Being spiritually enlightened, means to possess wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.In Buddhism, spiritual enlightenment is a state of bliss with neither desire nor suffering. To me, being enlightened means to be aware and awake, and to shine your light, that divine light you inherited from your Heavenly Father, that sparkle that brings joy to the lives of others.
The dictionary meaning of “enlighten” is to illuminate, with its Old English roots meaning “to remove the dimness or blindness,” which is usually used figuratively as “from one’s eyes or heart,” or to provide intellectual light, or “shed light upon.”
Seeking for enlightenment is part of the human experience. Is its attainment possible? I believe that becoming an enlightened being, being perfect, is not something we achieve in this life, and that Christ was the only perfect being that has walked the Earth.
But I do believe there is a way to live an enlightened life, a life of love, peace, and contribution. And today we’re going to explore a few quotes by Persian poet by the name of Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī) that I believe can help us progress in our journey toward enlightenment.
Rumi’s poetry and spiritual teachings been translated into many languages across the world and is becoming increasingly popular in the USA. These are the Rumi quotes that have most impacted my life:
“Wherever you stand be the soul of that place“
Many people comment that I always look happy. “You’re always smiling!,” they comment, and often times, smiling is a decision. Being the soul of whatever place you stand means deciding that as you enter any room you will brighten the place.
It means spotting the lonely and keeping them company, it means finding opportunities to express gratitude, it means listening compassionately, speaking authentically, and having the courage to be vulnerable. It means infecting others with your joy.
When you are the soul of a place you enter, you are not concerned about what others will think of you or how they may judge you because of their perception or what they see reflected in you, you are focused on how they feel around you.
When I smile and hug and compliment others, it’s not because my life is perfect and I have no issues, sadness, or struggles in my life. It is the practice of focusing on others when you are in their presence, so they feel seen, heard, and loved. And as you do that, I guarantee you will not only shine your light brighter toward others, your heart will feel blessed by this light, as well.
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
In our current mortal state, grief is inevitable, pain is unavoidable, and we are to experience trials and adversity. But we need not grieve about everything or everyone, neither must we grieve always.
It is a joy to know with certainty that those things and relationships we feel we have lost are actually restored in another form, a better form, a form we couldn’t even had imagined.
There is a time for everything under the sun, and grieving is on the list; but take a moment to replace your lack, fear, and suffering with the curiosity of “how is this coming back to me?” This simple question can fill you with wonder and hope for what is next, rather than feeling like you are falling into a deeper hole of despair.
“What hurts you blesses you.”
What hurts you blesses you. If you would have said to me in the past, I would have said you were out of my mind, so I understand if you think I am losing it.
I consider myself a student of pain because I’ve been through so much pain, suffering, and anguish and each time, I have learned so much from it.
I felt that psychical and emotional abuse as a child was a curse and that my parents’ divorce was a death sentence because couldn’t survive without my dad. I tried to take my life to make it end. I felt worthless after being raped and almost killed, I wanted to die when I was in a coma. I felt like a failure when I was going through domestic violence. I was inconsolable when I became a single mom and I was afraid when I had cancer in my body. No, I did NOT think any of it was a blessing at the time. But now I do. Now I know that each of those experiences have contributed so much to my life and I am so grateful for all of it, not because of the events themselves, but because of what they created in me and helped me learn about myself.
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you”
When we are wounded, we tend to ask ourselves important questions, to gain perspective on what truly matters, and to see the power that is within.
It is at our lowest moments that we seek God, that we get on our knees in fervent prayer, that we are willing to act in faith to see a change manifested.
Many times, we are not deliberate in changing our lives because the unhealthy cycles meet our needs. I sometimes think about what kind of life I would be living with my daughters had I not been wounded so deeply. It is unbelievable to know that I was so comfortable in being broken because I wanted it to seem like someone did love me as I was. It was more painful at that time for me to imagine the shame I associated with failure and the pain of divorce I experienced as a child than the pain of an unhealthy relationship. I am grateful for the wound and for the perspective that helps me avoid being judgmental when others are in situations they can’t seem to escape, even though I see “just how easy it would be IF…” because without my own wound, I would have never been able to have that kind of light.
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you become polished?”
This Rumi quote is such an essential reminder in my life. I have learned that complaining doesn’t really get me anywhere but down. And I have had enough proof that when I do something cheerfully or at least with the best accepting attitude, the process tends to get a bit easier than I anticipated and A LOT easier than when I do it while moaning and whining.
And in the end, I do see how each time the going gets tough, I am being polished, I am being strengthened, I am being prepared for something bigger; something I really want. I look back and say “oh, so that’s why I needed to go through that.” In some occasions it’s more obvious than in others, but I try to catch myself complaining about something or someone and to study the pattern of what blessing those types of frustrations and irritations have brought me in the past and trust that it will be something wonderful, or at the very least, a more wonderful me.
