The inspiration for this post is this verse from Rumi’s Masnavi:
When you are sweet because of sugar, it is (possible) that
sometime the sugar may become absent from you.
(But) when you become sugar as a result of being faithful,
then sugar will never be separated from sugar.
The original goes in Farsi (Persian) like this:
chûn tô shîrîn az shakar bâsh-î, bow-ad
k-ân shakar gâhê ze-tô ghâyib shaw-ad
chûn shakar gard-î ze-ta’Sîr-é wafâ
pas shakar kay az shakar bâsh-ad jodâ?
Isn’t it beautiful? The two simple lines speak the behavioural reality of people.
When things in our life are good, we are happy, jolly and sweet but then some sudden unpleasant incidents turn us into a bitter person momentarily or for life long. Our behavioural sweetness depends on our mood and the mood depends on our mental and emotional states. The condition of our lives, what are we going through are shaping the person we are becoming every day. Sometimes we are sad because of our external world and sometimes we are sad because we are not happy with our own self. There is sadness inside our inner world when we are not meeting our own expectations.
Our behaviour is a mirror of our mental state and same is the case with sweetness, we need to check the source of our sweetness where is it coming from? If the supply is external it will surely stop one day and the void of sweetness will be filled by bitterness quickly. A bad traffic, delay of planned or expected events, encounters with rude people just spoils our mood and turns us into a bitter person instantly. Have we thought about it? Yes we do a bit in fact the constant reminder in our minds start beeping “why should you spoil your mood because of somebody else “. Few rants later or exchange of bad words or looks keep us all going and human at same time.
But then there are moments where the voids of soul start screaming loud and you start looking for soul food to fill it in because our actions and thoughts doesn’t seem enough, we get consumed every day with our daily exposures to life. Our everyday prayers in invisible and spiritual ways help us to refill our reservoirs. Spiritual reflections are another way which helps us to fill this void. Rumi’s suggestion to become sugar is such spiritual reflection. To get the characteristic of sweetness deeply imbibed in our nature that it becomes a part of you so what can separate you from you? (Except Allah swt and normally He doesn’t stop you from doing good)
It is a big challenge to practice every day, to keep our calm and cool in all circumstances. By accepting the decree of Allah in which ever state He has kept us, we can then only truly embrace life and experience happiness inside our inner realm, the invisible dimension of every human being and then become sweetness or better said as Rumi’s sugar.