8 Positive Life Lessons from Rumi

“Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me 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 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic who, and in my personal opinion, wrote some of the most beautiful and most profound words that were ever written.

Rumi’s words, his verses and his poetry has always inspired me. Its moved me at the soul level. Its made me understand so many of life’s truths that sometimes when I sit to soak in his words, I am astounded by what they reveal. You can read the same poetry a hundred times over and each time you will come to understand another layer of the wisdom it offers. Amazing right?!

I was introduced to Rumi by my very brilliant dad. He loved all things poetry and I was always surrounded by books and debates discussing essential life philosophy. I started reading Rumi when I was just 12 years old! While other girls my age read Nancy Drews I was reading Rumi and Gibran…yeah go figure 🙂 I obviously couldn’t process Rumi’s words at the time, but I loved how his words calmed me. Dad would often quote Rumi in his day to day interactions. He would quote him in Urdu, Farsi and English. All these years of being exposed to this Sufi wisdom tends to rub off  🙂
I often say that I am a Sufi at heart.

Today I want to share with you some of the life lessons I have learnt from Rumi’s wisdom so that you too may benefit from it and stay inspired:

8 Positive Life Lessons from #RUMI


“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” ~ Rumi

Self doubt is one of the major reasons we don’t fulfill our dreams. We think “how” while the Universe is already preparing to make the dream a reality, we stay stuck in the ‘smallness’ of the how. Our job is not to worry about the how, our job is to dream big and believe without a shadow of doubt that it WILL materialize. When we can truly believe that we are part of the Divine Universe and are capable of anything, we will stop being stuck in the smallness of it all. We will fully realize our potential and live a happily positive life.


“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.” ~ Rumi

We are all in this highly judgmental zone all the time. News papers, paparazzi, breaking news channels have made passing judgments on people their business and they make damn good money doing it too! Just recently someone I know was wrongly accused by the local papers here. The story ran sans any investigation and boom reputations tarnished forever. Ironic as it may seem…. we all are so quick to label stuff as right or wrong, black or white. However evolved we may become, we have been conditioned to live in a “put a label on it” world. In my opinion, its exhausting! That’s why this quote by Rumi is one of my favorites. It affirms that we do not need to always neatly fit things in labeled boxes. It ok to let go and simply LIVE. No judgment. No comparison. No burden of the right way…or the wrong way..Just descend into the sacred space in your heart, where only purity resides. Operate from that space. That space is where the calm is, the magic is, the soul feels most alive.


“Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.” ~ Rumi

While growing up we are all trained to behave a certain way. How this or that is acceptable or unacceptable behaviour. How this or that is the acceptable or unacceptable thing to say. On focusing on the outer cover of ourselves, we conveniently forget that its not what is on the outside that makes memories, its the feeling, the bond that one smile can create that literally lasts a lifetime. I still remember the smile of one distinguished old man when I was traveling many years back. It was SO crowded I could hardly breathe, but amidst it all that smile came through and made me feel like ‘everything is fine.’ Its only after the journey ended that I had a chance to catch up with the old man who came forward to to tell me that I reminded him of his grand daughter. We are still in touch.


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

Loving what you do and doing what you love is the fuel that keeps us happy. Ask a person who is stuck in a job he or she doesn’t love and you will know what I mean. No matter which job or position you are stuck in, remember that there is always hope and that what you love will eventually BE what you do. Don’t ever let those dreams die in the rubble of societal pressures. Let those dreams of what you love motivate you to slowly but steadily work towards that goal. When we are guided by what we love, it will always create success and happiness.


“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.” ~ Rumi

Our lifetimes are full of ups and downs. We each have to go through our downs in order to truly cherish our Ups. Its very easy to fall prey to the negative spiral that a hurting heart can bring about. But its far more rewarding to learn from that hurting heart. What doesn’t break you only makes you stronger and wiser. Think of all the times you have been hurt as a blessing in disguise…cause if it wasn’t for that experience you wouldn’t have become the evolved soul you are today. Darkness is NOT something to be scared of when you have a bright heart that has been blessed with wisdom from past hurts. Today, I am thankful for all my past scars, because if it wasn’t for those scars I wouldn’t be who I am today.


“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.” ~ Rumi

Over the years we all come in and out of relationships. Some relationships last while some fade away over time. The reasons for the fading relationships might not be happy ones but were essential to that point in your life. Many a times, distance, space and life in general get in the way of our important relationships. But, a connection that is heart to heart lasts no matter what. You might not talk for a while, you might not meet for a while ….but when you do meet or talk, its like no time has passed at all. That’s the beauty of heart connections. Its the beauty of loving with heart and soul. The pull of love transcends borders, transcends time and transcends superficial negativity. When you love with your heart there is indeed no separation.


“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.’ ~ Rumi

It has become a nasty habit of sorts to shove the blame onto someone else for literally everything. We hardly take ownership of our own actions, let alone taking responsibility of the actions of our community, country or world. Its ironic cause WE actually make up this community, this world and are still so happy to push blames for anything and everything that goes wrong with it. We sit on our high horse and pass judgment on the passerby who threw a chocolate wrapper on the road, but dare we get off that high horse to pick up the wrapper ourself. We talk but we don’t do. I have come to learn that if I want create positive change in my world, it HAS TO begin with me. I have to teach by example rather than by my snappy judgment. Yesterday evening when I was out for my evening walk, the girl walking in front of me threw an empty juice box on the floor and kept on walking. I simply picked the empty box and threw it in the garbage can which was two steps away. Since its a small walking garden, she saw me do that and came over running to help. Involuntarily another 6 people joined in and cleaned up the whole area. And I didn’t even have to say a word. We just hugged and parted after the half hour walk.


