It's 3 a.m. and the bathroom floor has Elizabeth Gilbert sobbing. She's in her thirties, she's got a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. Later, a divorce and a turbulent love affair, she emerges battered and confused and realizes that it's time to go on her ... own journey in search of three things she's missed: pleasure, devotion and balance. So she's traveling to Rome where she learns Italian from beautiful, brown-eyed identical twins and earns twenty-five pounds; an ashram in India where she finds that enlightenment involves getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor; and Bali, where an indeterminate-age toothless medicine man offers her a new path to peace: just sit still and smile. And happiness begins to slowly creep up on her.
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.
We search for happiness everywhere, but we are like Tolstoy's fabled beggar who spent his life sitting on a pot of gold, under him the whole time. Your treasure--your perfection--is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the buy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart.