La Joie de Vivre


With Valentine’s Day being celebrated around the city, the scent of roses, the sight of heart shaped balloons et cookies and couples parading everywhere, here I share two stories about Amour (Love).

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The book opens with a high-achieving, wealthy “career girl” in her early 30s, living au grand luxe with her husband in New York.  Elizabeth leaves her bad marriage and then falls in love with David – her soul mate and despite her best efforts to not think about him, she just cannot stop loving him.  Elizabeth’s friend Richard shares insights on “soul mate”, which was interesting.

“Soul mate” – What does this word mean? People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings yourself to your own attention so you can change your life for the better.  A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your wall and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come to your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave.  And that is the purpose of soul mate 🙂

Elizabeth steps out on a voyage of self-discovery to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India where she lives in an ashram and the art of balancing the two in Indonesia where she finds love and passion.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer Smith

This book is a reminder of power of destiny.  This is a love story of two teenagers Owen and Lucy who are stuck in a lift and start talking to each other.  They stay in the same building in New York and the brief time they spend together leaves a mark.

Lucy soon moves abroad with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

A long distance relationship ensues in which neither of them have committed.  As their lives take them to places, Lucy and Owen stay in touch through postcards and occasional e-mails.

It is all about joy and pain of first love wherein Lucy and Owen discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.

With all due respect to above love stories, I agree with Doe Zantamata that Happiness comes from within and is found in the Present moment by making peace with the Past and looking forward to the Future.  Donc, la joie de vivre est en vous (The joy of life is in you)!

Cheers – Lubna

PS: There is no other joy like reading a book and I have consciously not revealed much of the story and have given you a flavor of what the author wants to say.

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