The power of a book

By Glauce Fleury

Have you ever realized that what you were doing with your emotions was not the best you could do? It’s tough. But there’s no better pay than to acknowledge — and change — patterns in our behaviours that don’t do any good. This acknowledgement came to me while reading A New Earth.

I believe that well-being can improve because of a book. Literature is powerful if we immerse ourselves into it. Shallow readings are welcome for entertainment. But if we want some deepness, we must be picky about what we read.

Last summer, I spent a few days in California visiting friends. One day, at the beach, the sea was so rough that I fell on my knees. I came back to the shore and, minutes later, noticed that I didn’t have my ring with me. The ocean had taken it away.

That ring was a present of my mother when I graduated from university. She passed away after that, and I used the ring as a talisman.

Back to my friend’s place, I called my boyfriend, who had stayed in Canada, and told him how miserable I was. He said, “You should read the book I gave you. You’re ready for it.”

He referred to A New Earth, a world bestseller and the top-selling book in Canada in 2008. This work helped establish Eckhart Tolle’s writing career, which was already booming after his first book, The Power of Now. Despite his success, I, an avid reader, hadn’t read any.

Back from the States, I put aside the book I had carried on my trip and started reading A New Earth. Very early, on page 38, Tolle surprised me with a chapter talking about a lost ring. It’s a real story of a lady diagnosed with cancer and a few months of life.

Her words resonated with me: “This was my grandmother’s ring. I used to wear it every day until I got ill and my hands became too swollen. It’s more than just a ring to me. How can I not be upset?” she asked. Tolle responded: “Has who you are become diminished by the loss?”

I thought about that passage for days. First, it made me suffer. Then, it gave me peace. I realized I had finally become present — an expression that the author uses quite a lot in this book but I had no clue (awareness) about it.

It’s not a coincidence that this book’s subtitle is Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. It’s not a coincidence that I lost my graduation ring in this moment. It’s not a coincidence that I read this book only now that I live in Vancouver, city that the German-born author also adopted as home 20 years ago.

As he wrote, “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.”

So whatever you’re facing right now is part of your learning. Embrace it. Your well-being and your quality of life depend on this.

Photo credit: Kristy via Flickr

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