“Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.” ~ Rumi
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, also known as Rumi, was a famous 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic who, wrote some of the most beautiful and most profound words that have ever been recorded in history. His words contain deep truths that you can feel resonate in your heart when you read them, the heart seems to know them to be true.
Here are 25 life changing lessons to learn from Rumi, lessons that have the power inspire and empower you to live a more authentic, beautiful, loving and meaningful life:
1. Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
“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.”
“You sit here for days saying, This is strange business. You’re the strange business. You have the energy of the sun in you, but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. You’re some weird kind of gold that wants to stay melted in the furnace, so you won’t have to become coins.”
“Why should I stay at the bottom of a well when a strong rope is in my hand?”
“Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape.”
“Do you know what you are? You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.”
2. The treasures that can be found outside of you can’t even compare with the treasures that can be found inside of you.
“You wander from room to room Hunting for the diamond necklace That is already around your neck!”
“If you knew yourself for even one moment, if you could just glimpse your most beautiful face, maybe you wouldn’t slumber so deeply in that house of clay. Why not move into your house of joy and shine into every crevice! For you are the secret Treasure-bearer, and always have been. Didn’t you know?”
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
“Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?”
“You go from village to village on your horse asking everyone, “Has anyone seen my horse?”
“Don’t knock on any random door like a beggar. Reach your long hand out to another door, beyond where you go on the street, the street where everyone says, “How are you?” and no one says How aren’t you?”
“There is a fountain inside you. Don’t walk around with an empty bucket.”
3. Your job is to live your life in a way that makes sense to you, not to “them”.
“Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.”
4. Ignorance is God’s prison.
“Ignorance is God’s prison. Knowing is God’s palace.”
5. Never give up on yourself.
“When you go through a hard period, When everything seems to oppose you, … When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute, NEVER GIVE UP! Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!”
“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.”
“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.”
6. When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.
“Knock, And He’ll open the door. Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun. Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens. Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.”
“Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.”
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”
“Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.”
7. There is something you can do better than anyone else.
“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.”
“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
8. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
“As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.”
9. When you commit to something, do it with all your heart.
“Half-heartedness doesn’t reach into majesty. You set out to find God, but then you keep stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.”
“When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.”
“Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.”
10. Good things come to an end so that better things can fall together.
“Do not grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
11. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”
“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”
“Don’t turn away. Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.”
“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”
“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
12. Do what you love and do it with love.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”
“Be occupied, then, with what you really value and let the thief take something else.”
13. Think less. Feel more.
“Reason is powerless in the expression of Love.”
“Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.”
“Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”
“There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you?”
“Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open?”
14. Love is worth it all.
“Gamble everything for love, if you’re a true human being. If not, leave this gathering.”
“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about events going badly. Let the lover be.”
15. Appreciate both the good and the bad in your life.
“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”
“When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it.”
16. You change your world by changing yourself.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
17. We are made of Love and made to Love.
“We are born of love; Love is our mother. “
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
“Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet, Through Love all that is copper will be gold, Through Love all dregs will become wine, through Love all pain will turn to medicine.”
“I have no companion but Love, no beginning, no end, no dawn. The Soul calls from within me: ‘You, ignorant of the way of Love, set Me free.’ “
“That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquillity.”
18. Your Soul is not of this world, your body is.
“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
“When I die, I shall soar with angels, and when I die to the angels, what I shall become you cannot imagine.”
19. At the Soul level, we are all ONE.
“All religions, all this singing, one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it’s still one light.”
“What shall I say, O Muslims, I know not myself, I am neither a Christian, nor a Jew, nor a Zoroastrian, nor a Muslim.”
“I am neither of the East nor of the West, no boundaries exist within my breast.”
20. Your Soul is more precious than anything.
“You know the value of every article of merchandise, but if you don’t know the value of your own soul, it’s all foolishness.”
21. Choose your life partner wisely.
“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.”
22. Real love transcends the material plane and no matter if your bodies are apart, your souls will forever be connected.
“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”
23. Raise your words, not your voice.
“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
24. Silence is the language of God.
“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.”
“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.”
“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”
25. Just to be alive is not enough.
“You think you are alive because you breathe air? Shame on you, that you are alive in such a limited way. Don’t be without Love, so you won’t feel dead. Die in Love and stay alive forever.”
What is your favorite quote from Rumi? Let us know in the comments.