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It is a common and contemporary misconception that when Rumi defines love in his verses, he’s referring to the superficial love that leaves us desiring to possess another.
Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
In each instance where the great Sufi poet refers to love, he is speaking of the entity that lives within us. Some call it God; others call it the soul. It is that magic we often spend too much time trying to avoid with distractions. That still, quiet voice inside of us.
I know for myself, I avoided the idea of being alone for many years. I tried to chase it away with alcohol and substances and lovers. But finally, the universe left me with no other choice but to sit with myself and face that scary quiet.
It was in that place where I finally discovered the true meaning of love.
These 10 quotes from Rumi on love will seem vastly different when read with this truth in mind—the truth that love is the most beautiful thing inside of us, that it has always been with us, and that it can only be discovered in the silence:
“There is no salvation for the soul but to fall in love. Only lovers can escape out of these two worlds.”
“On the path of love, we are neither masters nor the owners of our lives. We are only a brush in the hand of the master painter.”
“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”
“If you love someone, you are always joined with them—in joy, in absence, in solitude, in strife.”
“Whatever happens, just keep smiling and lose yourself in love.”
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.”
“They say there is a doorway from heart to heart, but what is the use of a door when there are no walls?”
“You have within you more love than you could ever understand.”
“Love is the bridge between you and everything.”