If I Sit in My Own Place
A poem by Rumi
I know that God will give me my daily bread. There is no need to run about and waste my energies needlessly. In fact, when I gave up any ideas of money, food, clothes, of satisfying physical desire, then everything began to come to me naturally.
When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without any pain.
From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is
looking for me and attracting me; when it cannot attract me any more to go to it, it has to come to me. There is a great secret in this for anyone who can grasp it.
What I am saying is: busy yourselves with the business of the Other World, and everything in this world will run after you. When I said, “I am sitting in my own place in patience,” what I meant by “sitting” is sitting as applied to the business of the world to come.
If you sit occupied with the world to come you are in fact running; if you run about for the affairs of this world you are actually staying still and not doing anything real. Didn’t the Prophet say: “Make all your concerns one single concern and God will look after all your other concerns”?
Say there are ten worries nagging at you; choose the one about the Divine World, and God personally will see to the other nine worries without any need for you to do anything. There is a great secret in this for anyone who can grasp it.
That afternoon, I sat and listened to a friend reading this poem. I cried even as the first paragraph of the poem was read to me. It was dead on who I am. What I am. The feeling was so overwhelming.
You see, I have been running all my life. Everyone has his or her own fix. Mine was running at the fifth gear all the time: working, being active, and socializing.
I kept running because I wanted to make all the wrongs right. I did not trust anybody, perhaps not even God apparently, to take care of things for me. I have to take matters into my own hands. I wonder, although I have always said I believe in God, do I really believe in God? When I say I have faith, I trust, do I really have faith and trust?
I kept running because I wanted to make everything perfect in the midst of this total chaos called life. I kept running because it made me feel alive and significant. I was someone when I was running.
I was terrified of stopping. If I stopped, I would stop living. I would stop being someone. I would realize the emptiness and reconfirmed my feeling of being unwanted.
Can you imagine how tired it could get? Probably not.
So I ran. I ran until I could not run anymore, until there was no more strength to move, physically and emotionally. Then I felt like I was forced to stop. I had no choice but to concur: I stopped. Oh the excruciating pain of stopping. The repressed feelings resurfaced somewhat wildly.
At that same time, I started to recognize You. All this tiredness, anger, insecurities and pain were You calling me. It was also me yearning for You. Somehow my seemingly involuntary slow down gradually turned into an act conducted by choice or dare I say an act of Love.
Then this poem was read to me. I supposed the memories along with all the tears and pain reemerged. The feeling is still so strong. I even cried as I wrote this post. This is You reaching to me again, as You always do. Thank You for not giving up on me.
It was a good compassionate reminder for me: I shall sit in my own place. And let You do the rest.