If you've ever come across a poem by Rumi, you'll know that his writing was deeply spiritual and full of love and insight.
However, he also had a great sense of humour..check out the following piece of relationship advice:
"Here is a relationship booster that is guaranteed to work: Every time your spouse or lover says something stupid, make your eyes light up as if you just heard something brilliant"
And 3...2...1...eye roll..
Rumi was a deeply spiritual person...so could he have meant something else by this statement?
Could he have possibly known the truth of the Inside-Out Paradigm, of where our feelings actually come from? Did he realise that when we say 'stupid' things to our partner, that we're just innocently lost in the Outside-In illusion and in that moment, can't see the truth of where our feelings are actually coming from?
I'm guessing that he did..
And if like Rumi, we were able to see this truth, how different would our relationships be?
If we could see that our spouse had just momentarily lost sight of the truth and innocently believed that something other than their own thinking had the power to make them feel anything; then perhaps we would be more compassionate and look at them as if they had just said something brilliant. Perhaps we'd be less quick to dismiss them or argue with them, but instead find logical ways to work through whatever challenge or issue they were facing.
Rumi rahimu-Allah, was definitely deep.
And although he didn't leave behind a School of Relationships (how amazing would that be) - I've got the next best thing.
By going here, you’ll get free access to the first module of my 'Effortless Relationships' program, designed to help you nurture a beautifully deep and loving connection with your spouse.
If your Facebook newsfeed is anything like mine, you'll have noticed that more and more people are posting 'positive thinking' style, uplifting memes.
Whatever challenge you're going through - there's a meme for that.
Some of the inspirational advice that I believe has the opposite effect however, is when people are told to be grateful for their situation because others have it worse.
Now at face value it appears to be sound advice.
Comparing ourselves to others who are worse off should theoretically cause us to be more appreciative of our own situation and circumstances.
However, if you've been through a really challenging time and are struggling to be grateful, what can actually happen upon reading advice such as this, is that you feel even worse for being such a bad person that you can't even feel grateful for what you do have. Comparing yourself to people who have far less does nothing to lift your mood and so you feel worse about yourself and sink into feeling even lower than before.
There should only be one uplifting meme on Facebook and it should say this:
'You're only ever feeling your thinking'
Now at face value, this may not automatically solve all of the problems you're experiencing in life.
And that's exactly why I created a five-part online training programme, that takes this one simple statement, but with it digs deep so that you can see the truth of it in your own life.
And when you see this simple truth, something really nice starts to happen.
Your mind becomes so much quieter that you naturally become more thankful and express this gratitude to Allah every day. You no longer need to be forced to be grateful, you just are. Because you now understand the simple truth of how your mind actually works.
To begin to experience this for yourself, go here and watch the first module completely free.
For anyone that's into personal development, you may think it's strange that I'm telling you that it's OK to be sad.
I mean surely the whole point of self-development is so that we can be happy more of the time? We want less of the negative feelings and more of the positive feelings, right?
But here's why I believe that the focus shouldn't be on the 'positive' and 'negative' feelings, but rather, on the source of these feelings. Because when we understand the true source of our feelings, we can experience a different type of 'negative' emotion. We start to:
- Feel hurt without feeling heartbroken
- Feel sad without feeling distraught
- Feel lonely without feeling despair
- Feel upset without it needing to drag on for days, weeks or even months
When we realise the true source of our feelings, we experience a peace around even the most 'negative' of emotions.
I use inverted commas because I don't actually believe there are negative and positive emotions. These feelings are all neutral and what we perceive as good and bad feelings are actually a normal part of life. If the Prophet PBUH experienced every single emotion out there, then we know its sunnah (tradition) to also experience the same.
But there's a small but very important distinction in how we experience them.
When we know the true source of our feelings, we welcome these moments and stop looking at them as negative feelings. We experience them for what they are and avoid slipping down the slippery slope to despair, heartbreak and depression.
We're no longer battling against ourselves to stop experiencing the 'bad' and trying so hard to experience more of the 'good'.
Because there is good in it all and it's this understanding that allows us to experience life events such as the death of a loved one, in an entirely different way. In a way that brings us ease, peace and grace in the most challenging of circumstances - and with this comes a deeper connection with Allah.
To experience this for yourself, make your first stop my 5-part online Effortless Relationships training programme.
It's designed to help you have a more beautiful relationship - with yourself. And I've made the first module available here for free 🙂
P.S. And if you needed any further convincing, here's my favourite poet Rumi with a strikingly similar message 😉
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, depression a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes,
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Who isn't guilty of having one of these....when things don't go to plan, we retreat to the sofa and have an adult version of a toddler tantrum, albeit a quieter and less physically demanding one.
We may sit there silently stuffing ourselves with cake and chocolate, whilst contemplating how rubbish we have it compared to everyone else. We sigh heavily and may even cry at how things are just not working out for us.
We feel so sorry for ourselves.
And if we're not careful, this short and sweet self-pity session can turn into a constant phase of living in victim-mode. Suddenly our self-pity has become a big part of our life to the point where it comes up in conversation with others almost immediately. It's as if we introduce ourselves to others as 'Hi my name is Joe Bloggs and I'm a victim of xyz'.
We may not even realise that this is what we're doing.
What we feel self-pity about, suddenly becomes 'us' and we forget that the real me, our true self, is so far removed from the made-up stories we've been telling ourselves during our self-pity sessions.
You see, no matter what we think about ourselves, none of that made-up thinking can actually take anything away from who we truly are at our core. We are all perfect beings, who sometimes face challenging times, who sometimes make mistakes and slip-up and sin, but get up again and strive for better.
When we pause for a moment and stop beating ourselves up for how things have turned out for us, it frees our mind to instead focus on what we can do right now in this present moment. We end up taking more beneficial action because we're no longer dwelling on the past which no longer exists, or worrying about the future which hasn’t even happened yet.
The only moment that really matters, is this one.
Right now, in this present moment, everything is fine. You are fine. And only your thinking will tell you otherwise.
So, ditch the self-pity session and the beating yourself up and instead start to live life as your highest self. And if you need some help in doing that, then you should probably watch my 5-part online training programme. I've made the first module available for free here.