What does it say about me that I think my version of Christianity is partly summarized by a line from Rumi, a 13th Century Persian Sufi poet?
Anyway, I first became aware of Lilith Saintcrow back at Orycon a couple years ago, and now I follow her blog because of advice like On Becoming Yourself (where she quotes a poem by Rumi from which the title of this post is gakked.)
In case you don’t have time to read the whole post:
“* God (aka the Divine) does not care how popular you were or were not in high school. God cares about you being a decent human being. Everything else (including doctrine, dogma, proselytizing, and all other aspects of organized religion) is window-dressing, and window-dressing that wastes a lot of time. Being a decent person seven days a week is what’s important, not going to church one day a week and acting like butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth.”
Which is a truth I think most people can acknowledge regardless of faith or creed. What I find myself explaining to people is that going to St. Luke helps me REMEMBER to be good.
“* Hate will turn you into what you hate. Love is infinitely harder but infinitely more worth your time. Loving someone who mistreats you is fine. Letting them mistreat you is not. Respect yourself enough to say, “I may love you, but that doesn’t give you the right to treat me like shit.” Try to do this as early as possible in any relationship–and if the person keeps treating you like shit, run away before you become a hostage to the situation.”
Why is love so much harder? It’s not fair! But I agree that love means respect as well as giving. You can love people without letting them abuse you. And sometimes it is showing MORE love to separate yourself and not allow them to harm you then it is to scrape yourself raw inside and out by trying to save them.
Along with the full poem:
“Come, come, whoever you are
Warrior, wanderer, lover of leaving
(it doesn’t matter)
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have
Broken your vows a thousand times.
Come, come yet again, come.”
Because this poem gives me hope. I’m a breaker of vows, over a thousand times, but maybe I’ll get there someday