A book I once read in Croatia

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is one of the most life-changing, life-affirming books I have ever had the pleasure to read. I recently rediscovered my love for it, via an intensity of feeling in which I recalled some of the potent wisdom which is written among its pages.

I first whipped through The Alchemist when I was holidaying in Croatia with some friends, aged 19. We chose Croatia because it still didn’t yet attract as many tourists as, say, Greece and Spain, yet it has all the beauty of the Mediterranean, and is much more relaxing. I felt we’d discovered a hidden gem, which made it the ideal setting for some self-exploration.

So during episodes of particularly intense emotion, I remember Coelho’s words. If I may urge you to read one book which will force you – gently – to rethink your relationship with your heart, your lovers and your pain, it is this one.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
“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.”
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
“This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”

Thanks to GoodReads for the quotes

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