Forgiveness is key

eat, pray, loveIn Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love she describes the year she took off to explore pleasure and devotion. She chose to spend 4 months each in Italy, India and Bali to immerse herself in what each place did best. In Italy she studied Italian and ate (gaining 23 pounds from pasta and pastry). In India she prayed and studied at an ashram. In Bali she focused on balance.

She had no intention of falling in love along the way. In fact, she’d promised herself she’d be celibate the whole year. But good intentions and promises were seduced away by a loving, sincere man.

The part that is relevant to DG readers is that she realized she could only be open to the love she unconsciously craved if she forgave herself and her past loves for whatever needed to be forgiven. Throughout much of the book she has recurring upset about her marriage’s painful dissolution, and a subsequent intense love affair. No matter how much she enjoyed herself in Italy, or how much she meditated and prayed in India, the old wounds kept surfacing. Only after a concentrated session of forgiving everyone involved, was she able to become the person that attracted and allowed in a loving, sane, mature man.

What this illustrates is that if we have bitterness in our heart from any past loves, it will keep others at a distance. By forgiving yourself and them, you allow space for a great one to appear.

I don’t know what you’re planning to do tonight before you turn out the light, but I’m planning to turn up the volume on my forgiveness practice.

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5 responses to “Forgiveness is key”

  1. Christine Avatar

    I absolutely LOVED this book! It pointed out how much I had to forgive myself for my relationship mistakes, give myself the space to heal, and get on with the business of living after my painful breakup. I heartily recommend this book to all DG readers!

  2. Ally Avatar

    I read a book two years ago titled “Calling in the One”. It was essentially a 7-week exercise in forgiveness in order to prepare yourself for “The One”, with daily exercises. It was pretty tough, emotionally, but very helpful. I had no idea when I purchased the book that this would be the thrust, but I have to say, forgiveness is key.

    I think it very similar to the book The Artist’s Way.

  3. Lulu Avatar

    I enjoyed this book too, though it was often hard going. They key is that she forgives herself, as well as others. Crucially, she leaves her marriage because it isn’t what she wants, even though other people thinks she’s wrong to do so, and the hurt she causes by not meeting other people’s expectations makes her feel guilty. (She hasn’t got children, and this is crucial in her being free to make this decision).

  4. PreviouslyQueenofE Avatar

    I also loved this book, I identified so much with the author. I read it twice and then bits and pieces again, and I loved the way she wrote about – me! Yes, she forgives herself, and learns to trust herself. One of the things that I have adopted for myself in my current situation – single and healing – is an Italian saying she wrote about: Devo formi il ossa. I must make my bones. I am making my bones strong now, so that I can be in another relationship without losing myself. Enjoying this blog immensely, DG!

  5. Mitsy Avatar

    I think part of healing is truly forgiving yourself for making unwise choices when it comes to men and dating. If I had it to do over, I would have told the one guy to contact me AFTER he was divorced. I didn’t because I was lonely, disillusioned by the whole online dating game, and truly believed he would be divorced very soon (at least that was his line). I learned a very hard lesson because I got hurt by a guy who I was actually was NOT in love with. I felt betrayed and disrespected though and it was partly because I let myself get sucked into his life. I know why it happened and it took me a good 7-8 months to finally feel “over” the betrayal and actually move on from it.