Paulo, I forgot the lessons…

I wrote this post a year and a half ago on one of my other blogs, Raising Smart Girls.  If you want to find out more about me, you can spend some time there.  I’ll be the first to admit I was absolutely clueless about mothering highly sensitive, gifted young girls, but over time, I’m learning a lot about them…and me in the process.  I don’t think someone who is sociopathic can help as many people as I have helped on that blog.  My middle daughter had selective mutism, and one of my passions was to help other parents make sense of this quite debilitating social anxiety disorder.

In my process of becoming a more fully functioning person…a person who is working on transcending her personal demons, I read.  A lot.  The following is something so special to me.  And I’m re-printing it here (slightly modified).


I don’t think I have ever been so consistently touched by someone’s writings as I have with Paulo Coelho. I have read Veronika Decides to Die, Eleven Minutes, The Zahir, The Alchemist and Warrior of the Light.

I have no idea how a Brazilian has come to know so much about what goes on in my mind, but miraculously, he does. What an absolutely beautiful thing to see the dark areas of your self mirrored in someone’s writings and see how they are illuminated and yet treated with compassion and love. It’s incredibly healing.  [And yet, Paolo, I forgot the lessons].

I have found a spiritual guide of sorts in him.  I found a major source of comfort and redemption in his writings. I find his insights into human nature woven into spellbinding stories that uplift and inspire. I appreciate his belief that we are all capable of going beyond our limitations and finding the strength to meet our destiny and share what what is good about us with others, and yet recognize that we, at times, will falter on our path.

In his writings, I don’t have to choose to choose between atheism and dogmatic religion, nor do I have to be ashamed of my own dark side, because, as you all ought to know, we all have one.  It is thinly veiled under the guise of ‘civility’.

From the Warrior of the Light:

A Warrior of the Light knows that certain moments repeat themselves.

He often finds himself faced by the same problems and situations, and seeing these difficult situations return, he grows depressed, thinking that he is incapable of making any progress in life.

“I’ve been through all this before,” he says to his heart.

“Yes, you have been through all this before,” replies his heart. “But you have never been beyond it.”

Then the Warrior realizes that these repeated experiences have but one aim: to teach him what he does not want to learn.


A Warrior of the Light is never predictable.

He might dance down the street on his way to work, gaze into the eyes of a complete stranger and speak of love at first sight, or defend and apparently absurd idea. Warriors of the Light allow themselves days like these.

He is not afraid to weep over ancient sorrows or feel joy at new discoveries. When he feels that the moment has arrived, he drops everything and goes off on some long-dreamed-of adventure. When he realizes he can do no more, he abandons the fight, but never blames himself for having committed a few unexpected acts of folly.

A Warrior does not spend his days trying to play the role that others have chosen for him.

I feel amazed and energized and uplifted by his writings.

I want sacredness in my every-day life.

Sometimes I’m able to achieve moments of sacredness.

I know I can cultivate more, now that I know what I am looking for.

I followed some false leads on the road I’ve traveled, listened to some ‘advice’…some not so bad or wrong…just not for me.

I believe there we are all connected by our humanity, by chemistry, and biology. I do think we need a spiritual life of some sort. LIFE itself is sacred because we only get one world and one chance to do it right (well, in MY world anyway, even if I have other lives, I doubt I’d remember them).

I think that I had to spend a long period of darkness (pain, doubt, confusion, self-reproach) in order to become more completely acquainted with the darker aspects of myself fully before I could come out of it and find some measure of freedom.  (I get glimpses of it now and then).

I had recently come across his blog and have immensely enjoyed his Declaration of Principles.

My favorite principles:

Everything which is done in the present, affects the future by consequence, and the past by redemption.


Each human being has the right to two blessings, which are: the blessing to do right, and the blessing to err. In the latter case, there is always a path of learning leading to the right way.

I thank God for finding his life-enhancing impact on my life and I am immeasurably blessed by Coelho’s work.


Paolo…I forgot your teachings.  I seek not only enlightenment…but redemption.  I have seen and experienced so much of this world that ordinary people wouldn’t be able to tolerate, not only through my work, but in my own curiosity about things, including the dark side of the human psyche, and simply because I go where I am needed to bear witness and record life’s tragedy.  My own openness to experience opens me up to some pretty intense things.

I wonder if Carl Rogers knew all of what I have experienced, if he could understand the clash of opposites that resides in me.  I have witnessed some scary things in my life, both personally and through my work.  I have also witnessed holiness and what I believe to be the hand of God.

