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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