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Dance of the Dervish: Finding Wellness, dealing with pain, and learning Self-Love with Rumi's Quotes

a blue and gold dervish woman dancing with kintsugi cup and peacock feathers
Dance of the Dervish

Do you ever feel like everything is closing in around you, and you just want to escape to a deserted island so everything can just stop? You’re not alone; we all feel this way. I know I do. There have been times when it felt too overwhelming and too intense and too hard. Even getting out of bed can seem like a chore. It is my warning bell to do a quick repair session for my mind, my soul, and my body.

My life has gotten so fast. If this sounds like you, then you know a moment of pause and self-reflection is in order. We all have our poison or antidote. I rewind and repair with reading and writing. There are days when I just want to escape into a good book (mine or someone else’s.) And then there are days when I just want someone to tell me it’ll be okay. A friend. A confidant. An ear to listen.

Rumi’s poetry is my guide. His words of wisdom are a balm to my crazy, careening mind. Today, I want you to see if they can also be a healing salve to yours.

Rumi lived nearly 10 centuries ago, but his poetry transcends time, culture, religion, and nearly everything. His words speak of self-love, healing, and letting go of dead leaves. This is my favorite quote:

“Be like the tree and let the dead leaves drop.”

These words have inspired a lot! A published journal (check it out on Amazon), a simple smile, and a sort of calm in my soul.

Healing with Rumi

The poetry of Jalal-ud-Din Rumi, the famous Persian poet, is like music to my mind. His words have this profound ability to touch the deepest corners of my mind. He talks about human experience and pain in a way that reminds me I am not alone and that this, too, shall pass. Rumi has this incredible ability to quiet even my shadow self. You’ll know what I mean if you have wrestled with inner demons and unwanted baggage or done some Shadow Work. Rumi can speak to anyone in any language and give a profound understanding of pain, accepting it and changing it into strength.

In his poem “The Guest House,” Rumi turns pain, heartache, loss, and even paradoxical joy into guests of our minds.

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning, a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.”

His wisdom asks us to accept our sadness or pain and embrace them as opportunities for self-reflection. I’ve learned to acknowledge my emotions and understand why I feel them. This practice has empowered me and helped me heal and grow.

What Rumi taught me about ‘Me’

We spend our whole lives trying to find ourselves. As much as this journey of self-discovery can be exciting and incredibly rewarding, it can also be scary, exhausting, and emotionally and physically draining. When I’m laying there on my bed, spread eagle, and it feels too much to even breathe, Rumi reminds me that within the depths of my soul are the answers to life’s most profound questions. He speaks about loving myself, cracks, shadows, and all. So, I shed that self-doubt, I fill those cracks with gold like Kintsugi and wear myself on the outside. And I gotta tell you, it is liberating!

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

With Rumi, I paint my life as a canvas of what makes me unique and beautiful. The challenges and cracks are all my best battle scars that remind me to be unafraid of myself.

How I love myself more with Rumi

We love our friends, family, and even pets. But we sometimes forget to love ourselves. Self-criticism is great, but it shouldn’t border on abuse. Just as we shouldn’t be narcissists, we must find a balance in how we treat ourselves. It’s like raising a child. Too much love will spoil them rotten, but not enough love will turn them bitter. (No one is born that way.) Rumi has spoken pages upon pages on loving and accepting ourselves, including our shadows or darkness. All those hidden, ugly parts of ourselves that we never talk about. Inner Voldemort, anyone?

Rumi says self-love is not selfish. It is essential. So love yourself despite the imperfections. See your true self, acknowledge the flaws, embrace the hell outa them, and heal from the point of love and kindness. These two never go wrong. You can’t be selfish, mean, or wrong when you practice love and kindness for others and yourself.

In “The Essential Rumi” says:

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”

He’s saying follow your heart. Do what you love. Even professionally, we thrive in jobs and work that excites us. So, let your passions ignite your work and watch it blossom and prosper. Love for Rumi originates in us, radiates outwards to touch others, and then expands into the universe. His words have constantly reminded me that I am a spec in a grand design. It is both empowering and humbling. So, nurture your wellbeing. Be mindful and be resilient; it is the root of all contentment.

Rumi and mindfulness

Mindfulness is a word thrown around daily and now, thankfully, in the workplace. But it’s more than just a keyword or a catchphrase. Rumi’s teachings hone this into being in the present and at peace with our today. To be aware of our emotions and our triggers so that we can temper and calm ourselves.

Rumi always asked me to let go of the past, to release my worries about a future that isn’t here yet, and to be present. So, he set the bar for all those modern techniques discussed today.

“Do not be a magician; simply stand and let God do the miracles.”

It doesn’t matter what ‘God’ means to us all. This, to me, has always just been about standing with my eyes closed and letting go of all my worries, all my inhibitions, and just being still. Being present. I don’t have to do it all. I don’t have to succeed at everything. I just stand my ground and show up for my life every morning. It’s a lesson that has stayed with me.

Rumi and Resilience

Mindfulness is used a lot with its sister, resilience. It is about being strong in a moment of adversity. Rumi has taught me that hardships and pain are a normal part of life. We must learn to live through our trials, weather the storms, and come out wiser, if not a little dented. Remember how I said our cracks make us unique? Well, we have to be unafraid when facing pain. Pain is an indicator of change only. It’s our heart and body’s way of telling us something has to be fixed. So, don’t cry about it. Just fix it.

Rumi says adversity is a ladder rung leading to growth, healing, and self-discovery. I’ve learned my own limits as I’ve come through trials and tribulations. My pain has taught me more about myself than joy ever could.

“The wound is a place where the light enters you.”

Our cracks are an opportunity. We can fill them with shadows, leave them seething and open, or fill them with gold. So, think about your approach to pain. Rumi has countless poems teaching us to embrace, persevere, and navigate pain. That is resilience.

Even though Rumi existed 10 centuries ago, his words are timeless. His words speak to all the modern-day problems we face with stress and anxiety. If you want to navigate these turbulent waters, then Rumi is your guide. In his poetry, you will find power, passion, and perseverance. So go through his words, think about what they could mean for you, and find out more about yourself and your strengths.

Rumi said:

“The moon stays bright when it doesn’t avoid the night.”

So, love yourself, be unafraid of pain, and embrace your shadows until it all comes together. And it will.

If you're interested in learning what I did with Rumi's teachings, check out my 30-day fillable Healing Journal. I've written it like a journey from pain to love by using Rumi's best quotes. They are combined with healing visuals, contain 8 daily habits that promote healing, and a dead leaf to write away all things you want to let go of. You can find affirmations, advice, and interpretations of Rumi's words, and more.

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