"Everything really is going to be okay. (And if not okay, then at least comic.)"
Elizabeth Gilbert — she of Eat, Pray, Love fame; she who starts her Facebook posts with “Dear Ones:” like she knows us; she who seems to admit that her personal happiness is her goal supreme — I call her the cilantro of writers. The people who love her, really love her. The people who hate her, well... they really hate her.
Me, I’m the rare individual who’s pretty flexible on both cilantro and Gilbert: I might not seek either one out, but put the former on a taco or tell me I should check out an essay by the latter, and I’ll indulge.
Granted, when it comes to Gilbert, I can deliver a startlingly judgy riff on why she’s everything that’s wrong with people today, but then I can come out the other side and say, but she kind of does have a point. And often her points are best delivered in nugget-sized bites, rather than unending Julia Roberts film adaptations of her book (no, you can’t pay me to see that).
So, here are 28 Elizabeth Gilbert quotes on love and life that include her best bursts of wisdom curated to (I hope) not leave a bad taste in your mouth.
On love, commitment, and heartbreak:
"This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something." — Elizabeth Gilbert
2. "To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow — this is a human offering that can border on miraculous." — Elizabeth Gilbert
3. "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." — Elizabeth Gilbert
4. "You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words."— Elizabeth Gilbert
"Infatuation is not quite the same thing as love; it's more like love's shady second cousin who's always borrowing money and can't hold down a job."— Elizabeth Gilbert
6. "But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilling yearnings." — Elizabeth Gilbert
On creating art (and also life):
7. "In the end, creativity is a gift to the creator, not just the audience."— Elizabeth Gilbert
8. "Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit."— Elizabeth Gilbert
"The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them."— Elizabeth Gilbert
10. "Fear is boring, because fear only ever has one thing to say to us, and that thing is: 'STOP!'"— Elizabeth Gilbert
11. "Your own reasons to make art are reason enough. Create whatever causes a revolution in your own heart."— Elizabeth Gilbert
On thinking and wishing:
12. "You’re wishin’ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be."— Elizabeth Gilbert
"You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions."— Elizabeth Gilbert
14. "As smoking is to the lungs, so is resentment to the soul; even one puff is bad for you."— Elizabeth Gilbert
15. "I have never seen any transformation that didn’t begin with someone finally getting tired of their own bullsh*t."— Elizabeth Gilbert
On how to live happily:
16. "People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you're fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly."
"You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight."— Elizabeth Gilbert
18. "Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy."— Elizabeth Gilbert
On things to appreciate:
19. "Dear me, how I love a library."— Elizabeth Gilbert
"I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair."— Elizabeth Gilbert
21. "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."— Elizabeth Gilbert
22. "Italian men are like show poodles. Sometimes they look so good I want to applaud."— Elizabeth Gilbert
On traveling toward wisdom:
"Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation."— Elizabeth Gilbert
24. "I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, 'There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history: How much do you love me? And, Who's in charge?'"— Elizabeth Gilbert
25. "You won't be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies when you finally realize this liberating truth: nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow."— Elizabeth Gilbert
26. "Some days are meant to be counted, others are meant to be weighed."— Elizabeth Gilbert
And, finally, two times she nailed the whole thing:
27. "Everything really is going to be okay. (And if not okay, then at least comic.)"— Elizabeth Gilbert
"It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away."— Elizabeth Gilbert