Tired of Speaking Sweetly

I went to a beautiful Sufi retreat this weekend, was completely steeped in beauty and angelic goodness. The food was beautiful, the people were beautiful, the words were beautiful, the environment was beautiful. Of course, then I found myself thinking about the other side, the part that is messy, full of tears, resistance and temper tantrums. My ego is not giving up the fight so simply.

A good friend shared this poem a few weeks ago, and during this sweet angelic weekend, a weekend where most of the Hafiz and Rumi quoted were full of goodness and light, I found these words echoing in my head.

Sometimes both are true.

(from The Gift – versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)


Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth

That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,

Causing the world to weep
On too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us inside of a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.

The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:

Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear
He is in such a “playful drunken mood”
Most everyone I know
Quickly packs their bags and hightails it
Out of town.

~ Hafiz ~


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