I have a pet peeve.
Eat, Pray, Love ideology
It’s what I call the Eat, Pray, Love ideology.
I’m referring to the book by Elizabeth Gilbert that was later made into a movie starring Julia Roberts. In the story, Gilbert decides to leave her husband because she isn’t happy and goes country-hopping looking to fill the void. In Italy she discovers food, in India she searched for spirituality, and in Indonesia she finds a lover.
My problem isn’t as much the content as it is the ideology behind it. It centers around this sentiment:
“I deserve to be happy and that happiness must be somewhere else because I’m not completely satisfied.”
That’s such crap.
(Yes, that’s a technical term.)
Stop looking outward
We hear these stories all the time. So-and-so goes off to “find” themselves on a journey through the country or around the world. In each case it’s an outward exploration.
We’re too quick to blame our happiness on circumstances. On other people. We allow them to change our feelings like we’re being blown about by the wind.
But to really change ourselves and find happiness, we must begin to look inward.
We think we need a plane ticket and a love affair, when all we really need is a Bible and a mirror.
Stopping looking out there, and look in here. Meaning in your heart.
We can control our feelings. We don’t have to be victims of circumstance. Bad things happening don’t have to equal bad feelings.
How to find happiness
We all say we want to find a life of significance. The irony is that God has not only given us one, but He told us how to discover it.
The only way to live a life of true significance is to accept Jesus as your Lord and savior, and then follow His will for your life. Here’s what Jesus said in the book of John, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
That’s it. That’s the secret. You can save your money.
You don’t need to go to India to find happiness. You just need to act more and more like Jesus every day.
We all feel the burdens of loneliness and insignificance at some point in our lives. But the reason we have those feelings is because we live in a fallen world that is far from God. Those feelings leave what is sometimes referred to as “a God-shaped hole” in our lives.
So to try and fill the void with anything but God simply isn’t going to work. The only way you will find happiness is through actively seeking and obeying God’s will for your life.
I struggled with this
I used to struggle with these same sentiments. I never took any outward journeys, but I wrestled with the thoughts constantly. I never felt fulfilled in anything. Like something was missing. Everything was about something or someone else.
But 4 years ago I gave my life over to God. I was tired of trying to figure out my life on my own. I needed help.
My life since then has been totally changed. I found my passion (writing), my gifts (teaching, knowledge and discernment), and am married to a wife that sharpens my faith every day.
All because I chose to look inward.
Share your thoughts
Do you think I got it all wrong? Have you struggled with this in your life? I would love to hear from you in the comments.