Eat Pray Love Book Quotes to Inspire Your Best Self

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the best Eat Pray Love book quotes? What do these quotes talk about and how can they inspire you?

These Eat Pray Love book quotes talk about love, self-love, and spirituality. On her journey, Elizabeth Gilbert met many people and made many connections.

Read these five Eat Pray Love book quotes and consider their meaning.

Eat Pray Love Book Quotes

These Eat Pray Love book quotes are about love, God, and finding yourself. A lot of Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey is about her search for God and connecting to her spirituality. Along the way, she connects with herself and finds love.

“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”

Gilbert’s pleasure-seeking was thwarted, however, after only 10 days. She was walking home, admiring the architecture and open displays of love, when she was hit with the sinking sensations of loneliness and depression. She’d stopped taking her antidepressants because she was finding such joy in Italy, but she realized she was not yet healed from the emotional traumas of her past. This is one of the Eat Pray Love book quotes that’s about being true to yourself.

When Gilbert got home, guided by her loneliness and depression, she crawled under her covers in despair. Suddenly, her life seemed frivolous and sad. She didn’t know what she was doing and felt like a failure for her past relationships. She pulled out a small notebook and wrote a message asking for help. This notebook was where she had been communicating with the same voice from that night on the bathroom floor. Like always, the voice guided her to write a response. The message told her that she was loved, that she was not alone, and that she would always be taken care of. Gilbert felt her anxiety slip away and decided not to start her medication again. 

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”

This is one of the Eat Pray Love book quotes about meditation. Gilbert wasn’t meant to meditate with the attendees. But one day, while watching over their silent meditation, she accidentally fell into a meditative state. Without even trying, she’d slipped into turiya. 

Gilbert had a difficult time describing what this state felt like. It wasn’t a hallucination. It wasn’t a major event replete with fanfare and bells and whistles. She described it as a simple occurrence in which she felt the deepest sensation of love in her life. She wasn’t thinking or acting. She was just feeling.

In this state, her heart was wide open and filled with compassion. She felt bonded to everyone and everything. Her thoughts were still there, but she heard them as background noise from a radio. They now seemed inconsequential, as did all of her previous ideas of who she was. Her whole life had been designed around the search for happiness. But here it was all along, inside her. 

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”

She remembered what she’d learned from the Zen teachings—it’s harder to catch sight of yourself in moving water than still water. Was she really going to find God jumping from one train car to the next and one location to another? Everything at the Ashram was designed to support her spiritual transformation. Richard said she’d been invited by God to jump on her personal train of awakening in a beautiful and safe place. Could she really pass that invitation up by stopping the trip halfway? After that, she made the decision to stay. 

Gilbert understood the truth in Richard’s words. Even though she’d had some breakthroughs in her ability to communicate with God, she still hadn’t mastered the art of intentional thought. 

“The Bhagavad Gita–that ancient Indian Yogic text–says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”

 She’d become known as the “Quiet Girl.” But her best-laid plans were waylaid when she was called to the administration office. The administrator told her she would have a new job. This job required a personable, bubbly character who always smiled. Her new role was that of Key Hostess. 

Gilbert laughed. Of course, as soon as she made this grand plan to become something she wasn’t, God stepped in. She remembered her teachings that God lived inside you. Renouncing behaviors or material items in the physical world didn’t change how God saw you. The only thing you needed to do was let go of the barriers and feel your union with God. Who you were would be divine. 

Gilbert saw that who she was as a person was not the problem. Knowing how to be her best self was. She could still be a talker. She could just be a more conscientious and patient talker. She shook the administrator’s hand and happily accepted her new position. 

“There’s a crack (or cracks) in everyone…that’s how the light of God gets in.”

This is one of the best Eat Pray Love book quotes about spirituality. Gilbert’s time in Bali was coming to an end, and there were a few loose strings to tie up. First, Wayan still had not bought land for her house. Gilbert became anxious, knowing the people in America were expecting to hear good news, so she and Felipe threw themselves into the task of helping Wayan secure a property. This process brought them closer together. Wayan finally found a property, and Felipe and Gilbert were free to take a trip before she left. 

Gilbert took Felipe to an island she’d visited after meeting Ketut two years before. She’d spent several days on this island in silence trying to gain control of her pain. She learned that she could acknowledge all her sorrow, anger, and shame and send them away with love. That was the first time she understood the capacity of love in her heart and the first time she felt the presence of God. 

Eat Pray Love Book Quotes to Inspire Your Best Self

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat Pray Love" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Eat Pray Love summary:

  • Why Elizabeth Gilbert needed to divorce her husband
  • How she was able to find joy again in Italy
  • How Gilbert was able to find balance with Felipe

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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