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Saturday, March 4, 2006

From Paolo Coelho

Eleven Minutes
Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn't have the courage to say "yes" to life?

I've realized that sometimes you get no second chance and that it's best to accept the gifts the world offers you. If I must be faithful to someone or something, then I have, first of all, to be faithful to myself. If I'm looking for true love, I first have to get the mediocre love out of my system. The little experience of life I've had has taught me that no one owns anything, that everything is an illusion - and that applies to material as well as spiritual things. Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realize that nothing really belongs to them.

And if nothing belongs to me, then there's no point wasting my time looking after things that aren't mine; it's best to live as if today were the first (or last) day of my life.
On Closing Cycles
One always has to know when a stage comes to an end.
If we insist on staying longer than the necessary
time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the
other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles,
shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we
give it, what matters is to leave in the past the
moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship
come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house?
Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship
ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time
wondering why this has happened. You can tell
yourself you won't take another step until you find
out why certain things that were so important and so
solid in your life have turned into dust, just like
that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing
for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or
wife, your friends, your children, your sister,
everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over
new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all
feel bad seeing you at a standstill.

None of us can be in the present and the past at the
same time, not even when we try to understand the
things that happen to us. What has passed will not
return: we cannot for ever be children, late
adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards
our parents, lovers who day and night relive an
affair with someone who has gone away and has not
the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and
the best we can do is to let them really go away.
That is why it is so important (however painful it
may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of
things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books
you have at home.

Everything in this visible world is a manifestation
of the invisible world, of what is going on in our
hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also
means making some room for other memories to take
their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach
yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with
marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we
lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not
expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius
to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop
turning on your emotional television to watch the
same program over and over again, the one that shows
how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is
only poisoning you, nothing else.

Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love
relationships that are broken off, work that is
promised but there is no starting date, decisions
that are always put off waiting for the "ideal
moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old
one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has
passed will never come back. Remember that there was
a time when you could live without that thing or
that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is
not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even
be difficult, but it is very important. Closing
cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or
arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits
your life.

Shut the door, change the record, clean the house,
shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and
change into who you are.

"Love is a commitment of the heart that will stand
the test of wavering emotions, intellectual
rationalizing, circumstantial allure, hormonal
infatuation, and even the wounds of your lover.
Anything less is not true love."

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It is always refreshing to know what is in your mind. Thanks!