was just falling apart and I didn’t know how to pick up the pieces.
I’ve always been the strong friend. The one positive one, the YOLO friend and the one that gets my friends through tough situations so why couldn’t I help myself? Giving advice to other people is easy but taking your own advice is a tough pill to swallow. So there I was crying for two weeks straight and just looking for the strength I once had and not being able to find it. So I cried some more (I cry a lot, just bear with me)
My birthday came around and there was a glimmer of hope. I finally felt like I was getting back to my old self (Ha! I even drunk texted my ex) but once I returned from Mozambique and all the festivities had died down, all the birthday messages had stopped coming, I was back to reality. Just me and my big old broken heart… so I began crying again.
I normally work during school holidays but for some reason this time I had decided to just relax. I now realise that I work a lot to keep busy and not have to deal with things. Work is my escape. So having nothing to do I sat at home and started to overthink everything! This only worsened my already hopeless situation.
Then after a night out with friends and faking happiness, I realised I was tired of being unhappy. Emotionally, physically and spiritually I was exhausted. I then remember something the character in the ‘Eat Pray Love’ movie had said: Before things get worse, they get worse worse. And I knew I was at my worstest (if that’s even a word). So I got myself up, got a cup of coffee and started to read the actual “Eat Pray Love” book written by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve always loved to read so I dove in head first and fell in love.
The book is about a woman who goes through life and comes out wounded, beaten and heartbroken. So she decides to do what she wants to do so she and divorces her husband and then goes on a journey to three different countries to help her find herself again. First Italy where she eats everything she has ever desired then India where she learns how to pray and finds God (not a religion, just God) and lastly Bali where she unexpectedly finds love. It’s such a beautiful story.
My healing began when I could relate to the character’s heartbreak. She began to heal when she realised she was doing something that I do all the time. She says “I have the history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not to only see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of man, rather than with the man himself. I have hung on to relationships for a long time (sometimes too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism”.
She missed him like I missed him but she helped me realise that you can miss people and have them not miss you back. It sucks, it hurts but its life. And when she went to India to find God, I found God with her. She prayed, I prayed, she mediated, I attempted to meditate and then we both found comfort in God’s love.
I could relate to the character because firstly I was broken hearted, I had completely lost my relationship with God and I was looking for my life’s purpose. The book has some of the most beautiful sayings I’ve ever heard but my favourite has to be: On Namah Shivaya- I honour the divinity that resides within.
The book has taught me that life happens to all of us and sometimes you just can’t run away from your problems anymore, you just have to face them and feel them even when it hurts. And feeling them by sitting with them, talking about them, crying about them and then letting them go. It’s great to be strong but it’s also okay not to be okay. The book has also helped re-establish my relationship with God and for this I will be forever grateful. And as much as we’d like to have full control over lives, it’s just impossible to carry that burden by yourself. I have faith and believe that everything that has happened was supposed to happen (even my two week breakdown) and all that is yet to happen, will happen according to God’s plan, not mine.
It’s so soothing to be able to relate to someone and that ‘OMG me too!” moment. This is probably why I started this blog. If there is anyone who can relate to me and I can help them feel a tiny bit better then I’ve done my job. I just want you to take away from my story that you are not alone! I mean a divorced American middle aged woman’s story could heal a broken hearted 19 year old Swati/South African girl (what are the odds?!) . And that all pains eventually goes away but you have to put some work in and decide that enough is enough because you deserve to be happy.
With love, Nollie.