Some years ago, I came across a quote that really struck a chord with me.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
I don’t know what it was about the quote that initially caught my attention. Perhaps it was the simple way in which it was presented, yet bearing a hard truth that made so much sense to me at that given moment.
I also really liked the clear message that it carried, and it got me thinking about what is most important in this human experience of ours.
Regardless of what dreams we have for the impact we want to make in the world, what does all of that mean if we don’t go within, learn about ourselves, and grow into a deeper sense of consciousness for ourselves and everything around us?
Why be remembered for doing great in a larger lens if those closest to us might be unhappy in our presence? If our behavior and doings were hurting the people around us, then would any accomplishment (greater or less than changing the world) be even worth it?
The quote was by Rumi, and I was suddenly curious about him. I could see poetry in the simple truth he wrote, and it turned out, a poet indeed he was.
I learned that Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and he has even been described as the “most popular poet” in the United States. Read more here.
There are so many amazing poems and quotes by Rumi and I was excited to learn more. I was so intrigued I dove into getting my hands on what I could. I was absolutely blown away by how simple and true all his philosophies were.
It was as though someone was speaking my language – right to my soul.
These days, anytime I stumble upon a Rumi quote in an article or in my Facebook newsfeed or Instagram, it always puts a smile on my face and gives me a sense of peace – I see it as a sign and message from the Universe; a gift. It fills me with some kind of joy that just makes me feel happy to be alive.
I love his work so much, that I have a collection of my own favorite Rumi quotes and poems, which I love browsing through on days I want to take a timeout and dream a little. I play some soft music in the background, have a glass of wine and relax, then dive in.
I start drifting away into another world, one where I can contemplate on the sense of self, and get back into alignment to be in joy and peace. It helps me remember the simple essence of just being.
I’d love to share my favorite quotes with you, and I hope you see and feel the magic in his words and that it can change your life in some way too, as it has mine.
1. Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
2. Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.
3. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
4. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
5. Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with their heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.
6. Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.
7. The moons stays bright when it doesn’t avoid the night.
8. You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.
9. You think because you understand “one” you understand “two”, because one and one make two. But you must also understand “and”.
10. What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.
11. Two there are who are never satisfied – the lover of the world and the lover of knowledge.
12. And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?
13. Suffering is a gift. In it is hidden mercy.
14. Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you towards journey and death.
15. Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.
16. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They are in each other all along.
17. These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.
18. If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?
19. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
20. Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.
21. You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?
22. What you seek is seeking you.
23. The cure for the pain, is in the pain.
24. Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
25. Love is the bridge between you and everything.
26. Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
27. You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.
28. Is it really so that the one I love is everywhere?
29. Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.
30. Travel brings power and love back into your life.
31. Take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing, who has not the slightest interest even in his own personality: he’s free.
32. Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.
33. But listen to me. For one moment quit being sad. Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.
34. Respond to every call that excites your spirit.
35. If you ever say one prayer in a day, make it Thank You.
And finally, here’s one of my favorite poems by Rumi, short and sweet.
You were born with potential.
You were born with goodness and trust.
You were born with ideals and dreams.
You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.
You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.
You have wings.
Learn to use them and fly.
Did a Rumi quote resonate with you? Share your favorite with us below!