The Great "Eat Pray Love" Debate

Fight or Flight
By Heather Trim
(As seen in MOMENTS Magazine ~ Published Oct 1, 2010)
EAT PRAY LOVE has inspired women to pack their bags and gain a new perspective on life the way writer Elizabeth Gilbert did at the end of her messy divorce and devastating rebound-relationship. She felt as though she had lost herself, unable to live according to her own personal desires and beliefs, so she signed the divorce papers and hit the road. EAT PRAY LOVE is her memoir about the year she spent travelling three countries: Italy, India and Indonesia. Now travel agencies offer EAT PRAY LOVE travel packages.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book was published in 2006 and spent 182 weeks on the national bestseller list with over 7 million copies now in print. This past summer the movie version entered the theaters starring Julia Roberts.
The book was like reading a note from a chatty, silly friend who likes to drop the F-bomb and doesn’t hide her weaknesses, depression, and insecurities. She can come across as either whiney or brutally honest and it seems there is a great divide amongst those who’ve experienced the book or movie: either you love it or you hate it, although she does have some funny laugh-out-loud idioms.

My favorite quote: “Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit.”
There is a debate around whether her travel was a form of “running away” or “self-realization.” Gilbert pursued pleasure, dedication, and balance on her yearlong journey inspiring women to follow in her unorthodox footsteps. She chose flight over fight in her recovery from failed relationships and depression. Some believe it to be cowardly to run off to a foreign country but on the contrary, many women were inspired by the book and travelled in an effort to reset the balance in their own lives.
In my opinion, Elizabeth Gilbert may have been whiney but she was real. She chose flight over sticking it out and fighting for her sanity. But she seemed to need a release from her old life to find herself again. It shouldn’t be a character judgment over which path a person decides to rediscover themselves.

But you can decide for yourself by reading the book or seeing the movie: EAT PRAY LOVE.

Check out my full Book Review of EAT PRAY LOVE