Reading Paulo Coehlo’s The Valkyries in the Spirit of Christmas: Love, Courage and God’s Glory

In my attempt to make this celebration a meaningful one, beyond spending it with family and dearies, I decided to open this gift to self book I have long bought and is reserving for special occasion or for right moment to read and to explore.

I was first caught with this question on the first paragraph: ‘Something that is of great importance to me?’

And then the book ended up talking of love – true love, of courage to win and of angels. And reading it at this time when Jesus was born, I kind of connected these words J. said to Paulo in this occasion:

You have died and been reborn many times. All you have to do is remember

We do this yearly. We remember God’s love every 25th of December when he gave us Jesus. And then we become merry and joyous because we know we are loved and we are blessed. But what else do we need to remember?

It is for love, for victory and for the glory of God

LOVE

‘Love of God and of others shows us the way. Accept all that is wrong about us – and despite it, believe that we are deserving of a happy life – little by little our defects will disappear, because one who is happy can look at the world only with love

COURAGE

Have courage! Open your heart, and listen to what your dreams tell you. Follow those dreams, because only a person who is not ashamed can manifest the glory of God

GOD’S GLORY

You will still have many problems in your life, some of them normal, some of them difficult. But from now on, only God’s hand will be responsible for everything – you will interfere no more

God has the right to destroy me. I do not

If all these are that easy and simple, why is this question so disturbingly enlightening: Why do we always kill the things that we love?

And here are the words from Paulo in an attempt to make sense of it – of killing the things we love:

Because (we) are desperately in need of help. (We) have won important things for (ourselves), but we are going to destroy them, because we tell (ourselves) that they have lost their meaning. (We) know it’s not true. (We) know they are still important, and if (we) destroy them, (we’ll) be destroying ourselves as well … it’s just that the unknown was becoming too familiar to (us)

And Valhalla’s words:

Everyone has at some point in our lives, enter into such an agreement (not to win when victory is possible) … before long, (we) had destroyed all meaning in (our) lives because (we) just didn’t care about (ourselves) anymore

And it all boils down to finding meaning in our life – to answering the why’s? Why are we doing some things? Why are we celebrating this occasion? Why do we love and still believe in angels?

I kind of see myself in Rhoda who ‘have loved many … but spurned true love’.

And in Valhalla herself who, compared to Chris, Paulo’s wife, Valhalla ‘knew the arts of war by heart but had forgotten the lessons of love, knew the five rules of victory and had slept with every man she desires but she had forgotten the art of love’

May we all have a meaningful celebration this Christmas and may we not forget to spread love and light to all we come across with!

Some things are so important that you have to learn them on your own

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Book Clip: Page 204 of ‘After Dark’

‘someday you’ll find the right person…and you’ll learn to have a lot more confidence in your self…so don’t settle for anything less. In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount’

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Tonight I’ll Be Escaping with Haruki Murakami’s ‘After Dark’

‘the world is broad, myths are universal – and that while we sleep, the world out there is moving in mysterious and unpredictable ways’

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There’s something inexplicably exciting about opening a new book ❤ butterflies in my belly, lots of beautiful images running through my head – i know i'll be stepping into someplace great beyond my imagination every time.

So tonight I'll let Haruki Murakami take me to his world, ‘After Dark’

Just a Phase: Points in Paulo Coelho’s Aleph

I just finished reading Paulo Coelho’s book Aleph  and it left me smiling how the Universe seemed to conspire for me to get hold of it.

I was at that ‘phase’ when I am decided to throw everything away again for a reason I myself was not convinced – self fulfillment gone empty.

I was praying and praying but instead of finding justifications for my rather impulsive decision, the more I was being shown that I have all the reasons to stay and to continue my success story for the very simple reason that everything is a blessing from Him and I am, in return, is being a blessing to others especially to my family and to the people around me.

I came across this book one Saturday, when I promised my ate that I’ll take care of my nieces’ school needs (It’s the start of the school year here in the Philippines and kids really look forward to the day they’ll shop for their new bags, shoes, school supplies, etc.). 

