The Forty Rules of Love

Some inspiring quotes from the book “The Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak.

Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighbourhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will only open up a new path for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful for what he has been given and for all that has been denied. (p.73)

Patience does not mean enduring passively. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as not to be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full. (p.74)

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. (p. 86)

There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven, self-centred people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself. He will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the Light of God pass through them. (p. 88)

Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come? (p. 101)

It’s easy to love a perfect God, the unblemished and infallible He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human beings with all their imperfections and defects. Remember, one can only know what one is capable of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Unless we learn to love God’s creation, we can neither truly nor truly know God. (p. 110)

Fret not where the road will take you. Instead, concentrate on the first step. That’s the hardest part, and that’s what you are responsible for. Once you take the first step, let everything do what it naturally does, and the rest will follow. Do not go with the flow. Be the flow. (p. 136)

This world is like a snowy mountain that echoes your voice. Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead, for forty days and nights, say and think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of forty days because you will be different inside. (p.211)

The past is an interpretation. The future is an illusion. The world does not move through time like a straight line, from the past to the future. If you want to experience continuous illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment. (p. 216)

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Published on 2018/12/16

Posted in: Frustration, Good life, Happiness, Mindfulness, Self-Care,