I finished Eat, Love, Pray yesterday and I have been letting it wash over me. I told a friend how marvelous it was and he shared that he had recently spoken to someone with a completely different opinion of it. That person had found it too self-indulgent.
Well, the book is very self-indulgent. And I think that observation goes a long way in explaining people’s reactions to it. A person who isn’t comfortable going deep into the self and asking tough questions, a person who is not prone to self-examination about their emotional and spiritual makeup, may find this book borderlining on hogwash.
But, of course, I am a life coach and a person on a near constant quest to understand myself and others, so this is the kind of reading that speaks to my core. I found Elizabeth Gilbert’s discoveries and insights validating in some cases, illuminating in others. My own journey has made me realize, at least on balance, what’s important in life. It was extraordinary to feel a kinship, this same sense of rightness, from reading her book.
Gilbert tells one story of a friend who had abandoned his childhood religion but was not comfortable with the idea of “cherry-picking” a religion. “Which is a sentiment I completely respect except for the fact that I totally disagree,” she writes. “I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor whatsoever which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted.”
Amen. And thank you.