When the movie Eat Pray Love came out in 2010, I had just made the decision to part ways with my first husband. I knew nothing about the movie, other than it was “that new one with Julia Roberts.” So, I took my friends to lunch, explained about my new situation in life, and then we went to see the movie….and I cried the whole way through it.
Flash forward a million years later, a new husband, a new state. And very much, a completely new state of mind. I fell in love with Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing a few years ago when I read Committed–her foray into second marriage, and exactly what I needed at the time I read it. But I had never actually sat down and read Eat Pray Love. The movie, while beautiful, was just so painful.
So, it’s been sitting on my TBR shelf for ages, staring at me. “READ ME,” it said. “You know you want to.” No…I really don’t. I was so afraid it would throw me back into a depression. Instead, it was completely freeing. I found that I have recovered from the EAT stage, and funnily enough, my LOVE stage was in the middle rather than the end.
I am now in the PRAY section of Gilbert’s story. Everything she says about meditation and finding God inside of you is fascinating. I love her theory on there being multiple paths to God–if He is infinite, then wouldn’t He have ways to reach everyone, not just one?
Culturally, though not theologically, I’m a Christian. I was born a Protestant of the white Anglo-Saxon persuasion. And while I do love that great teacher of peace who was called Jesus, and while I do reserve the right to ask myself in certain trying situations what indeed He would do, I can’t swallow that one fixed rule of Christianity insisting that Christ is the only path to God. Strictly speaking, then, I cannot call myself a Christian.
The best books are books that don’t answer questions, but make me ask more of myself. I am not in the same place I was when I saw the movie, I’m not in the same place when I read Committed. But this isn’t a book that you only read once. Eat Pray Love is a book that should be pulled from the shelf every few years as a course of reevaluation. What does my life look like right now? What step am I on? Am I grieving? In Transition? Content? Life is ever shifting. Who knows where I will be in the next 5 years.