What Paulo Coelho taught me about breaking routines and healing

“Nevertheless, you have to be prepared for everything. At this point, I make the decision I’ve been needing to make: even if I find nothing on this train journey, I will carry on, because I’ve known since that moment of realization in the hotel in London that although my roots are ready, my soul has been slowly dying from something very hard to detect and even harder to cure. Routine.” ~ Aleph, Paulo Coelho

It is one day before my expected delivery date and this morning I woke up feeling differently than I have in the past few weeks. I can’t explain it really but, instead of my normal routine of waking up, walking to the living room, checking up on my notifications from all of my social networks I instead went into the kitchen made a fresh pot of coffee, was awake to see Lamar off to work, and then I did something that I stopped consistently doing a while ago. I prayed. I consider myself to be spiritual but, for the past few months I have not prayed like I used to. However, this morning something was nudging me to get back into the spiritual practice that for whatever reason I had abandoned.

I sat in my dining room with my cup of coffee, its smell warming up every cell in my body while simultaneously in the background the purring of the AC guided my thoughts. I sat in silence for a while not really knowing where to begin.  It’s been quite some time since I connected with my creator and a part of me felt guilty and ashamed, especially because for the past ten months I have been carrying within me the biggest blessing that could have ever been given to me.

As I sat there waiting for the right words to come I realized that as long as I spoke from the heart that was all that mattered. I began thanking my creator for my life and for all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon me.  I thanked him for my mother-in-law’s successful hip replacement surgery that she underwent yesterday and for her quick and smooth recovery that will follow. I thanked him for placing me in a marriage that is overflowing with love, commitment, friendship, and mutual respect. I thanked him most of all for the life he has placed in my womb and has entrusted to me until the day that I take my last breath.

I realized this morning that for the past three weeks that I have been on maternity leave, I have allowed myself to fall into a daily life of routine that consists of nothing really productive. Everyday I wake up and go through the tedious process of making my bed, brushing my teeth, make breakfast, watch TV, check FB, IG, Twitter, email and other social media networks, make lunch, watch TV, make dinner, watch TV, somewhere throughout the day I shower and then I do the very same thing the next day. I have also been waiting impatiently for my baby to arrive so maybe occupying my mind with these meaningless activities has helped the days go by quicker. Up until today I can’t remember when was the last time I wrote or read anything. Writing used to be a daily practice for me. Somewhere along the line I just stopped and allowed myself to be sucked into this pattern of complacency.

This morning after praying I decided that I would break that routine and do something different. I got the book Aleph by Paulo Coelho that I purchased some months ago, sat at my dining room table with my cup of coffee and started reading. Nine pages into the book and I was already highlighting passages that resonated with where I’ve been and currently am in my life. “I am the result of everything that happened and will happen”, writes Coelho on page 10. He is right. We are the sum of all of our experiences both good and bad. However, some of us tend to spend so much time in the past instead of living in the here and now. At least for me I know that this holds true.

While I am currently experiencing the greatest miracle in the Universe I have not allowed myself to completely enjoy it because in the back of my mind I keep asking myself “What if something goes wrong?” My pregnancy thus far has been perfect. No complications and the baby as far as the doctors can tell is also perfectly healthy. Yet and still because of the miscarriage that I experienced last year a part of me has not completely healed. It is because of that loss that I haven’t been able to fully embrace this most amazing miracle.

Coelho says in his book, “When faced with any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been; it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.” How many of us have experienced loss, any kind of loss and have asked ourselves “what did I do to deserve this?” Not realizing that the loss, despite how painful, is making space in our lives for something better. We grieve the loss and hold onto the pain but by holding on we are preventing ourselves from filling up that space with something new and possibly greater than what we have lost.  I am slowly learning that in order to heal my wounds I must have the courage to face them, grieve them, and then release them so that they can heal. Today I am acknowledging that I am still hurting from the loss despite not having spoken about it or even thinking about it for almost a year. What hurts us is what heals us and I am on the path to healing.

So as I wait for my baby Avarie to arrive I will do so patiently, fully embracing this most special time that will only occur once. I will never be pregnant with her again. Now is all we have and I am grateful. To quote Paulo Coelho one last time, “I’ve never been as happy as I am now, because I followed the signs, I was patient, and I know that this is going to change everything.”

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