My boss, having the biggest heart I’ve ever known, allowed me to leave work earlier than usual to realize this promise I made to my dearies who came all the way from our province in Quezon for this. I met them at SM Megamall and I’m so happy the whole time because it reminds me of me and my ate’s childhood days that even if it is so tiring, carrying my nieces JC and RJ most of the time, I feel like I’m being a big sister to my ate taking care of her kids.

When we were already at the National Bookstore for the kids’ school supplies, I saw the store’s current best sellers and this Aleph is the number one. I have no plans buying a book that time knowing that I do not have time for that these days but something told me I needed it without even looking at the back part to know what this book is all about so I included it in our purchase.

Exactly a week after that, I have finished reading the book.  Funny thing is, it is also the same day as my supposedly last day. Was I able to reclaim my kingdom the whole time I was going on with Paulo’s journey to finding where he wants to be, doing what he wants to do?

When I talk of right time, I talk of these points I got from Paulo and Hilal’s Aleph that made me realize we all go through phases like this at some point in our life, but reading this when I am exactly at this phase … it’s not just timely, I know this is divine.

So here are the 26 points in their journey that made me feel like I am reading my very own life notes in my 26 years of existence:

1. Now and then I go through periods of inner conflict that can persist for months … long enough to keep me frustrated because I can’t absorb everything I learn.

2. When a sense of dissatisfaction persists, it was placed there by God for one reason only: you need to change everything and move forward

3. Here I am trying to persuade myself that I always give the best of myself, and nature is telling me exactly the opposite: anyone truly committed to life never stops walking

4. We will always need to be humble enough to accept that our hearts know why we are here… We simply have to trust and follow the signs and live our Personal Legend; 

5. If I believe I will win, then victory will believe in me. No life is complete without a touch of madness.

6. I learned long ago that in order to heal my wounds, I must have the courage to face up to them. I also learned to forgive myself and correct my mistakes.

7. We need to be strangers to ourselves. Then the hidden light in our souls will illuminate what we need to see.

8. Routine has nothing to do with repetition. To become really good at anything, you have to practice and repeat, practice and repeat, until the technique becomes intuitive

 9. What hurts us is what heals us

10. Dreamers can never be tamed

11. We learn in the past but we are not the result of that. We suffered in the past, loved in the past, cried and laughed in the past, but that’s of no use to the present. The present has its challenges, its good and bad side. We can neither blame  nor be grateful to the past for what is happening now. Each new experience of love has nothing whatsoever to do with past experiences. It’s always new.

12. People aren’t used to that way of thinking. They want everything to stay the same  – and the consequence of that is pain.

13. You can spend your entire life blaming the world, but your successes or failures are entirely your own responsibility.

 14. It takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory … visit your soul; don’t visit your past

15. We are both creators and creatures, but we are also puppets in God’s hands, and there is a line we cannot cross, a line that was drawn for reasons we cannot know.

16. Being alone may make me more vulnerable but it makes me more open, too

17. Train your heart. That is the discipline every warrior needs. If you can control your heart, then you will defeat your opponent

18. The best way to prepare for a challenge is to cultivate the ability to call on an infinite variety of responses

19. The search for peace is a form of prayer that generates light and heat. Forget about yourself for a while and understand that in that light lies wisdom and in that heat lies compassion

20. We can never wound the soul … , but we can become imprisoned by our memories, and that makes our lives wretched even when we have everything we need in order to be happy

21. Let us concentrate all our efforts on achieving Perfection through the imperfect gestures of everyday life. True wisdom means respecting the simple things we do, for they can take us where we need to go.

22. Going back into the past and reopening old wounds is neither easy nor particularly important.

23. A warrior in search of his dream must take his inspiration from what he actually does  and not from what he imagines himself doing

24.Sometimes you have to travel a long way to find what is near

25. That’s what makes life interesting – believing in treasures and in miracles

26. Only two things can reveal life’s great secrets: suffering and love

At the end of my reading, I found light and I found myself getting out of that phase and found myself moving forward again to realizing my dreams by being here – in the present.

My friend L’s right, this is just a phase and true to what she said that this, too, shall pass – this has passed and I’m so back spreading my love. Hope you find your Aleph, too.

Love, Rikki.