Rumi is of internet’s most famous poets. This Persian poet has done a lot for the romantics, giving them hope, helping them solve life troubles and even get the courage to face life. The courage and confidence that Rumi quotes can instill in you are par excellence. I first came into contact with his writings when I had just started exploring Sufism- a mystical branch of Islam. Some call it esoteric while the other define it as mystical, magical.
Rumi quotes are all around the internet now. Everyone knows ‘what you seek is seeking you’. The west is somehow enthralled with the idea of some magical romantic poet who existed centuries ago. Sufism should not be confused with primitive romanticism, even though they share some similarities. When you read about Sufism a little more, you find that the roots of this practice is in fact a service to the almighty. If you think Rumi quotes only define a certain aspect of life, like love, you may want to think again.
Everybody will have a different meaning for whatever they have heard or read about Rumi. An essential part of writing and expressing through any art form is to let the viewer, listener or your audience define a meaning for what they have read, seen or heard. I will be dedicating this post to 7 of my favorite Rumi quotes and what they mean to me.
Life is a balance between holding on and letting go
Life indeed is about balance. You will often come across feelings that are no longer serving their purpose and people who are not important in your life. No, it is not about you being a bad person. People change and so do circumstances. All the people we know have a certain role to play in our lives and hence, they must all be acknowledged for it. However, it makes no sense to keep holding on to them, long after they are gone. Hold on to what is important now. Hold on to what your heart thinks is dear to you right now and leave the old aside.
We cannot walk with dead weight on our shoulders. Why are walking with emotional baggage then? Let it go.
The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart
The beauty of the face will fade with time. Your body will start experiencing troubles. You will never be the same when you grow older. It will all fade away and we will become a monument to our former selves, suggesting nothing but what ‘had been’. Why run after the beauty of the skin then? Real beauty lies right inside your heart. It will last forever.
A pure heart must not be contaminated with the vices of the world.
The heart must learn to love and be loved by others too. The heart must know that its goodness cannot be corrupted by anyone else. It needs nothing but a steady supply of love and compassion to grow into a beautiful space for the loved one to live in.
No matter how old your body gets, the heart will continue to shine. If you love deeply and truly, the heart will age backwards. Trust me. This happens. You can live a wonderful live, a healthy and happy life, only if you maintain the beauty of your heart.
It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder
What is the difference between building a room and planting flowers? Have you ever imagined what could be the only difference between these two similar practices that create a beautiful, living flower and a building where people can go to work but with no life of its own?
The construction worker and the gardener work with equal strength, equal patience and equal hard work. They use the materials made of mother earth to get the end result and yet, one gets life and the other is lifeless. Why?
It is because the gardener is providing something more human to the plant. He is nurturing the flower with love. You must have come across gardeners who are not as dedicated to their plants. People who don’t love their plants do not produce that sweet smelling rose that can enlighten a lover’s heart. You can use all your craft to create a beautiful plantation or a beautiful building, but it is the feeling of nurturing care that would make your flower look and smell beautiful.
This Rumi quote has helped me understand relationships and parenting. Truly, you need to nurture whatever you have with all the love and care in the world. It could thunder a little while it is raining, but it will not rain a little when it is thundering all the time. You can decide. How do you want your relationships to move further? Do you want thunder or rain?
The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore
Do we really know all that is there to know in the world? No.
The idea that I received from this quote was to ensure that I stay away from negative people and negative talk in my life. There is an overwhelming amount of fear and negativity in the air. There are toxic people, toxic thoughts, toxic ideologies and poisoning exchange of words between people. Can I really make my way through this maze? Yes I can.
I choose to ignore what harms my balance. No, I do not ignore criticism. If you know better than me and want to help me in bettering myself, you are most welcome. We will create something that is good for everyone. I might fight for my ideas and you can fight for them too. We can talk, we can share ideas. However, I will not let you fill my mind with toxic thoughts about myself. You can’t feed me negative news, full of fear and hatred and expect me to react. I won’t. I don’t feed myself such thoughts. As a result, now I only read news. I barely ever watch news. I am more selective with what the mass media is trying to feed my brain. Hence, I feel good.
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes around in another form
In many mystical Indian traditions, the human body is referred to as ‘mitti’. This hindi word means ‘earth’. The human is made of mitti or earth and when he dies, he goes back to the earth. His body becomes one with the land he was born in. His soul then recreates another human form with the same earth.
No matter how mystical and philosophical it sounds, it is true. Matter can neither be created, nor be destroyed. Things only change their form. When water freezes to become ice, the composition of the new hardened mass remains the same- H2O.
Should we not grieve at all? What happens when we lose people we love, when relationships break?
I think grief is natural and must be allowed some time to seep in and go away. Think of grief as water. It must be consumed and then, it must be eliminated from the body. If you stop grief, you will be toxic. If you continue living in grief, you will be toxic. Strike a balance. Anything and everything that you have lost till date deserves a moment of grief. Just don’t make it a lifetime of a grief-struck lonely heart. Move on. Matter changes form. The human body has merely been destroyed for the soul to enter a new body. So many ancient cultures believe in rebirth. The soul is eternal and it leaves all earthly bonds behind with death.
Read my thoughts on death and how it affected my life when I lost someone who I loved so dearly. Many more people ask about death and the feelings of guilt and grief associated with it. Will be writing a post on it soon.
Whatever you love, you are
Believe me. What you truly, deeply, passionately love is what defines you. What you do when you are in love defines your character more than anything else. Do you know why? Love is this basic, carnal, primitive emotion. It is probably the only emotion that makes us so human. What would humans be without love? Where will ambition, desire and even hatred reside if there is no love in our hearts.
If you love chocolate cakes, you may be a lover of comforts. You may be in deep need of comfort from a human that is being fulfilled by a big cake. If you love exercise, you may be in need of self-appreciation. You may want to feel better, get better self-esteem. You may love money because you love the comfort, the luxuries and even the notoriety associated with money. No don’t judge me with what I am saying here. This is the truth, isn’t it?
A thousand half-loves must be foresaken to take one whole heart home
Love is the most natural feeling known to man and yet, we are all entangled in relationships that do nothing for our affections. When you look back in life, you will find many half-loves, many instances where a rush of emotions made you feel like you are falling head over heels for someone. You will remember moments when you felt like you are crushing over someone so hard that you will eventually be broken into pieces.
Truth be told. We are all broken into pieces. We should learn to add a premium on love.
Anybody who appears attractive to the eye may not be the one you love.
Let it last. Let it brew. Let it simmer.
Let it develop like a perfume. Don’t go barging on cheap fragrances just because they are available. Wait. You may not be in love more than once in a lifetime. That love is the truest, deepest form of passion that your heart will feel. The others may be companions, people you spend time with, people you simply ‘want’ to get. I think we should give love some time. Don’t just jump into it. Wait. You will be saved from many heartbreaks and save the affection for the one who truly deserves it.
These were my thoughts and musings on my 7 favorite Rumi quotes. You can perceive them differently or even like what I just said. The idea is to understand that the Life Makeover I am talking about isn’t all about making your hair thicker and your skin younger. It is also about growing mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I want all of us to expose us to the beauty of books and poetry, the love of literature and even economics and combine all of this to grow a better person each day.
Do these Rumi quotes make you feel romantic and long for the one you love? I have captured a few shades of love in my previous posts and poetry. Read them and let me know what you think about them.