When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep….
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.
I first read these words many years ago. They touch me still, but the interpretation I give them now has deepened.
In a most fortunate meeting with a wise person I know, I was reminded yesterday that love’s deeper task is finding the Beloved of the Soul. There is a better choice than the endless search for the perfect partner who inevitably disappoints since there’s no perfection in this life. The wise ones point us toward an ever more profound embrace of life and of what is right now.
Rumi loved all of it–the worship, the failure, the music, the poetry, the silence. When “everything is soul and flowering,” there is no circumstance or loss or confusion we cannot welcome as an unexpected visitor with lessons to teach us.
May you be blessed with the grace to see things this way today, dear visitor. For help with relationships and sexuality, please visit me at www.coupleswisdom.com.