The Conventions of Love and War: Healing from a Breakup

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho

Suggestions for Healing a Broken Heart Based on the Conventions of War

Have you ever heard of Paul Coelho? He is the author of a book entitled The Alchemist which I adored. It’s a thought provoking book about how the fear of risking your heart is greater than the actual deed an has spiritual overtone.

A friend sent a link to the authors recent blog post about the the title of my post here – love and war. Coelho suggests since we have the Geneva Convention which governs fair treatment of wounded soldiers on the battle field, he also thinks there should be rules guiding what is fair in terms of love wounds.  Interesting…

He set up several “articles” with the rules of love wounds and a breakup and what you need to be aware of.  The first explains that while love is a blessing, it can also be “extremely dangerous, unpredictable and capable of causing serious damage”.  The idea is for you to enter love with your eyes open because you are not allowed to blame your lover should things go wrong. – His rules, not mine.

Paul also recommends that “medicine” be applied to heal wounds. For light wounds he indicates that the medicine “PARDON” should be applied liberally. For deeper love wounds, the only medicine that truly works is TIME. Paul instructs readers not to bother with psychics (this made me totally crack up) and claims that alcohol will be tolerated as long as it’s not more than two glasses of wine. Really? How did he determine that? Is that in one sitting or in totality? I wish I could ask about that, not that I’m a big wine drinker, but some folks might be…

Coelho has a certain sense of humor on this topic and a type of sensibility that does make you pause and think about what he is saying. As a dating coach for women over 40, I found it thought provoking, a bit tongue and cheek and worthy of sharing with you.

In case you ever want to read this book, here’s the synopsis from

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.” 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.”

The Alchemist is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert to a fateful encounter with the alchemist.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. The Alchemist is such a book. With over a million and a half copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has already established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho’s charming fable, now available in English for the first time, will enchant and inspire an even wider audience of readers for generations to come.

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