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Home arrow Psychology arrow The Life and Creative Works of Paulo Coelho : A Psychobiography from a Positive Psychology Perspective
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Conclusion on the Life Task Love

This sub-chapter provides a summary and overview on the life task love across Coelho’s life span (see Table 7.31).

During Coelho’s early and later childhood and schooldays, he seemed to have an enduring, stable and loving relationship with his mother. However, hardly any

Table 7.31 Overview: love and sub-categories

Life span

Life task love with sub-categories

Periods in Paulo Coelho’s development

a) The ability to be

intimate,

trusting,

and

selfdisclosing

with

another

person

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with

significant

others

c) The capacity to experience or convey nonpossessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life

e) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others

(f)

Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the

perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both

1. Year 1-6

-

-

-

X fulfilled

-

-

2. Year 6-12

X fulfilled

-

X fulfilled

-

X

unfulfilled

X unfulfilled

3. Year 13-19

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X

unfulfilled

-

X

unfulfilled

4. Year 20-29

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

-

X

unfulfilled

X

unfulfilled

X

unfulfilled

X unfulfilled

X

unfulfilled

5. Year 30-39

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

-

X

unfulfilled

6. Year 40-49

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

-

7. Year 50-59

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

-

X

unfulfilled

8. Year 60-69

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

X fulfilled

-

X unfulfilled

Source: Researcher’s own construction

explicit data on the love are provided in the literature. During his schooldays, Coelho experienced enduring relationships with friends and extended family members within the estate. This sound basis of love must have provided him with feelings of safety and protection during the first years of his life that he regained after having met Cristina.

During his teenage years, love was connected to Coelho’s girlfriends, but also to his grandfather to whom he expressed affection and from whom he received caring and nurturing. Coelho’s parents cared for him, but did not respect his uniqueness.

During his twenties, the data revealed Coelho’s strong self-love, his ability to receive love from his girlfriends and wife. However, he seemed to be unable to provide loving care for them, respect their uniqueness and care for their nurturing and growth.

In the following decade, Coelho met Cristina and again it seemed that Cristina nurtured Coelho strongly while his nurturing with regard to her life remained undescribed.

Love became a significant issue during his forties. Coelho described the challenges and critical aspects of love through self-reflection, while living the love of his life with Cristina.

Coelho explored the topic of love in even more depth in his fifties. He re-evaluated the relationship with his parents, expressed his love for Cristina publicly and filled his books with love and passion, which had an impact on his success in business and industry. Care for others and respect for the uniqueness of others, emphasised by Myers et al. (2000), became more important and Coelho discussed issues of fulfilled and unfulfilled components of love.

During his sixth decade, Coelho maintained a stable and intimate relationship with Cristina and explored love in the context of faith and the consequences of destructive love. Love became an act of faith in another person. In “Adultery”, Coelho referred to all components of love as mentioned by Myers et al. (2000): (a) the ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person; (b) the ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others; (c) the capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another; (d) the presence of enduring, stable, intimate relationships in one’s life; and e) concern for the nurturance and growth of others.

Coelho aimed for enduring and stable, non-possessive love of the other throughout his life, which increased and was defined as in Myers et al. (2000) during his sixties. Coelho’s love increased in consciousness and importance across his life decades and was defined by himself as the most important issue in life. A strong change from the focus of self-love towards love of others is reflected in the data. Table 7.32 provides an overview on the components of the HWM in terms of the life task love and its components in Coelho’s life.

Table 7.32 Life task love

Historical periods in the development of Paulo Coelho

Components of holistic wellness expressed through the life tasks

Global events

Life forces (business/industry, media, government, community, family, religion, education)

5. Love

1. Coelho’s early

childhood

(1947-1953)

Myers et al. (2000) define healthy and loving relationships according to the following characteristic, which are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life:

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life

The following components are not referred to:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person;

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others;

c) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another;

e) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others; and

f) Satisfaction with one’s sexual Life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both.

Impacting life forces:

Family

No impact of global events is referred to in the data.

2. Childhood and

schooldays

(1953-1961)

Myers et al. (2000) define healthy and loving relationships according to the following characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person; and

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life.

The following two characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life and that were completely unfulfilled are:

a) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another, and

b.) Satisfaction with his sexual life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both.

The following components are not referred to:

a) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others and

b) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others.

Impacting life forces:

Family

Education

Community

No impact of global events is referred to in the data.

(continued)

Table 7.32 (continued)

Historical periods in the development of Paulo Coelho

Components of holistic wellness expressed through the life tasks

Global events

Life forces (business/industry, media, government, community, family, religion, education)

5. Love

3. The teenage years (1962-1966)

Myers et al. (2000) define healthy and loving relationships according to the following characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others;

c) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another; and

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life.

