I haven’t read Liz Gilbert’s book in years, and never saw the movie with Julia Roberts because I didn’t want to destroy the images in my own head about how that story should be depicted, but the message from her post-divorce journey has stuck with me all these years. When you suffer a setback, it can take awhile to return to your natural state of being, and those of us that are able to rebound quickly truly do abide by this simple formula: remember to eat, pray and love every day.
Why Eat? Because we all need nourishment, and breaking bread with another human being is a very social thing to do. To me, eating alone is a chore, and when I am upset it is the last thing in the world I want to do, but because my friends and family know this, what do they do when they want to make sure I’m ok? They feed me– they prepare the most delicious meals and remind me that I am not actually a machine, although sometimes I may feel that way. While we eat, people share their stories with me, and they restore my faith in humanity, and to be honest, more important than feeding my body, they nurture my soul– but the body needs actual food to survive, and that is exactly why my loved ones feed me. So as much as I complain about everyone bugging me about eating, let me just say, my skinny butt actually does appreciate it!
Why Pray? In whatever form you wish to do this, I think it is important to express gratitude for what you have, to show remorse for some of your shortfalls, and to project hope in a better future. Ever since I was a child, my grandmother taught me to believe in a greater power– whatever that might be– and I am convinced that it is my faith that has saved me all these years and allowed me to survive. Despite what may appear to be a charmed life, I have had to face some very harsh realities over the years, but in those darkest hours it is my prayers (and perhaps those of others around me too) that have spared me from falling into the abyss.
Why Love? I hate to answer a question with a question, but without love, how can there be life? Life is all about love– learning to love yourself, your family, and your surroundings. When you can accept the fault in all these things, and still see the beauty in all of them, you will find peace, and with peace comes love. This took me a long time to figure out, but learning to let go of outcomes and just enjoy the journey– without the need to have a final destination– has brought a ton of peace, and as a result, love into my life. Everyone around me can see it, so it is not just me, and these past few months I have truly learned to appreciate love’s healing power– it is a miracle cure beyond words.
There is only one thing I would add to this formula for happiness– and no, it is not sex– that falls into the category of love, and I think I’ve sufficiently blogged about, especially this past week. More than anything else above, what I have always appreciated in my family and friends is their ability to make me laugh, and I think they would say the same about me. It is crucial to have a sense of humor if you are going to survive this game called life, and to all of you that have made me laugh throughout the years– I can’t tell you what a critical role you played in preserving my positive spirit.
So, make sure you do eat, pray, and love (in EVERY sense of that word), but above all make sure you LAUGH! I’m not sure when my time here on Earth will end, but hopefully I won’t leave any doubt that I had fun– and my sincere wish is that all those around me will say a good time was had by us all!
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.