By Courtney Stovall, Co-Founder of bounceback.com
This weekend the much-anticipated "Eat, Pray, Love" premiered in theatres starring Julia Roberts as Liz Gilbert, the divorcee and author who spent a year in Italy, India and Indonesia attempting and hoping to find some purpose in her life.
If you haven't read the book, read it. More importantly, I would suggest reading it before seeing the movie. It will create a deeper understanding of and connection to the storyline, which in the movie is slightly overshadowed by intoxicating scenery and, well, Javier Bardem.
From a personal perspective, I felt two connections to the storyline. One, BounceBack was created as a result of my own "Eat, Pray, Love" trip abroad. I left my career and life in New York in 2008 and traveled Europe and South America alone for 12 weeks. I felt a connection to Liz's desire to find meaning, balance, and most importantly, find herself again after getting lost in the whirlwind of the city and social scene. And two, more recently, after a devastating heartbreak, I found myself feeling lost again, questioning myself and my patterns in relationships, just as Liz realized she was always "becoming" whatever person she needed to be based on each relationship she was in.
Most likely, though, you're familiar with Liz's story, so I don't want to spend time writing a standard "movie review." Bottom line: it's the ultimate movie for finding oneself and bouncing back and should be seen by anyone who's been through a breakup or divorce, for the message and the message alone.
And what exactly is that message? Forgive. Forgive yourself. Do it NOW, and then let it go. Liz befriends Richard from Texas at the ashram in India, and Richard tells her the most important thing she can do to move on is forgive herself for all of the things that brought her to the current situation.
Mistakes happen, but that's it. They happen, and you move on. You learn from it. But you can't get back to who you really are unless you accept what's happened and forgive yourself - at that point, you can get back to being comfortable and even happy with who you are. And it's when that happens that your inner beauty shines through, you see and speak through your heart, and you won't have to change a thing about yourself in order to love and be loved.
Once in Bali and confronted with the possibility of finding love, Liz talks about the "physics of the quest" - which is a new twist on the "everything happens for a reason" cliché, but I like it. It's about the journey, the quest, and not the destination, but it's crucial that as things happen to you along your quest, good and bad, you must accept them as part of the overall plan - the physics of your life - and you will find that happiness is attainable.
It's hard to imagine it can happen when it's Julia and Javier on the screen, but it's true. Forgive yourself, and it will happen.
BounceBack is helping people find happiness after heartbreak from a relationship breakup or divorce. It's a place to tell your story, get advice from experts, and share what you've learned with others in similar situations. Heartbreaks happen to everyone. And we believe everyone has the potential to bounce back to life and move forward. www.bounceback.com
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