“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” ~ Rumi

Very recently, in a conversation with a dear friend we discussed passed failed relationships and their impact on us. Ofcourse those failed relationships were painful to live through. There is no doubt we would be extra careful for the future cause lets face it, once bitten twice shy right!? But what is amazing is that every failed or unpleasant relationship we have had has left us with a deeper understanding of our-self and the world around us. How can that be a bad thing? Its a blessing to have an open mind and understand the different facets of ourselves through the premise of failed relationships. It makes us better and wiser for the future. Why stop at failed relationships? Even our most successful relationships teach us something new about our-self everyday. Infact, my connection with my vegetable grocer or the cab guy or the supermarket clerk has the ability to teach me SO much IF I am open to it. I believe in the great scheme of things that each soul we encounter has been put there for a specific divine purpose. We might not understand that purpose, but we can certainly keep an open mind and heart to the learning that connection offers. Just for those guides that pass my way everyday, I am SO SO grateful.

What are your thoughts on Rumi’s Wisdom? What is your favorite Rumi quote, poem or saying and what has it taught you? Share your wisdom in the comments of this post and lets positively grow grow grow! 🙂


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19 thoughts on “8 Positive Life Lessons from Rumi

  1. Number 4 I would like to lock myself in a small house in the mountains away from everything and read only.
    Number 5 I have gone through it today as u know, I swarmed u with messages :)) and I am really sorry for that :((

  2. I greatly enjoy Rumi’s words. This is one that resonates with me as I feel Love is one of the most important things. “Love is cure. Love is power. Love is the magic of change. Love is the mirror of divine beauty.”

  3. My profuse thanks to you, Zeenat, for bringing these observations of Rumi together with your brilliant expatiation on each of these eight gems offering penetrative insights into worldly life. I admire Sufism as a mystical dimension of Islam, and its illustrious exponents such as Hazrat Amir Khusrau, Baba Bulle Shah, Ghulam Farid, Allama Iqbal and, of course, Jalaluddin Rumi. I love everything about Sufism, it’s dance, music and purity of thought that transcends boundaries of language and religion. The term Sufi comes from the Arabic word, Suf, meaning pure. Sufism, therefore, is the distilled essence of the finest and most refined aspects of spiritual aspiration. An atheist in my spiritual thinking, I detest all organised religions and their invasive and baneful influence in society’s social and cultural scene. So if you say you belong to one of the Islamic denominations, it does not hold any appeal to me. But if you describe yourself as a Sufi, you will have my endless love. Hence be there and keep being that. Best wishes…xx.

  4. I’ll happily be sharing this as it’s so CONTENT-RICH, Zeenat. I will also have to re-read your word wisdom as it truly is a Rumi Feast. Like you, I was reading Gibran at 15 with a girlfriend who is STILL a friend. We connect often on FB. She gifted me with “The Prophet” for my 15th birthday. Life has never been the same. Rumi didn’t come into my life until my 30s. Namaste~

    1. Mahmoud, We all do the best we can in any given moment. Hence since we are always striving to be our best selves that pursuit does not ever stop…with or without a partner. When we constantly work on ourselves, we will attract those sort of relationships in our lives too. And perfectionism….is a myth. No such thing. We are all a work in progress.
      That last lesson is just to shed light and be thankful for all the lessons our past failed relationships have taught us, so that we can make better decisions in the future and grow to become better human beings as a result of it. Or else all that pain and no gain?? Nah…we are always going to find the positive no matter what life throws our way..right? 😉
      Hope this clarifies it for you 🙂

  5. You have chosen so many of my favorites… it’s hard to choose. I try to be grateful for everyone, and that is easier when I let got of judgment and…. Well, you get the idea. Thanks for this morning’s inspiration.

  6. I love “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.’ and “Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” I often wonder how so much wisdom could be held in one man. Rumi is amazing. Thanks for sharing these quotes, and a little bit of your story, too, Zeenat. How sweet to hear these words from your Dad.

  7. Love, love, LOVE this post, Zeenat! You are so lucky to have been introduced to such wisdom writers at so young an age. I was already an adult when I came to learn of Rumi, Gibran, etc. Today the quote that most resonated with me was #4– Do What You Love. That’s what I’m in the process of doing and to read Rumi’s words just reinforces that it’s okay! Thank you again for such an inspirational post.

  8. kelleygrimes

    I love all these Rumi quotes but the one resonating the most with me right now is “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.” My youngest daughter is graduating from high school next month and will be heading off to college in the fall and this quotes gives me great comfort to be reminded that there is no such thing as separation when I love with my heart and soul! Thank you so much Zeenat for this beautiful blog!

  9. These are all so good, it would be impossible to choose just one! The habit of thinking small, I feel is so implanted in most of us even though it often manifests in subtle ways. If we knew who we really were, such magnificent beings, life would feel very different.

  10. I too love Rumi’s poetry of the soul. It calls out to me, as if a distant echo of a long forgotten memory of love. Thanks for sharing & reminding me of the beauty of his words again.

  11. All the quotes are valuable and insightful. I think #8 is a hard one to learn but has so much value and freedom in it. When we can learn to view the difficult people in our lives as teachers and learn from our experiences with them, we become free of pain and struggle…even though things may still not be easy.

  12. Pingback: 8 Great Life Lessons from Rumi : Conscious Life News

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