I’ve learned from reading parenting books. I learn by reading blogs of autistic individuals. I learn by living life. But my favorite way of expanding my awareness is by reading fiction.
In recent months, I have experienced unexplained trepidation. I seem to have lost understanding of what I once understood. I have more questions than answers. I’ve pursued common-sense solutions (eating better, moving more, spending time outdoors), but remain stuck. And so, I reach deep into the fictional story of Paulo Coelho’s Brida, hoping that I will learn from her journey as I seek to unravel some mysteries of my experience.
Discovering the Answers to Your Questions
Each of us must discover the answers to her own questions in her own way. Brida learns that there are four paths to discovering the wisdom of the world, four Rings of Revelation that a woman can use. (pp. 62 – 63)
The Ring of the Virgin
The Virgin needs no one. She does not wear herself out by loving others. Through Solitude, she discovers the wisdom of the world.
The Ring of the Saint
The Saint has the courage of those for whom giving is the only way of receiving. The Saint offers everything for others. Through Surrender, the Saint discovers the wisdom of the world.
The Ring of the Martyr
The Martyr has the power of those who cannot be harmed by pain and suffering. She surrenders herself, suffers, and through Sacrifice, discovers the wisdom of the world.
The Ring of the Witch
The Witch discovers the wisdom of the world through Pleasure.
Which ring will you choose?
Do you recognize your own path in one of the above descriptions? All paths are worthy, but if we can choose to learn through solitude or sacrifice or suffering or pleasure, which would you prefer?
Brida’s wisdom teachers tell her that “In her life, every woman can make use of the Four Rings of Revelation.” In my life, I’ve worn each of the rings. I believe that to every thing there is a season. Yet when I consider how I want to experience life, I realize that I yearn to wear the Ring of the Witch. I want to grow through joy.
Pleasure for Parents
Magic is a bridge, a bridge that allows you to walk from the visible world over into the invisible world, and to learn the lessons of both those worlds.(p. 10)
I suspect that all of the readers of this blog practice a bit of the above kind of magic daily. We find bridges that connect us to our children. We build bridges that allow our children to step safely into this world. We understand that it is all one world – and that our children experience the world in a way that most of us do not yet understand.
the age of miracles is returning, and no one can remain indifferent to the changes the world is beginning to experience…Anyone not already following their own path will begin to feel dissatisfied with themselves and be forced to make a choice: they will either have to accept an existence beset with disappointment and pain or else come to realize that everyone was born to be happy.” (p. 199)
Here are a few more quotes to propel you in shifting your beliefs:
“Never be ashamed. Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.
How will I know which is which?
By the taste. You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one.”
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”
“You must get used to the fact that there are many things in magic which are not and never will be explained. God decided to do certain things in a certain way and why He did this is a secret known only to Him.”
“But the path of magic – like the path of life – is and always will be the path of Mystery. Learning something means coming into contact with a world of which you know nothing.”
“It isn’t explanations that carry us forward, it’s our desire to go on.”