3 Life Lessons From Eat, Pray, Love

The other week I reviewed one of my non-fictional favorite movies. It might have been the third or fourth time I watched it, but it is amazing how we always find different nuggets of wisdom each time we watch or read something again. Elizabeth, the main character, has a story that always resonated with me. At first, I didn’t know why exactly but over the years I have gained clarity and insight into my own behavior and feelings around relationships.

The Book
Buy it here
The Movie
Rent it here

In the movie, there is a line that reasonably describes the relationship between individuals who have what Ross Rosenberg calls “Human Magnet Syndrome”. According to this condition, we either have a positive or negative charge that makes us feel attracted to people who display the opposite force. Those who are oriented toward the needs of others are negatively charged, while those who are oriented toward their own needs are positively charged. They attract each other mostly through an unconscious process and they often lock themselves into a relationship from which they feel they can’t resist or break free.

In this type of relationship, individuals have no conscious intention or choice over their mating preferences and decisions. They are ruled by the push and pull magnetic dynamic that such a connection gives them, becoming blind to potential problems and already existent red flags. This is likely the number one reason why unhealthy empaths tend to feel attracted to narcissists, and vice-versa. These individuals are highly compatible but they can never become a fully functional and healthy couple as the relationship brings a lot of suffering and dissatisfaction.

The book and movie Eat, Pray, Love offers us a good overview of the Human Magnet Syndrome in action as well as how that magnet evolves once we decide upon the path of self-discovery and seek to heal any dysfunctional patterns and traits that lead us over and over again to feeling broken and miserable in any type of relationship. The good news is that the more you keep committed to a healthy relationship with yourself, the happier and healthier connections you will build in the future. Time won’t solve all your problems unless you do the necessary work yourself and part of that work involves the following lessons, also retrieved from Eat, Pray, Love.

1. If Your Heart is Wounded, That Means You Fought For Something

They might have been foolish fights, but you did fight for something you thought to be important for you. I don’t regret the night I took a bus and did 500Km to be with a man I thought I was in love with. It was pouring rain and I had never been in that city before. Still, I wasn’t scared. Today, I wouldn’t do it. No; but at that time I didn’t want or I didn’t know how to spot red flags. I didn’t know that love had nothing to do with building castles in the sky. I don’t regret the fact I fought for something meaningful to me but I recognize today I had a wrong notion of what love is.

2. You Don’t Need a (Wo)Man, You Need a Champion

When we desperately want a relationship (or think we need one), it means we are lacking in self-knowledge and life meaning. We don’t know ourselves as individuals and we avoid doing anything that can lift the veil and tell us that we are impostors. We don’t know how to be present for ourselves and we don’t know how to live our own life. The more you know yourself though, and the more you learn how to live the life your soul asks you to, the more you will wish to share your life with a partner that resonates, accepts, and supports your true you. No one needs a partner; we choose a partner and we must choose him or her well. The likelihood of finding the right partner for you increases the more you know and act from your true self.

3. To Lose Balance For Love Is Part of Living a Balanced Life

The search for the self and the search for balance after years and years of unhealthy relationships is tough because unhealthy relationships are mainly caused by a lack of boundaries and a good sense of who you are. Setting boundaries and defining ourselves as individuals when we spent most of our life mirroring other people’s needs and expectations is a hard and fine art. When we finally think we are in a good place and that we did all the work that had to be done, the fear of going back to our “old self” kicks in when we face the possibility of a new relationship. What if you lose yourself again? What if you lose the balance that it was so hard to achieve? The truth is that life is made of experiences and we can’t live with our hearts shut down forever. Trust your healing process and use reason to assess and discern reality. That way you are likely to make the best decision for yourself.

Is Happiness a Realistic Goal?

realistic goal and a desirable one. It is rather impossible to be happy all the time, of course, and it is rather difficult to be in a pure state of bliss on a regular basis. However, we can aim to develop skills and strategies that enhance our level of consciousness.

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Published by The Wellbeing Blogger

Wellbeing Designer, here to help you make Art with your Life

23 thoughts on “3 Life Lessons From Eat, Pray, Love

  1. Wow! This is a great read and honestly just what I needed. I have let many narcissists control me over my entire life and am just now seeing it in my thirties. I’m going to reread this to solidify everything!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can relate to that so much ☹️ So many times I let myself stay in a relationship with controlling / emotional / selfish abusive men just because I couldn’t see / believe that I deserve better. And I’m so happy you found someone who allows you to be yourself and that supports you throughout this journey. Your posts and shared experiences help me a lot to keep doing the work and remain optimist that one day I will also find the right man and have a beautiful family (🙈 I used to be ashamed of this goal). Thank you VERY MUCH for sharing and writing about these topics ♥️

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      1. I feel your pain so much on this 😭 you DO deserve so much more than what narcissists give, because the literally only take from the kind, empathetic people like you. Having a family is definitely not a goal to be ashamed of, I understand feeling apprehensive about it too, especially if you’ve always been treated wrong. I also went through that with feeling like I wasn’t doing something fulfilling enough (because I was criticized by a narcissist close to me for my life) by settling down. But as I see it, when you find the person who you can be 100% yourself with, who is safe, peaceful and giving, but can also receive equally- it becomes a very fulfilling and lovely life. My staying home with children is the cycle I am in at this point, but someday I’ll have time to focus on a career as well. Keep being true to your personal standards and healing traumas from narcissists and I know one day you’ll find the person who is good for you because they’ll be clear as day💜💜💜 I am really happy my topics help in some way!!