“Know that one day your pain will become your cure.”
By now you are starting to understand why these are my favorite Rumi quotes, aren’t you? Yes, becoming enlightened has a lot to do how we handle pain in our lives and how much we trust that this pain is necessary.
As moms, we know that pain births miracles – we either did it ourselves biologically or someone did it for us. And as we mother these miracles, they become even more special and are source of so much pain – whether it is the pain of having to provide what we don’t feel we adequately have enough of or the pain of seeing them go through their own pains.
As we develop an inner knowing – a testimony – that our pain will heal, our pain is blessing us, and our pain will, in the end, save us, we will have so much more hope, peace, and joy in our lives.
If you’re reading this going: “yeah, I don’t see that happening!,” remember my disclaimer: we can only make progress in this direction, so that’s all we’re aiming for. What baby steps can you take to be more trusting that the Divine Plan is working for you even when it seems like it’s the other way around?
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Changing the world sounds like such a noble feat. I mean, you’d be a superhero if you did. But the only person we can change is ourselves. I can only change me – and that alone is quite an undertaking.
A lot of suffering, disappointment, and separation comes from trying to change someone else. It is toxic to want to change what is. And I can tell you from personal experience that it is extremely exhausting!
Empowerment comes from taking personal responsibility, realizing that we must start with “the mom in the mirror,” focusing on self-love, on self-growth, and on making progress toward our own evolution.
“What you seek is seeking you”
What you are dreaming of is already yours and it is demanding, expecting, and desiring to be manifested through you. In plain English: what you want for you is what God wants for you.
There are times in which we may feel like we are not worthy or deserving of a particular blessing, or that it may be impossible, or if it seems possible, it may be too much to ask.
And here’s the plain truth: if you are wishing, dreaming, and hoping for a vision that you see in your mind’s eye, it is because your soul knows that vision is what is in store for you.
Albert Einstein used to say: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Those attractions want you as much as you want them… and as you believe it, you can achieve, acquire, and experience them.
“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.”
Because I’ve struggled so much with self-worth and with feeling unlovable, this Rumi quote hit me really hard. I realized that, as it turns out, the same walls that I used to protect myself were the wall that kept me isolated.
They say that the worst punishment for a human being is solitary confinement. We crave connection, contribution, and collaboration. And yes, these relationships that make life more meaningful can also make it messy, but that’s the beauty of life and the wisdom of opposition.
One essential lesson I learned is that when I was seeking to be loved, seeking for approval, and seeking for appreciation, is when I least received them. As we allow the flow of love, rather than try to control or manipulate it, it freely makes its way to us. As we are the source of love, we can feel it in its purest expression.
“Every mortal will taste DEATH but only some will taste LIFE.”
Everything that is born in the earth will someday perish; dying is not optional. But it is one thing to live and another thing to be alive.
As Henry David Thoureau wrote in Walden:
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”
Some people just go through the motions, numbing dreams, passions, and desires, and resigned to never experience them. Or maybe they major in minor things, focusing on making everything perfect, and thus neglecting what truly matters.
To taste life is to fully appreciate the gift that it is, to play full out, to really seize it in its maximum expression.
“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
No matter how much I have tried, it is confirmed that yelling doesn’t work. I never get the result I’m looking for and I am drained, ashamed, and depressed afterward.
The caliber of the words we use can truly impact everyone around us, including ourselves. And if our words are to others like rain is to flowers, our words must nourish them, help them grow, give them life.
Raising our words means raising the vibration of our words to match the energy in which we want to live. When our words are positive, we create a positive life filled with positive relationships! Your words create your world!
“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
Gratitude is one of the highest virtues and very powerful as a practice. When we are grateful, we generate more for which we can have gratitude, if we choose.
But sometimes it is very difficult to be grateful to or about some people in our lives. Whether they are permanent residents of your world or just passers by, they are each on a mission to guide you in the journey of life.
I always say that everyone I encounter is my teacher, and that is, in essence, what Rumi is teaching us with this quote. Some will model a behavior that we will admire and strive to follow, some will teach us an example of how not to be or treat others, others will challenge us, serve as a reflection, or be a mentor… either way, there’s always something to learn.
“Love is the bridge between YOU and everything.”
Do you subscribe to the philosophy that “all you need is love?” Love is definitely the secret ingredient that makes everything better, because it is the highest vibration there is. This means that our energy resonates at a high frequency when we express the qualities that charity encompasses: patience, kindness, humility, selflessness, truth, hope, faith, gratitude, peace (1 Cor 13).
Love is the greatest energy of consciousness, and when we operate from love vibration, we create a reality around us that aligns with our true potential. Love energy creates miracles, joy, and healing, and transforms you into a magnet for prosperity in all areas of your life. Love never fails!
Which of these Rumi quotes resonated most with you? I am looking forward to reading your thoughts and insights, so be sure to share!