“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.” – Rumi (1207 – 1273)
A friend recently sent me the above Rumi quote. I’ve been reading Rumi for years and had never come across this quote. It’s beautiful and so very true. I have a different friend who has been going through a sorrow filled time – grieving the death of a very close friend. I hope Rumi’s very wise and beautiful words help her as she journeys to the other side of grief and ultimately to joy.
“To live many lives, you have to die many deaths” – this sounds like it originated in Eastern thought – not sure where I first heard it. This could be talking about reincarnation. To me it is talking about “dying” to our old selves as we learn and mature. I have died to being a small child, a teenager, to being a young mother of small children, to being a business woman – as my life has unfolded, it has been important for me to be reborn into new aspects or phases of life.
At each “death” I felt great sorrow – grieving what had been and was no more. At times I still yearn to hold my young babies again – both grown adults now. I still hold them – just in a different way – honoring them as adults walking their own path. I know many women who continue to relate to their grown children as if they were babies – they attempt to control them or put them on a guilt trip for not doing as “Mom” says. You see, learning to die is very important.
The cells in our bodies that refuse to die are called cancer.
Remember: “Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
As you walk along your own hero or heroine’s journey, take time to consciously feel sorrow for what is dying or has died in your life. What’s new, what’s next? You’ll never know until you let go of the “rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.” Always remembering “sorrow prepares you for joy.”