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      2. Your topics help a lot 😊 I don’t know much people who understand or know about these things. It’s like that sensation when being with a narc – “Am I crazy for feeling this way??”. I feel what you say about finding someone like that. I have questioned my need to be in a relationship but I’m now aware it’s part of my life’s mission, to find that person. I thought I had found but lost him in a blink of an eye. Probably wasn’t the one and try to be rational, but it hurts like hell. Your story definitely inspires me and instead of closing myself down as I used to do I’m letting my heart open as much as I can, waiting for that person that will be clear as the sky. I’m tearing up here now too, oh well 😅 it’s funny at the same time, I guess we both together would have to have tons of Kleenex and ice cream 🙈😂 hahah thank you for this ♥️


      3. YES! You feel totally crazy around them because their behavior is constantly contradicting itself. I always feel really disoriented after spending time around narcs. Thats great you’re figuring out your life path, keep being you! You’ll find the person someday 💕 it can feel really confusing when you have feelings for someone even when they’re not the right one, I went though that many times too. I wish we could sit and talk with Kleenex and ice cream, haha! Maybe some coffee too 😁

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  2. I absolutely love this 💕 I fell in love with this film before I even watched it. I love Julia Roberts anyway, but I just knew that I would be able to resonate with her character. It took me a few years to actually watch the film. I was excited to watch it, but being in an unhappy relationship at the time, I knew it would have such a profound impact on me, that I needed to be better prepared before I watched it. When I finally watched it, I loved it even more, but I was in a happier place. I think perhaps, that right now, I am closest to her character in many ways. Fed up of relationships that make me feel trapped, fed up of changing myself to accommodate other people, fed up of giving myself up to please others. For the first time in my life I can see clearly. I can see and understand the importance of getting to know me on this wonderful journey of self discovery. For the first time in my life, I am not looking for a man to complete me. For the first time in my life, I am considering, that even if another man does come along, I don’t want to give me up. For the first time in my life, I am considering what life would be like in a relationship without moving in together, living separate lives, but having a wonderful time with that person (when they appear on my horizon), when we’re together. I am finally putting less pressure on myself to conform with the so called ‘norm’.

    Thank you for sharing this post Vanessa. It has made me so excited for the future. I also now really want to watch the film again, or perhaps I will treat myself to the book for my trip to the Algarve next month ☺️✈️💕🏖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks to YOU for such powerful message, WOW. I read it yesterday night and I’ve been processing it myself. I’m so glad you’re in that mindset and you have been doing such an incredible job at exploring and taking care of you. I would totally recommend the book, it’s a very nice reading, and perhaps it would be good companion for the trip! 🏖 ✈️ it’s such a tough journey and sometimes I go a bit crazy when I look around and everyone is in a relationship, or married, or happily settled… there are few people who understand these issues and how they take so much from our energy and wellbeing. Thanks for sharing your experience and motivation, I needed to read your words too! ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of my favourite movie a great entertainment, in real life she married twice. I have a question maybe you answer well. If a person is married or in a relationship or in love, that person cannot be happy or well being or focusing itself? or you mean you have to find someone who remove all your worries, fears and self-destructive habits? Can you please name 10 people in the world who died lonely and were very successful and have an amazing self-care or well being? I mean if you look successful people or world genius like Bill gates who gave us the opportunity to use computers in a better way, Barak & Michelle Obama, Richard Branson, Steve jobs, Jeff Bezos, Nelson Mandela, William Shakespeare, Mohammad Ali and many more have or had an amazing health also give a lot to the world and are/ were married or in love. You may name Dalai Lama or Mother Teresa but they devoted their love to the other world and teach them to love people around you and find your self care and well being yourself with easing your worries. Spiritual speaker Sadguru said “you can not suffer the past or future because they do not exist what you are suffering is your memory and your imaginations.” What do you think if we live in present rather than in the past or future would help to enjoy the moment and we can discover the answer for present not for the past or for the future?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Those are great questions, thanks for sharing them! I can only speak from my level of consciousness and life perspective – I think that living in the present is very important and a way to reduce the suffering generated by ruminating the past and obsessing over the future. My perspective on well-being is a very holistic one – one can have health and not wellbeing, but the other way around I don’t think it’s possible. For some people, being in love or being in a partnership is a source of happiness and self-realisation, while for others not so much. Studies have suggested that people who have sustainable relationships feel less lonely, live longer, and experience greater well-being. I think the quality of a relationship matters, but before that you also have to personally value a relationship as a source of well-being / happiness / fulfilment. We grow and discover ourselves through the eyes of others too, so in that sense relationships can show us what we need to work on ourselves, but no one else can remove our own worries, fears, and negative habits. The other person can only function as a mirror – of our best or worst self. It’s up to us to then build or acknowledge that Self which I believe is ever present – we are simply not aware or conscious of it. To add to the past / future topic, I don’t take it as all or nothing, because I think the past holds important lessons and the future holds the creative and innovative sparkle of our human development. As long as we approach the past and the future in a balanced way, I think there’s nothing wrong with visiting them both. Let me know your thoughts and whether I answered to your questions 🙂 They are really great and made me think 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks for your reply and for your answer so kind of you, So how to have a sustainable relationships? or find one?
        Past & Future reference i gave it was about not to live in the past or get worry about that because that’s gone learn your lesson and move on and no one know about the future you can plan your life set your 10 years goal and in first year die with cancer or in a road accident so don’t scarifies your present for your future. Work for the future but do not miss the joyful present moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I would say the answer to that question is simple in theory but very hard in reality. To have a sustainable relationship two people need to be very clear and aware of who they are and why they decide to be in a relationship together. Many relationships start from a negative standpoint which people are not always aware of in the present. Sometimes people get confused and jump into a relationship because they think they like the other person, but in fact they are just afraid of being alone or think it’s the right thing to do. It’s hard to have sustainable relationships these days because most people seem rather lost, with no clue of who they are, where they are going, etc. I think it’s important to make sure we work on these topics in ourselves first so we can then recognise someone else who did the same internal work – especially if we want to avoid repeating the same negative relationship patterns.

