The Eat Pray Love movie based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir is about a happily married woman who realizes her life needs to go in a different direction, and after a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world, soul searching journey of self discovery.
There are a lot of different messages that people could take away from the movie. However, three messages that resonated with me is the importance of keeping an open heart after its been broken, allowing yourself the time and freedom to be yourself; and this fascinating tension between our self-effort and the role that destiny or synchronicity can play in our life.
In the beginning of the movie, Elizabeth is really unhappy and confused — She literally gets down on her knees and with tears in her eyes, she prays to God for guidance. (Another refreshing aspect of this movie is that it did not water down the spiritual journey that Elizabeth went through because it shows vivid scenes of her praying, meditating and trying to connect with God in her daily life)….Throughout the movie, Elizabeth takes the time to realize that she is not happy in life, but still keeps her heart open to finding happiness and true love. Her search for happiness and an authentic and loving relationship after getting her heart broken is inspiring to watch…
Elizabeth also realizes that being happy or spiritual results in her being more true to her self, taking time to enjoy her life (whether or not she feels like she deserves it), and finding a way to live her life in a way that brings her the most joy and happiness. Instead of trying to fit this mold of what an ideal life is supposed to look like, she sets out to find her own personal happiness…
Finally, I have always been fascinated between the role that our own self-effort and synchronicity or grace can play in our life, especially as I watched the seemingly random occurrences and people that affected Elizabeth’s journey…Was it Elizabeth Gilbert’s purpose or destiny in life to go through heartbreak in order to motivate her to find true happiness, love and write a best-selling memoir based on her journey or was it simply blind luck plus her determination and personal will power to change her life that led her along her journey…or a combination of both.
Elizabeth talks about this tension in her book, when she writes:
“Destiny is a play between divine grace and willful self effort. Half of it you have no control over, half of it is absolutely in your hands and your actions will show measurable consequence. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the Gods nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny. He is a little of both.
We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses. One foot is on the horse called “Faith,” the other on the horse called “Free will” and the question you have to ask every day is which horse is which, which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort.”