Elizabeth Gilbert Quotes (138 Quotes)


    But at some point you have to make peace with what you were given and if God wanted me to be a shy girl with think, dark hair, He would have made me that way, but He didn't. Useful, then, might be to accept how I was made and embody myself fully therein.



    If I'd had any way of knowing that things were- as Lily Tomlin once said- going to get a whole lot worse before they got worse, I'm not sure how I would have slept that night.



    Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.


    What a large number of factors constitute a single human being! How very many layers we operate on, and how very many influences we receive from our minds, our bodies, our histories, our families, our cities, our souls and our lunches!

    But doesn't that make sense? That the infinite would be, indeed... infinite? That even the most holy amongst us would only be able to see scattered pictures of the eternal picture at any given time? And that maybe if we could collect those pieces and compare them, a story about God would begin to emerge that resembles and includes everyone?


    I felt like I was some kind of primitive spring-loaded machine, placed under far more tension than it had ever been built to sustain, about to blast apart at great danger to anyone standing nearby. I imagined my body parts flying off my torso in order to escape the volcanic core of unhappiness that had become: me.




    The Yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition, which I'm going to over-simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment.


    But is it such a bad thing to live like this for just a little while? Just for a few months of one's life, is it so awful to travel through time with no greater ambition than to find the next lovely meal? Or to learn how to speak a language for no higher purpose than that it pleases your ear to hear it? Or to nap in a garden, in a patch of sunlight, in the middle of the day, right next to your favourite fountain? And then to do it again the next day?

    From the most sacred ancient text of Yoga: Oh Krishna, the mind is restless, turbulent, strong, and unyielding. I consider it as difficult to subdue as the wind.






    What Richard is talking about is instead admitting to the existence of negative thoughts, understanding where they came from and why they arrived, and then - with great forgiveness and fortitude - dismissing them.



    I have searched frantically for contentment for so many years in so many ways, and all the acquisitions and accomplishments- they run you down in the end.

    I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.

    Most of humanity, he said, have eyes that are so caked shut with the dust of deception they will never see the truth, no matter who tries to help them.


    There is a theory that if you yearn sincerely enough for a Guru, you will find one. The universe will shift, destiny's molecules will get themselves organized and your path will soon intersect with the path of the master you need.


    But why must everything have a practical application? I'd been such a diligent soldier for years - working, producing, never missing a deadline, taking care of my loved ones, my gums and my credit record, voting, etc. Is this lifetime supposed to be only about duty? In this dark period of loss, did I need any justification for learning Italian other than that it was the only thing I could imagine bringing me any pleasure right now?


    I knew then that this is how God loves us all and receives us all, and that there is no such thing in this universe as hell, except maybe in our own terrified minds. Because if even one broken and limited human being could experience even one such episode of absolute forgiveness and acceptance of her own self, then imagine-just imagine!-what God, in all His eternal compassion, can forgive and accept.

    In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place.

    Most of us, even if only for two minutes in our lives, have experienced at some time or another an inexplicable and random sense of complete bliss, unrelated to anything that was happening in the outside world.


    There's no trouble in this world so serious that it can't be cured with a hot bath, a glass of whiskey, and the Book of Common Prayer.



    God isn't interested in watching you enact some performance of personality in order to comply with some crackpot notion you have about how a spiritual person looks or behaves. We all seem to get this idea that, in order to be sacred, we have to make some massive, dramatic change of character, that we have to renounce our individuality.


    In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.

    Mostly you meet friends when traveling by accident, like by sitting next to them on the train, or in a restaurant, or in a holding cell.

    Soon you start craving that intense attention with the hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is withheld you probably turn sick, crazy and depleted not to mention resentful of the dealer who encourage this addiction in the first place but who now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore despite that you know that he has it hidden somewhere God dammit because you know that he used to give it to you for free.

    This was my voice, but perfectly wise, calm and compassionate. This was what my voice would sound like if I'd only ever experienced love and certainty in my life. How can I describe the warmth of affection in that voice, as it gave me the answer that would forever seal my faith in the divine?

    When I tried this morning, after an hour or so of unhappy thinking, to dip back into my meditation, I took a new idea with me: compassion. I asked my heart if it could please infuse my soul with a more generous perspective on my mind's workings. Instead of thinking that I was a failure, could I perhaps accept that I am only a human being--and a normal one, at that?


    Groceries, you need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you're gonna wear 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. Drop everything else but that. Because if you can't learn to master your thinking, you're in deep trouble forever.


    More Elizabeth Gilbert Quotations (Based on Topics)


    God - Life - Mind - World - Beauty - Work & Career - Thought & Thinking - Love - Time - People - Fate & Destiny - Prayers - Happiness - War & Peace - Yoga - Sense & Perception - Change - Truth - Light - View All Elizabeth Gilbert Quotations

    More Elizabeth Gilbert Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Eat, Pray, Love

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