This seems a little controversial to me. I was introduced to the works of Paulo Coelho by a man I got talking to at the beach 5 years ago. I read a few of Paulo’s books and couldn’t really understand at first why he was so extraordinarily popular as he seemed to be a little egotistical and also simplistic. I think I am drawn to the honesty in his writing. Perhaps that is the drawcard. Honesty takes great courage in the face of society. We hear so many ‘shoulds’ in life that say you mustn’t close the door on this or that, that it’s lazy to give up or rude not to stay in contact with someone or you should persevere with this or that because it builds character. I have heard that family is everything and you should stick with them no matter what. But that ‘what’ is sometimes too high a price to pay and we are all free to walk away if we can be courageous enough to be ourselves and give ourselves what we think we need at any given moment. What is the price of doing something we want instead of something that someone else wants? Guilt usually. Guilt creates a no win situation if you let guilt creep into your life. Banish it immediately!
So I love this quote of Paulo’s. You won’t find too many like it. I love Barbara Sher because she also give you permission. We would find inner peace if we could give ourselves permission. Permission to be ourselves and to ‘do’ ourselves.
When we are bombarded with messages daily, we can choose whose opinions resonate and sit well with us. Barbara Sher gave me permission to stop blogging at any time and it is obvious of course but nice to be reminded. I will blog as long as it suits me which may be another week or forever! She actually gives you permission to stop doing anything you want; that’s it’s OK to do something only for as long as you want. I am a jack of all trades and get wildly excited by certain new things. It could be a song, a handbag, a YouTube video, a person, a recipe, quantum physics, the colour of something, whatever. But if I had to stick with something for too long I would miss out on discovering new things. I would ‘fall off my energy beam’. I think the general consensus is that you should settle down, become an expert in something in order to be successful, or stick with a spouse forever in order to have a successful marriage or have friends you’ve known since kindergarten. How about working at a job for a decent amount of time in order to look good on your resume? There are many examples of where we are encouraged to do, be, know something long past it’s due date.
Paulo implies that we get accused of pride, incapacity or arrogance if we don’t stick with something. Harsh judgements. Who are the people who want you to stick with them? Scared people usually. Why should you stick with a job? To become an ‘expert’ and therefore be a ‘success’, but it’s not a success if you are miserable. Why would you stick with a course of study? To get a certificate you may never need to prove to the world. Why would you stick with a partner? If it’s for what the proverbial neighbours think, you are giving your power, freedom and happiness away unnecessarily.
Is there something you keep in your life, some door you are afraid to close because of guilt even though it leads you nowhere? I close doors with love. Love to go and do your own thing while I go do mine. I long ago learned the lesson that guilt serves absolutely no purpose ever. Who wants more bad feeling in the world that resolves nothing? Does it really make you do something different next time; be a better person?
If you have the courage of your convictions and walk away from a person, an exercise class, habit, group of people, or even way of thinking, it frees you up. I have so often heard that when one door closes a window opens. I think it’s supposed to mean that a door has closed against your will and the thought of something new coming along cheers you up. I believe that. But if you have closed that door yourself, you may be ostracised. What’s the difference?
This is where freedom and courage to make your own choices comes in; to truly be yourself. Those that love you understand why you are making these choices. They agree that you are free to make them. Those that don’t love you will never understand anyway. Those that call you these names are not free themselves; they are caught in the shoulds of life. Perhaps they wish to be free also.
Anyway thanks to Paulo for being a voice you don’t hear too often which says walk away when something no longer serves you. If we are truly strong inside we don’t need his permission either but it’s great to see it in writing. If we want to walk back later that is OK too, why should we have our ‘tail between our legs’? It is always our decision.