The Twenty-First Rule of Love

“You are bleeding,” Shams murmured as he started to wipe the blood off my face. “Not only on the outside, but inside as well. You should know that the wound inside you is deeper, and that is the one you should worry about. This will remind you that you bear God within you. “

“That security guard. . . he whipped me. He said I deserved it.”

Shams of Tabriz shook his head. “They had no right to do that. Every individual is self-sufficient in his search for the divine. There is a rule regarding this:

“We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No two hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is tantamount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.”

The Eleventh Rule of Love

And here comes another one of my favourites.

As a Sufi, [Shams of Tabriz was] trained to accept the thorn with the rose, the difficulties with the beauties of life. Hence followed another rule: 

“The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.”

The Seventh Rule of Love

And the seventh one is about the separate worlds of the lonely and solitary. Most of us are plagued by loneliness and it is the effort to be solitary that sets us free. In a solitary world, a relationship between two people is then that of two free souls uniting and coexisting.

“Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually, it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.”