The term is now a staple in pop culture thanks to the popular book and movie. The one that girls rushed out to watch with their gal pals or saved for a night in with a pint of their favorite ice cream. Eat, Pray, Love. The movie finds the main character hopping around the world to find herself – she goes to exquisite destinations and lives in all three places for a year – all for self-discovery…to find “everything” as the book title reads. I realized while watching the movie that I didn’t need to leave home to have my own self-revelation.
As much as I loved the traveling and reengaging with one’s self, I could never finish the movie. It all seemed a bit self-centered to me and when I think of what Eat, Pray, Love, really means, I came to the conclusion that it’s not actually about me. I think of relationships, community, togetherness.
Eating at its basic, provides nourishment to the body. Food has to be prepared first, whether by one’s self or someone else. If I’m eating of someone else then they have just shared a piece of themselves with me. I find eating to be intimate, there’s something cosmic about breaking bread with someone else – especially cooking for other people. It builds relationships – all by chowing on some good fare.
Praying…can become self centered. Prayer is suppose to be a conversation. A conversation requires more than one person. A good conversation requires both parties to exchange thoughts. A great conversation requires both parties to listen to the thoughts exchanged. Praying isn’t about making ‘self’ feel good but sharing how one feels + the daily going ons with God and listening for the response. No one likes talking to someone and they just yammer away without you getting any input it. Same for God. Prayer deepens and strengthens a relationship with God.
It is not self seeking – it is about the betterment of the other person in whatever capacity the relationship (romantic, familial, platonic, etc.) Love is a beautiful thing and people tend to slap the label of love on their own selfish desires. Love is also right where you are in many ways.
To eat, pray and love is to establish and strengthen relationships. To put other’s first instead of yourself which in turn helps better you. A world trip for self-discovery is okay but it’s important that we are constantly eating, praying and loving with and for one another and ourselves every single day. We must find happiness and blessings where we stand. That’s one thing both the author and I seem to agree on.
“We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy’s fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure–your perfection–is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.” ? Eat Pray Love.