Living Wisely and Lovingly: Quotes by Omid Safi
Omid Safi is a regular blogger at www.onbeing.org. His writing, which often includes quotes by the Sufi mystic Rumi, has captivated me. He gentleness and transparency inspires me to write as authentically and honestly as I can. I hope you enjoy these amassed quotes. Please visit www.onbeing.org for more of his work.
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“Fear is on the loose. Love is invisible.”
“But what if happiness is too small a goal? What if we are not meant for happiness? What if in the quest for a cheap kind of individual happiness, we lose the very grit of life that we all have to confront at some point?”
“What if we strive for something beyond happiness? What if we aim for a life that is about being whole?”
“The path of love is not the avoiding of suffering, but the welcoming of joy and suffering alike, the way a gracious host would.”
“I know that there is something in us that calls for direct, urgent compassion.”
“Love refuses all boundaries, obliterates them. Love erases the borders the way that shadows disappear in the light, the way fog evaporates in sunlight.”
“So many of us live lives that are disconnected from meaningful contact with fellow human beings, from a touch that heals, from nature, from the sacred. And yet there is something in us that responds to the call of the wild. The minute that we are in the woods, by a body of water, next to a mountain, listening to the wind in the desert, something in our hearts responds to the beauty and acknowledges the majesty.”
“Ultimately, love has a mandate: to remain rooted, grounded, serving those in the immediate vicinity, yet propelling us towards the global, the universal, the cosmic.”
“There is something extraordinary that happens when we devote ourselves to the whole of us. When we open our hearts to all of us, it becomes possible to open our hearts to each of us.”
“This is what open spaces are: a reminder that our hearts are meant to be open, cast open, flung open so that the whole cosmos is reflected within.”
“Unprocessed grief always lashes out in ignorant, unhelpful ways.”
“Let the circle of your love deepen, widen, and expand, until it encompasses the whole universe. When it does, it will enfold you as well in a way that is whole, healing, and worthy.”
“Life is not linear. / Life is not a victory march to success. / The life that I know is messy.”
“This is the promise of any real spiritual path. We do not begin as saints, not as already illuminated beings. We come, again and again, because we seek to become so.”
“This love of wide open spaces moves us beyond the ethics of caretaking and custodianship. It is a reminder that we as human beings are part and parcel of the fabric of the natural cosmos. To destroy nature—as we are doing—is also to destroy part of our own beings.”
“No, the answer the ISIS’s violence and hatred cannot be more hatred and more ignorance. We have to transcend this hatred through something more beautiful and loftier: a call for universal love, and a holistic sense of justice.
We cannot curse our way out of this darkness. This fragile and broken world needs more light, more light.”
“In the midst of grief, there is still time to hold a friend’s hand, to hold a beloved in the heart, and go for a gentle stroll.
I don’t have the answers to ISIS, or how to defeat them. But I do know this: at the end of the day, love and unity will have the victory. If we are to get there, we have to remain fully human.
If we close our hearts to love, to each other, to nature, to God, we have already lost. If we close our hearts to one another, we have already lost.”
“We are human beings who fail, stumble, get up again, and fail again. Our failures are not individual, and hurt those around us.”
Which of these activities nurture your soul?
“Love comes in all shapes and sizes, all directions. May it spring up from under your feet, may it pour on you from above, and gush from you inside.”
“When we see love and compassion anywhere, let us celebrate.”
“But if that is what nurtures your soul, learn it. Mark it a habit. Make time for it. And if you find that you are running on fumes, recharge yourself.”
“And remember that what we mean by love is not an emotion. It’s not Hallmark. It’s not Valentine’s Day. Love for us is nothing shy of the very unleashing of God onto this realm. It is love that brought you here, it is love that sustains you here, and it is love that will deliver you back home.”
“Every one of us is a jumbled mess of contradiction.”
“Banish this word ‘busy’ from your vocabulary and ask instead, ‘It is meaningful?’”
Writing: an activity I find meaningful
“Continue expanding your circle of compassion until every sentient being is included. No exceptions.”
“Don’t give up on love. Love is hard. It will break your heart, and it will heal you. But don’t give up on it.”
“Recognize that love comes in many shades and sizes.”
“If you’re blessed with someone loving and sacrificing, give thanks to the Keeper of the Stars. Live in gratitude. You are truly blessed.”
“When we love someone truly, we don’t put them on a pedestal. We simply want to be with them.”