21 Slices of Rumi Wisdom for Your Journey of Self-Love

Timeless poetry from the 13th-century Sufi mystic and poet

Martin O'Toole
3 min readApr 7, 2021
Rumi (“Mevlana”) illustration licensed via DepositPhotos.com.

Last month I made a pilgrimage to Konya, in the central Anatolia region of Turkey. The city is renowned for its culturally diverse history, but I was drawn there for one particular reason. Konya is the resting place of a writer very close to my heart; Mevlana, better known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی).

As many of you will know, Rumi (“Glory of the Faith” in Arabic) was a Persian poet and Islamic scholar. Perhaps a lesser-known fact is that Rumi was known as a “drunken Sufi” thanks to his celebrated interest in music, dancing, and poetry. In fact, his spinning style of celebratory dance inspired the Mevlevi Order, or ‘Whirling Dervishes’, formed in Konya after his death, in 1273. The dance is believed to create an ecstatic trance, opening a mystical portal between worlds.

Shine like the whole universe is yours.

— Rumi

Rumi’s words are a continually cherished source of inspiration to me as I enjoy my journey of self-love and deepen my practice of awareness of Self. To find such resonance with another’s wisdom has always been an unequivocal comfort and a wonderful reminder that I am not alone; that my questions, feelings, and my experiences in life are not unique. His musings know no border, transcending religions, cultures, languages, and of course, time. Rumi’s words remind me of my undeniable connection to you.

We are all at different points and on different paths up or down the mountain. However, one shared truth is that we are all on our way home, and in this truth, Rumi’s words unite us all.

With this in mind, here are just a few of those words that have helped me on my journey towards self-love. I sincerely hope they might resonate with you.

  1. I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.
  2. There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.
  3. Tear off the mask. Your face is glorious.
  4. You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.
  5. Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.
  6. These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.
  7. There is a basket of fresh bread on your head, yet you go door to door asking for crusts.
  8. Maybe you are searching among branches for what only appears in the roots.
  9. Lose yourself completely. Return to the root of the root of your own soul.
  10. The wound is the place where the light enters you.
  11. The cure for the pain is in the pain.
  12. Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?
  13. Through love, all pain will turn to medicine.
  14. Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
  15. Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.
  16. Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the world.
  17. Let yourself be silently drawn to the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
  18. Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.
  19. There comes a time when nothing is meaningful except surrendering to love.
  20. Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on, get drunk.
  21. This is a subtle truth. Whatever you love, you are.

Few philosophers have written such volumes of thought-provoking and heartwarming poetry about the battle between consciousness and ego. Nor can you find another who has articulated humanity’s struggle to learn to love in this realm of duality with such style and beauty.

Watch me reading a chapter of my book, How To Die Happy: curated wisdom, stories, and practical utilities, for the art of living.



Martin O'Toole

Psychedelic integration coach and counsellor, How To Die Happy author, podcaster, and mental health advocate writing about healing and the Anatomy of Happy.