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Closing Cycles
By Paulo Coelho


One always has to know when a stage comes to an end.
If we insist on staying longer than the necessary
time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the
other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles,
shutting doors, ending chapters whatever name we
give it, what matters is to leave in the past the
moments of life that have finished.

Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship
come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house?
Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship
ended all of a sudden?

You can spend a long time wondering why this has
happened. You can tell yourself you won't take
another step until you find out why certain things
that were so important and so solid in your life
have turned into dust, just like that. But such an
attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone
involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your
friends, your children, your sister,
everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over
new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all
feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can
be in the present and the past at the same time, not
even when we try to understand the things that
happen to us. What has passed will not return: we
cannot forever be children, late adolescents, sons
that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents,
lovers who day and night relive an affair with
someone who has gone away and has not the least
intention of coming back.

Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them
really go away. That is why it is so important
(however painful it maybe!) to destroy souvenirs,
move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell
or donate the books you have at home. Everything in
this visible world is a manifestation of the
invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts
and getting rid of certain memories also means
making some room for other memories to take their
place. Let things go. Release them. Detach
yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with
marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we
lose.

Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your
efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be
discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning
on your emotional television to watch the same
program over and over again, the one that shows how
much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only
poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more
dangerous than not accepting love relationships that
are broken off, work that is promised but there is
no starting date, decisions that are always put off
waiting for the ideal moment.

Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be
finished: tell yourself that what has passed will
never come back. Remember that there was a time when
you could live without that thing or that person
nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need.
This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult,
but it is very important.

Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or
arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits
your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean
the house, and shake off the dust. Stop being who
you were, and change into who you are.

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