I am a huge Elizabeth Gilbert fan as you might know if you have been following me for sometime. Her book Eat Pray Love opened up my world to new opportunities when I first read it 4 or so years ago. It was the first book I ever read that made me feel more “normal” by reading it. It made me see that there are other women (and men) out here that have to go down dumpy roads in order to get where they really need to be. That it can be scary, hard, lonely and down right depressing at times. And now, years later, Elizabeth still chooses to be very open and real with her followers. She announced today that her and her husband would be divorcing. The same man who was her “happily ever after” will now become another chapter in her life story that she so openly shared with all of us.
I feel like the news of Gilbert’s divorce just makes her seem even more real. More vulnerable and imperfect like every other person on this planet. We all just want the same things. To love and be loved by one another. Shame on the people (media and such) who are bad mouthing her and inadvertently sending ill wishes. Those people are just showing their true colors. That they have hurt in their own hearts but feel the need to level the playing field to feel better about themselves. To have unhappiness bestowed upon the seeming untouchable. Elizabeth Gilbert shared a very personal journey in her life with the world. She gave strength to so many who felt lost and alone in their own lives. She gave hope to everyone else out there that had ever cried on their bathroom floors when they finally realized there was a shift taking place in their own worlds. So what if she is getting divorced again. She is human and there are no guarantees in life. Not for the rich and famous and not for the poor and lonely. None. But I applaud her for choosing to yet again share her imperfections with us.
That is what connects us all. We are all just here trying to figure it out. Maybe if we were more kind to each other in these times of need, things wouldn’t seem so dark and lonely. We wouldn’t stay in relationships that no longer work because of the fear of the masses. What will everyone else think? Who cares! You only get one life and no one else has the right to dictate what goes on in it but you. If, for whatever reason it was no longer working for them, then so be it. I would rather see her separate from something that was not working then to just stay and be unhappy all over again. That’s what people used to do to. Stay for the children. Stay in fear of what the neighbors or other family members may think. Or God forbid, the church. Then 30 years have gone by and those same two people are still together, still unhappy and not any younger.
You can’t get back that time. You can exchange all the unhappy years. You can’t go back. And mostly, you can’t change anyone else but yourself. You can welcome people into your life and your heart. But at the end of the day you are responsible for your own happiness. And life is too short to waste time in the wrong situations.
Below is from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page:
“Dear Ones –
Because I have shared details of my private life with you all so intimately over the years, I feel the need to share with you this recent change in my personal life.
I am separating from the man whom many of you know as “Felipe” — the man whom I fell in love with at the end of the EAT PRAY LOVE journey. He has been my dear companion for over 12 years, and they have been wonderful years. Our split is very amicable. Our reasons are very personal.
At this time of transition, I hope you will respect our privacy. In my heart, I know that you will do so, because I trust that you understand how this is a story that I am living — not a story that I am telling.
I thank you for your love, and for your kindness, and for your continued blessings. Hold us in your thoughts. And I hope you will understand and forgive me if I am a bit absent from social media during this sensitive moment.
Lastly, I wanted to share this poem, written by the poet-of-my-heart Jack Gilbert. This poem has been helping to carry me through this experience. Perhaps it will help some of you, also:
Blessings, and all my love,