Photo: @propaganda, Twitter.
Case Study: Liz Gilbert.
Yo! Let me tell you about Elizabeth Gilbert.
I discovered her late 2016, when I stumbled on her TED talks on creativity. Which you should watch by the way.
She had me at hello. She has this thing about her, like she commands some kind of mastery of brilliance. Like she wasn’t too intellectual that she couldn’t be playful and she wasn’t so wimpy that she could be mature. She resonated balance. Everything about her inspired me. Her writing, her thinking. Don’t misunderstand me, I did not agree with everything she believes and put in paper, but her approach to life and art was something that caught my eye. Anyway, my infatuation with her bloomed. I was on this journey of reading everything she has ever written, including her article-like Facebook posts. Love makes us do crazy things like that (so they say). I was really slow at reading Eat, Pray, Love, the second book of hers I was reading, so I downloaded the movie and decided to watch instead.
The story centers on her (Liz’s) experiences from traveling to three different countries to find herself after a nasty divorce, followed by another heartbreak of sorts. It’s funny; the whole idea of travel and taking off for a year like this (even though she has always loved traveling) was because she once visited Bali, met a medicine man who predicted she was going to come back and stay with him in Bali for a while. He prophesied a stream of other things. But the one I’d like you to keep in mind is that she, Liz, would be married twice in her life time, one short, the other long.
Liz learnt to eat in Italy, to pray in India and found love (unexpectedly) in Bali. Fast forward to about 12 years after. Liz is a best-selling author, with a movie adaptation under her belt. She has gone ahead to write other books, but none ever really surpasses the grandiose success of Eat, Pray, Love. People have been inspired. People has moved on from unhappy marriages because of her. She has been a source of hope of sorts. But imagine my shock when I found out that Liz had once again left her husband of 12 years, for… wait for it… A woman.
I’m going to let that settle in.
No, I don’t have beef with gay people. It isn’t really about that. It’s about how disappointed I felt as a reader of this woman’s work. Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I get the whole finding love thing. The whole find what works for you thing but you know what breaks my heart and just loosens all my screws when I think about this story. It’s all the people. All the people who idolized this story. That read it and went “holy smokes I’m going to divorce my husband too, travel the world too, find true love too and live happily ever after too“. You know why people even think like that in the first place? It’s because we’ve been programmed somewhere along evolution (or whatever) that someone doing something and most times succeeding at it also gives us permission to do that stuff and maybe, just maybe even succeed too. You guys, I dare say, shit doesn’t go down like that. Like we really need to learn to stop following and trusting totally in people. In the end there are just peopleand they are screwed up too and they don’t know what they are doing too. Me included. This is earth and we are all novices. Yes, some people know how to jam words together and make you feel like they have it all figured out and maybe they think they do too. Some people sing and it feels like the world is at their feet because you know, it kinda is in that moment. But let’s not forget, in this clumsy world we live in, we are all just people. Just people. And we blow things up all the time. Don’t roll your eyes like you don’t know. I mean, you get mad when your browser is a wee bit slower than usual. You get tired. You sleep. You worry. I mean, do you get me? We’re just people. Without God, we are just people. You people already know, me I’m like on another level. Lol. But that’s talk for later. All I want you to see, and maybe even just think on for sometime is how really alike and human we all are. Cut people some slack. And glory. And time. And mind. And just pour love. And let it go.
Choose to follow God. He doesn’t change his mind y’all. When God says marriages are forever. Like it isn’t about whether or not you are feeling it. It just is. You make it work, you stick it out. You can do all things. You can handle it. Better believe him. Cause let me tell you, happiness is where you believe it is. And that doesn’t even guarantee it will last. But the Joy that comes from God? Oh how it sticks. Oh how it follows you.
To be honest, Liz is still a magician with words. She’s a beautiful, brilliant person to me in many ways. But you know what? She is just a person. And I’ll let her be that (no more) in my heart and mind. If we can all learn to live like that, maybe empathy would be more real and unscripted.
Love & love—O