Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Personal Calling

Not that I haven't got a new book to read (yet to collect Nelson Mandela's bio from En Nordin downstairs) but I grabbed Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist", once again last night.

I read the introduction and there they were - the right words for me to tell someone who's fighting a war out there.

Here's the excerpt from the said introduction, which I wish to share with him and so many people out there who are on path to their personal calling ( I guess we are all on this journey): -

"The book has been translated into 56 languages, has sold more than 20 million copies and people are beginning to ask, "Whats the secret behind such a huge success?"

The only honest response is: I don't know. All I know is that, like Santiago the shepherd boy, we all need to be aware of our personal calling. What is a personal calling? It is God's blessing, it is the path God chose for you here on Earth. Whenever we do something that fills us with enthusiasm, we are following our legend. However, we don't all have the courage to confront our own dream.

Why? There are 4 obstacles.

First, we are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this ideas and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear and guilt. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it is still there.

If we have the courage to disinter dream we are then faced by the second obstacle: Love. We know what we want to do but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream. We do not realise that love is just a further impetus, not something that will prevent us from going forward. We do not realise that those who genuinely wish us well want us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on that journey.

Once we have accepted that love is a stimulus, we come up against the third obstacle: fear of the defeats we will meet on the path. We who fight for our dream suffer far more when it doesn't work out because we cannot fall back on the old excuse, "Oh well, I didn't really want it anyway". We do want it, and know that we have staked everything on it and that the path of the personal calling is no easier than any other path, except that our whole heart is in this journey. Then we warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult time and to know that the Universe is conspiring in our favour, even though we may not understand how.

I ask myself: are defeats necessary?

Well, necessary or not, they happen. When we first begin fighting our dream, we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.

So, why is it so important to live our personal calling if we are only going to suffer more than other people?

Because, once we have overcome the defeats - and we always do - we are filled by a greater sense of euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of life. Each day, each hours, is part of the good fight.

Having disinterred our dream, having used the power of love to nurture it and spent many years living with the scars, we suddenly notice that what we always wanted is there, waiting for us, perhaps, the very next day. Then comes the fourth obstacle: the fear of realising the dream for which we fought all our lives.

Oscar Wilde said, "Each man kills the thing he loves". And it's true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt.We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either.

We forget about all the obstacles we overcame, all the sufferings we endured, all things we had to give up in order to get this far.

This is the most dangerous of the obstacles because it has a kind of saintly aura about it; renouncing joy and conquest. But if you believe yourself worthy of the things you fought so hard to get, then you become and instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here".

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