The following two characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life and that remained completely unfulfilled are:

a) Capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another; and

b) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others.

The following components are not addressed:

a) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others;

b.) Experiencing or conveying non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another;

c) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others; and

df) Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both.

Impacting life forces:

Family

Education

Community

No impact of global events is referred to in the data.

(continued)

Table 7.32 (continued)

Historical periods in the development of Paulo Coelho

Components of holistic wellness expressed through the life tasks

Global events

Life forces (business/industry, media, government, community, family, religion, education)

5. Love

4. The twenties (1967-1976)

Myers et al. (2000) define healthy and loving relationships according to the following characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person

b) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another; and

c) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life.

The following characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life and that remained completely unfulfilled are:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self - disclosing with another person;

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others;

c) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another;

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life; amd

e) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others.

The following component is not referred to:

a) Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both.

Impacting life forces:

Family

Community

No impact of global events is referred to in the data. However, the Brazilian dictatorship, as well as the paramilitaries affected Coelho and Gisa’s relationship and in the end caused Gisa to leave Coelho.

(continued)

Table 7.32 (continued)

Historical periods in the development of Paulo Coelho

Components of holistic wellness expressed through the life tasks

Global events

Life forces (business/industry, media, government, community, family, religion, education)

5. Love

5. The thirties (1977-1986)

Myers et al. (2000) define healthy and loving relationships according to the following characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person;

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others;

c) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another; and

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life.

The following characteristic that is referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life and that remained completely unfulfilled is:

a) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others.

The following component is not referred to:

a) Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both.

Impacting life forces:

Family

Business/industry

No impact of global events is referred to in the data.

6. The forties (1987-1996)

Myers et al. (2000) define healthy and loving relationships according to the following characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person (in life and in books);

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others (in his books and life);

c) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another (in books);

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life (in books and life) and;

e) concern for the nurturance and growth of others (in selected protagonists of the books, but not in life) (in books and life)

The following component is not referred to:

a) Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both.

Impacting life forces:

Family

Business/industry.

No impact of global events is referred to in the data touching on the life task of love.

(continued)

Table 7.32 (continued)

Historical periods in the development of Paulo Coelho

Components of holistic wellness expressed through the life tasks

Global events

Life forces (business/industry, media, government, community, family, religion, education)

5. Love

7. The fifties (1997-2006)

Myers et al. (2000) define healthy and loving relationships according to the following characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person;

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others (in “The zahir”, 2005, as dedication to Cristina);

c) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another;

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life;

e) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others (in selected protagonists of the books, but not in life); and

f) Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both (in selected protagonists of the books, but not in life) (only in the books Coelho, 2003a, 2003b, 2003c).

The book, “Eleven minutes” (Coelho, 2003c), touches on the tension of the characteristics a) - f) and how the main protagonist feels while experiencing the tension of these components when there is a longing for fulfilment and actual non-fulfilment.

The book “Like a flowing river” (Coelho, 2006, 2010) deals with love as an abstract concept that, however, touches on a), c) and e).

The following characteristic that is referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life and that remained completely unfulfilled is:

a) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another (“The zahir” (2005) describes the unhealthy way of possessive love).

Impacting life forces:

Family

Business/industry.

No impact of global events is referred to in the data touching on the life task of love.

Table 7.32 (continued)

Historical periods in the development of Paulo Coelho

Components of holistic wellness expressed through the life tasks

Global events

Life forces (business/industry, media, government, community, family, religion, education)

5. Love

8. The sixties (2007-2016)

Myers et al. (2000) define healthy and loving relationships according to the following characteristics that are referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life:

a) The ability to be intimate, trusting, and self-disclosing with another person (described in life);

b) The ability to receive as well as express affection with significant others (described in life);

c) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another

d) The presence of enduring, stable intimate relationships in one’s life (described in life); and

e) Concern for the nurturance and growth of others.

Besides the descriptions of selected components’ characteristics in his life, several of the components of a)-e) are described in Coelho’s books that were published in his sixties (f) is not described).

The following characteristic that is referred to during this phase of Coelho’s life and that remained completely unfulfilled is:

a) The capacity to experience or convey non-possessive caring that respects the uniqueness of another (in the book by Coelho (2008), “The winner stands alone)”.

The following component is not referred to:

a) Satisfaction with one’s sexual life or the perception that one’s needs for physical touch and closeness are being met, or both.

Impacting Life forces:

Family

Business/industry

No impact of global events is referred to in the data.

Source: Researcher’s own construction

 
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