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There are a lot of Elizabeth Gilbert haters in the world.
I first read Eat, Pray, Love when I was 15 years old. I was on vacation in Hawaii with my extended family, and my aunt lent me her copy.
I was instantly transfixed by her irresistibly charming writing voice and her heart-on-the-table approach to life. She was a woman who resisted the expectations of house and husband and family and stability and went out on her own to eat the world. And I liked it.
Several years and multiple reads of Eat, Pray, Love later, I discovered her “Magic Lessons” podcast—and fell even deeper in love. Her wisdom and energy and compassion were on full display. Say what you will about her, but that woman has some kind of sixth sense on love and life.
From her books to her podcast to her brutally, beautifully honest social media posts on grief and love and daily living, I return to Liz Gilbert’s words again and again. She teaches me to be a better human.
So, no matter how many Eat, Pray, Love eye rolls I get, I will never be swayed by the haters.
And, if you’re still not convinced, here are 10 of her most knockout, life-giving quotes:
1. “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”
2. “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.”
3. “Happiness is the consequence 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 in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
4. “Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
5. “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.”
6. “It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away.”
7. “This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”
8. “When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.”
9. “There’s a crack (or cracks) in everyone…that’s how the light of God gets in.”
10. “You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”