Day 8 of Write31Days:
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
If you’ve never read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, stop reading this now and go get that book. It’s quite simply one of the most inspiring reads of all time. I won’t go in to all the details, but I will give some reasons as to how it’s inspired me. It’s about a Spanish shepherd boy who goes in search of buried treasure in Egypt. Walking along the way, he meets a variety of wonderfully brilliant characters and discovers mysteries of the world and himself. It is the story of listening to your intuition and following your dreams.
Throughout the tale, you’re rooting for the young boy to find what he’s looking for and feel his pain along the way. Many of his struggles come from his expectations of what he’ll find and learn. He has to come to terms with what he sees and feels versus what he thinks and wants to happen. Often he feels like he’ll never reach his destination or find his treasure. Then he becomes afraid of what he may find. The unknown that had excited him enough to leave his familiar life becomes a source of fear instead.
Luckily, he continues his journey and realizes that the moments of suffering are vastly worth the prize. I won’t tell you the ending, but suffice it to say that the destination was not nearly as important as the journey. For it was the journey and the connections along the way that make sense of the destination. The mountains always looks taller from its base. By reaching your mountaintop of self-discovery, you can see clearly how all the seemingly random events and trials have formed and shaped you. They are encounters with eternity.
Over to you now… when have you followed your heart and soul and where did it lead? Was it worth any suffering along the way?
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