One of the great stories that I have read and reread, that I always keep handy on my book shelf, is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I want to share an excerpt from this story because it moves me and I hope it will move you too.
( Begin) “Even though I complain sometimes it (his heart) said, it’s because I am the heart of a person, and people’s hearts are that way. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams because they feel they don’t deserve them, or that they won’t be able to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away, or of moments that could have been good, but weren’t, or treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because when these things happen we suffer terribly.”
“My heart is afraid it will have to suffer,” said the boy.
“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 an encounter with God.
When I have been truly searching for my treasure every hour has been luminous because every hour has been a part of the dream. When I have been truly searching for my treasure I discover things along the way that I never would have seen had I not had the courage to try things that seemed impossible to achieve.
Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits them. Unfortunately very few follow the path laid out for them. They just go along and see the world as a threatening place, and because they do, the world does indeed turn out to be a threatening place. We, their hearts, speak more and more softly for we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”
“Why don’t people’s hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?” asked the boy.
“Because that’s what makes hearts suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.”
“What you still need to know is this: Before a dream is realized, the soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. That’s the point, as we say in the desert, that one dies of thirst just as the palm trees have appeared on the horizon. Every search begins with beginner’s luck and ends with being severely tested. The darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn.” (End)
I am touched by this conversation because of it’s truth, it’s vulnerability, it’s absolute wisdom. If you don’t understand it then I propose that you have never tried for your biggest dream, never dared risk that big. Once you have, this passage can bring you to tears. Once you have you will know if you persevered through those final tests. But if you gave up, it’s time to live big, to start again on the wild and brave journey of being all you imagine. This is an idea that we’ll look at further in a future podcast. It’s about following our dreams despite our fears. It’s about listening to our hearts. It’s about persevering all the way to the end! Now those are big, delicious topics. Tears, fears and all.