I might share some more of my stories.  Not of things that happened TO me, but things I have witnessed first hand.  Things that I can’t easily reconcile with.   But with all my heart and soul, I try.

About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in Paolo Coelho, Personal growth, Soul, spirituality, Stories for healing. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Paulo, I forgot the lessons…

  1. Paulo Coelho says:

    Beautiful text. I will post a link on Twitter

  2. Mr. Coelho,

    I am so thrilled and honored that you stopped by to reply (the post on Twitter was an added bonus – 1600 views today). I know you are an incredibly busy author, and yet I know you also have taken the time to make contact with your followers whose lives you touch and who loves your work as much as I do.

    I hope you know that your gift has been a life-saver at times, for me. You are a beautiful soul and well, I am so grateful to you.

    I’m going to begin a new leg of my journey, and revisit your words, for when I struggle with doubt, they encourage me to keep going. There is such poetry and courage in your stories.

    I wish you much love and joy and continued success.


    • kiba says:

      casey you have a gift as well we all have something that was awakened in us by his words and then through ours then to many i know you have awakened many dont stop its beautiful how we all can care:)

      • Kiba –

        Thank you so much for your kind words. I really hope and pray that this love and light keeps spreading out to others…maybe, in time, they will awaken.

        I will do my part to help love the world…even if they aren’t ready to wake up.

        It IS beautiful, how we all can care, and reach the hearts of our brothers and sisters across the globe. What a wonderful thing, to be part of the experience.

        In love and light,


  3. I too have found Paulo Coelho to be inspiring. Great post. ~Deyanira (

    • Deyanira

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Mr. Coelho is one of those rare people who has given a great gift to the world through his writing. He brings so much peace and clarity to a very troubled world.


  4. joesoares says:

    It was the post on facebook posted by Mr. Paulo Coelho that I have found your blog. Well done. beautiful work. Congratulations. Kind Regards. Joe.

  5. Linda says:

    You have captured a lot of how i feel about Paulo’s words and how they affect me and why i usually read his blogs.

  6. Linda –

    I appreciate you saying that. I know it’s hard to articulate how someone affects us in such profound ways. I can say one of the best things about Mr. Coelho, aside from his beautiful writing itself, is that he is a contemporary writer/teacher. It is such an wonderful thing that he is still alive and well and most importantly, accessible to his audience. Which proves to me that he’s living his values in his daily life and he strives to be an encouragement to all who need it.

    All the best,

  7. Gabriel says:

    Someone asked me the other day “who would I like most to meet in the world” I answered Paulo Coelho – I think that’s says it all. His Inspiring, captivating, his books have changed my life.
    His a blessing and a beautiful soul,
    Bless You and much Love to you Casey.

  8. Gabriel –

    I quite agree. He is the only living famous person I have wanted to meet. I am remembering how I felt when reading his works. It’s as if he had a window into aspects of my life…but where I was confused and ashamed…he showed me a way out of it.

    Tomorrow, I plan to start revisiting his work. I’ve been through a tough time of things particularly lately…and I felt so distraught. His commenting and twittering my post and feeling the warmth of others has made such a big difference.

    Bless You and Much Love to you, too.


  9. Pingback: Oh, how wonderful and wild the ride is | The Sprightly Writer

  10. Smita says:

    I mirror the same feelings about Paulo, that you have described. Its not only incredible how a Brazilian knows so much about our inner feelings, but you too. This proves that we are all connected. All we need is love and compassion. Bless you both for my morning dose of hope and inspiration.

    Smita (hail the mad-brigade).

    • Smita

      How sweet of you to say. I feel honored that I could give you some hope and inspiration today.

      I am so amazed at the love directed my way. The light has pierced through my darkness and I am grateful to you and the others for being here, reminding me that I am worthy of love and respect.

      With much love and madness,


  11. michelle says:

    You have written so beautifully what many of feel, while reading the work of this phoenominal writer. When I’m reading his books its as if he has found the connection to my Soul, my fears the one part of me I hide from the world

    With love and light

    • Michelle,

      Paulo, through his example, helps us all have courage to be real with ourselves and each other. That there is strength and beauty in us, even when we are too afraid or ashamed to feel it sometimes.

      His writing is a celebration of the spirit, in all its expressions. By his invitation, we can examine our fears, our shadows, with compassion and love and know, with certainty, that we still have value.

      Many blessings to you and yours,


  12. Vinnie says:

    Really beautiful. Thank you, bless you, with love! 😉


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