Eat Pray Forgive

My inspiration this week is Eat Pray Love. I loved the book and in an unexpected way, watching the movie brought me back to the magic of forgiveness.

The story chronicles the journey of Elizabeth Gilbert (played by Julia Roberts) as she rebuilds her life after a divorce and post-marriage affair.  We follow the heroine to Italy, where she fills herself with pasta and pizza, then to India, where she fills with spirit and service, and ultimately to Indonesia (Bali), where she finds balance and true love.

The turning point in the story occurs in India when her compatriot entreats Elizabeth to forgive the past.  And, while some movie reviewers write the film off as “wish fulfillment,” (she does admittedly sail off into the sunset with Javier Bardem at the end of the movie), from a forgiveness perspective, the sequencing is spot on.

In the face of loss and confusion, where do we turn first?  First we eat.  We look to our drug of choice, be it food, work, sex, drink or drug, something outside ourselves that we use in an attempt to numb the pain.  Eventually we realize this strategy is a dead end.  It doesn’t work.  The pain is still there.  So then, often in great despair, we pray.  We look to a power greater than ourselves for true healing.  An essential part of this healing process is, of course, forgiveness.  Forgiveness brings us back into oneness, and it is only from this place of wholeness that we can truly get what we want, which is love.

So, if you want to create a healthy relationship, Eat Pray Forgive . . . and then, Love.  The best way to create a good relationship is to take the time to reconnect with yourself first and foremost.   Take inventory of any past relationships in which there are still unresolved feelings.  Then take the time to forgive and really heal the past.

About Eileen Barker

EILEEN BARKER has been writing and speaking on forgiveness, and guiding people who need to either forgive themselves or someone else, for many years. A practicing litigation lawyer who rejected the traditional adversarial role, Eileen has focused her practice on mediation, helping thousands of people resolve disputes outside of court. This work led her into a deep exploration of forgiveness as it relates to resolving conflict and making peace, both with others and oneself.

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