Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love is a show that I would definitely recommend, especially if you are going through a tough period in your relationship or is still recovering from a failed one.

I know the movie is based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. But since I have not finished reading the book, I will be writing based on the movie. I will revisit this entry when I finish reading the book.

Many quotes  resonated with my feelings after my not-so-recent failed relationship. The devastation from the aftermath kept me away from photography and writing. The sudden loss of the guiding light of my life threw me off course, and I was lost in the sea of uncertainty, ravaged by the storms of depression.

Throughout my university life, I had a goal to work towards: A happily-ever-after with my soul mate. The path was clear. Graduate from university. Become a registered pharmacist. Save up for the wedding and apartment.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is 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 leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”

Gilbert nailed it in her observations about soul mates. Being with a soul mate is painful. My short-comings were cruelly exposed. While it does help me to identify what I need to improve, it hurt me.  I was often wondering why the person I care for so much seem to only be concerned about my flaws.

“It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”

Some people I know take the trouble to stay away from love for the fear of being hurt. But to me, the most fulfilling emotion is love. Love for our partners, family, friends. To me, the most rewarding feeling is to feel loved.

It hurts to have your heart broken. most of the time it leaves a scar. But each time, I pick myself up and willingly open the door to love, ignoring the possibility of being hurt.

“In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.”

It is important to accept your partner for who they are. I was there myself, and I’ve met people who have an idealized character they expect of their partners.

Such expectations put unnecessary stress on your partner and strains the relationship.

Love is never fair. In love, you should love your partner the way you want to and not compare how much you are loved in return. There will always be one party that loves more.

You should not feel pressured should you feel that you’re the one who loves less. And if you love more, you should appreciate what your partner gives instead of asking for more.

“People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.”

Once you accept the flaws, it feels as though a door opened. That was how I felt when I could finally look past the flaws of my ex. It breathed new life into the relationship and I felt refreshed and recharged to put in more for the relationship.

Flaws seem to have a negative connotation to it but it is important to realise that flaws make a person who they are. I have seen people who learn to love the flaws of their partners. I see nothing but bliss in their eyes.

“People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you’re fortunate. But happiness is the result 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.”

Love is like a plant or a pet. You need to nurture it. You need to feed it. It needs your constant care even though it might not seem like it. Neglect it and it will start to fall ill.

To Bali!

Aside from the thought-provoking quotes, the movie stirred my desire to travel to Italy and Bali. I was in Bali in November last year. And had an urge to return to that magical place.

I’ll be on my flight to Bali in a few hours’ time. Perhaps, I would find spiritual peace in this trip.