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We don’t get to choose grief.
We don’t know how or when it strikes. Who or what we’ll lose.
It descends upon us all at once, and it never quite leaves. Whoever has endured loss knows that we don’t recover from grief.
Recovering is not a choice or a note to check off our to-do list. Grief is meant to stay within our bones, vessels, and skin. It’s meant to knock us down, lift us up, and metamorphose us into something greater than tears and tremble.
Rumi, the distinguished Sufi poet, was the first to change my perspective of sorrow. He lost Shams. With that loss, he lost a part of himself that was impossible to recover. However, he found a new part that was inspired by his grief.
The tears he had shed turned into poetry, and the screams he had released transformed into whirling.
I don’t think anyone can explain grief better than Rumi did. It is soothing and comforting when we read the words we wish to articulate. Reading poetry won’t bring whatever we lost back, but I promise it will open our eyes.
It will help us see things differently and understand the essence of separation. There is so much beyond pain that we can’t see when we’re drowned in our own calamities. Let’s allow Rumi to show us the hidden path.
“One day your soul will carry you to the Beloved.
Don’t get lost in your pain,
know that one day your pain will become your cure.”
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
“Whoever finds love beneath hurt and grief
disappears into emptiness with a thousand new disguises.”
“What goes comes back. Come back.
We never left each other.”
“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.”
“Your body is away from me,
but there is a window open
from my heart to yours.”
“But listen to me:
for one moment, quit being sad.
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you.”
“What hurts you, blesses you.
Darkness is your candle.”
“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.”
“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.”