Rumi Quotes — Sorrow and Joy
I’ve been pondering lately the polarity of sorrow and joy. These emotions are essential ingredients that flavor life with bitter and sweet. I am no stranger to life’s seasonings or the cycle of grief. It is through loss and pain that I have come to a deeper understanding of myself and the world around me.
The journey through sorrow allowed me to cross the boundary line of what I think to establishing what I know. For instance, I now realize that happiness is a state of appreciation. Joy is the product of what I value be it life, people, nature, family, friends, or my job…or all of the above and then some!
Grief forced me to look at what I have and evaluate who I am, changing my value system. Each time I faced sorrow, I received a choice. When I chose the path of betterment over bitterness, I created an opportunity to encounter new joy. And, I have found, the more I choose betterment, the length of sorrow’s journey shortens as well as leaves fewer scars in the process.
Rumi captures this idea beautifully…
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
“The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh.”
“I saw Sorrow
holding a cup of pain.
I said, hey sorrow,
sorry to see you this way.
What’s troubling you?
What’s with the cup?
what else can I do?
All this Joy that you have brought to the world has killed my business completely.”
The Biodome Chronicles explores this polarity through the metaphoric theme of life cycles. Rumi shared, “Inside of us, there’s a continual autumn. Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water” (posted in my previous Rumi Blog). I love this imagery of death/sorrow (autumn) and life/joy (water). Each of the characters — main and secondary — journey through sorrow, working through a grief that holds their life captive. For some it is the loss of someone they love, for another the loss of innocence, vision, or life as they knew it, and another, the loss of self. As they evaluate what they have and who they are, their value system changes as they choose between the path of betterment or bitterness. Needless to say, it has been a rather cathartic experience for me as the author, and I hope it is for readers, too.
Have you journeyed through sorrow and encountered new joy?
Which quote was your favorite? #1, #2, or #3?