During Sunday’s spiritual chat, one of the members quoted Rumi to drive home her point on self-love:
Unfortunately, this is not a Rumi quote at all! Even I was fooled on Sunday, so when I searched for the poem it originates from, I was surprised to realize the wise words came from Thich Nat Hahn’s book True Love: A Practice of Awakening the Heart.
Well it certainly sounds like something he would have said, so this week’s Rumi Moment will be sponsored by a guest speaker. My absolute favorite part about this exerpt is the question Thich (he lets me call him Thich) poses at the end; the addition of one simple question turns this random quote into the perfect tie in for this week’s focus on “Creating Space.”
Thich’s words, from the last paragraph of the first section of his book:
The fourth element is upeksha, equanimity or freedom. In true love, you attain freedom. When you love, you bring freedom to the person you love. If the opposite is true, it is not true love. You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free, not only outside but also inside. “Dear one, do you have enough space in your heart and all around you?” This is an intelligent question for testing out whether your love is something real.
Let me just say a couple things about this. First, this is why we unpack the words that surround popular quotes that pass around the internet. More often than not, the words before and after the quotes provide meaning and context that we can use to better implement the wisdom in our life. For instance, think of how often the sentence “love in such a way that the person you love feels free…” is quoted without the helpful instruction of asking “do you have enough space in your heart and all around you?” We use quotes as inspiration but often fail to go the extra mile of giving a hint as to HOW that inspiration looks in real life. The Rumi Moment of the Week is my attempt at adding that element to the numerous Rumi quotes that proliferate the internet these days.
Now what about you? Do YOU have enough space in your heart and all around you? How can you begin to love yourself so much that you feel free, not only outside but inside too?