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      5. Is there any psychological fact about this or psychological study/ research? or it’s just your personal experience which you sharing. I would like to know more about this and research on it because i did not have any success in my relationships i only had 3 relationships lol. I do not have low self esteem, anxiety, self-consciousness etc etc sometime i get stress but 2 of my ex’s has these issues they took me with them on a love journey and when we met they were not feeling lonely and they told me they are ready for a relationship very clearly the reason i asked them this because i didn’t want to jump with someone who are not sure about starting a relationship or not ready even though they were rejected by some guys already but they assure me they are ready for a new start. My recent ex has these issues she overcome few of them and i used to read about how these situations effect an individual and how you help an individual in these situations. I am not a doctor or psychologist but i wanted to help my ex partner because i was in love with her but due to my own personal reasons i was in stress and was dealing with my own personal life issues which i did not want to share with her as i knew that she could not handle it well and i did not want to share that situation with anyone else at that time i think it caused a distance between us, because of my previous experiences i wanted to know about this so if i ever meet a person with these issues i would be able to handle it better. Sorry to be a pain lol

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I hear you. There are a lot of studies and books on this subject, many of them not very useful sometimes because each case is a case. I get from what you describe that you are in general a supportive partner and that after going through a period of stress your relationship dynamic changed. This happens quite often in relationships. For example (and this is just a hypothesis), you had a good intention when you kept things for yourself, but your partner might have felt that and interpreted as some sort of “disconnection”. Again, each case is a case… but if something like this happens, and if feelings, expectations, values, and some other details became incompatible between partners through time, relationships may not endure and thrive after change. Others do and survive. It’s always very difficult to know for sure what’s going on another person’s mind too – most people are not fully aware of traumas, beliefs, emotions, and behaviours that only get triggered when they are already in the relationship. During periods of stress and changes, partners sometimes start to reflect and see things differently. For many it’s not easy to communicate they want to leave either. And when someone doesn’t really reciprocate the same feelings it doesn’t really matter how much good we were or how much we helped them. It doesn’t mean we are not worthy or that we shouldn’t have done it; it just means that there is no compatibility between two different individuals and when one doesn’t want it anymore, two can’t do it. I’m sorry you went through stress and on top of that you lost your relationship. It also happened to me a few years back and it’s a hell, but if the relationship wasn’t meant to be, in the future you will see that things had to work out as they did. I will leave you two links of articles that might be interesting somehow:

        – 10 Reasons Why Relationships fail

        – Why Failed Relationships are a Myth

        – TedTalk: Relationships are hard, but why?


    1. I’m glad you liked it too dear Carolyn! 😍 There are some other precious gems in there, maybe they will come through another post when I watch it for the 4th or 5th time hehe 🙈😘😘😘

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This article pretty much described my last 3 to 4 years, but instead of a bus, I took a plane about 11 years ago. I have zero regrets about that and I remember very vividly telling myself that I should pursue this even if I end up hurt.
    But the three parts complelty reflect how I went into the relationship and how I got out.

    Luckily I found books and philosophy to help guide me. I also set some strict ground rules for myself on how to get through emotional times when judgement can be clouded.

    Thanks again for another excellent read!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Personally, I guess the red flag will always be there but because of the level of comfort and not wanting to change the situation, some people tend to ignore their instincts and just be fine with what’s given to them. Great topic to focus on @wellbeing blogger. Really insightful.


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