An Ode to Love: The Struggle to Be Fulfilled

After reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, I felt very touched. The story focused on Elizabeth’s journey in her early thirties where she had everything a modern American woman supposedly wanted. She had a wonderful husband, a great country home, a successful career; but instead of feeling happy, she was consumed with confusion. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Elizabeth set out to explore Italy, India, and Bali; she searched for a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.

In the beginning of the story, I felt a great deal of sadness for Elizabeth because she had everything that most of us desire, yet she was filled with so much emptiness. “Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.” (Gilbert, 2009, pg.142). This quote shows that it is not the picture perfect life that makes one feel complete, but the emotions one is faced with. Moreover, just because somebody has built a life for themselves does not mean that the change of emotions won’t create a change in their path; everything has an end point. By traveling to three completely different countries, Elizabeth was able to learn about different cultures, foods and herself while being exposed to the differences the world has to offer.

As a future therapist, I will encourage this book to clients who feel lost because it teaches us about a person who had the courage  to find a better life. As stated by Elizabeth, “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” (Gilbert, 2009, page 162). Wishing to feel complete might not create the necessary change, but fighting for ones happiness by the change of their behaviors might be the essential tool.

Moreover, I have also seen the movie before I actually read the book; and honestly, I did not enjoy the film half as much as I enjoyed the book, because the film cut out many parts that the book covered. The most enjoyable aspect of the book for me was when Elizabeth described her darkened moment while feeling stuck. A clear example of such a moment is when Elizabeth argued, “Take care of the problems now, or else you’ll just have to suffer again later when you screw everything up the next time.  And that repetition of suffering– that’s hell.  Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understand–there’s where you’ll find heaven (Gilbert, 2009, page 162). This is the perfect example of Elizabeth’s transition to find herself by getting out of anything that made her feel stuck and instead, replacing it with something new–travel.

This book was written so beautifully which made it a very easy read. As I mentioned earlier, I would highly advise this read simply because it is a perfect example that sometimes life takes rapid turns, and when those turns approaches, the world is filled with so many amazing people and places to visit that one just simply cannot give up. Books such as Eat, Pray, Love are great examples of the resources that are available for us all in order to gain a greater understanding of how others overcame certain traumas that some of us might be facing today.


Author: Svieta Ishchenko

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