Written by the Turkish author, The Forty Rules of Love is a life changing book. Elif Shafak’s book is inspired by Rumi’s message of love and his companionship with his spiritual master Shams of Tabriz. It’s one of those rare books that will encourage you to transform your life and fill it with love, and will help you find your true self, just as it helped me journey through my own self;
No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within.
This excerpt from the book had persuaded me to take upon this journey and now here I was, a wandering soul in search of its own true self.
Restless amidst the chaos of the never ending stressful, industrious and corporate life, craving for more humanly interaction with nature, in quest of tranquillity and urge to find my true self, above all the expectations of those close to me and default standards that fit me into the definition of a successful modest woman in the society, I craved for a break. I was lost and was struggling my way to find my own self.
Admirers of the law of nature say that this universe absolutely likes speed, so don't delay or have second thoughts! When the impulse is there and you can intrinsically and intuitively feel the compulsion from within you, hit the road! That's what we ought to do and that's just what I did and ended up in the north to witness the autumn of Hunza, known for its beauty and serenity at its best with a book that has known to change lives; Forty Rules of Love!
It was early in the morning and I headed out for a walk through the woods of Hunza, I felt as if Shams of Tabriz accompanied me. Through those red and orange leaves, birds chirping, falling berries and traditionally clad women adorned with ornaments, carving wood, which would very soon be converted into handicrafts and antiques, just like in the Al-Chemist.
As I walked through the crooked woods, I felt nature was beginning to take over me, the cold breeze, the smell of the soil, the feeling of nature, it was as if just as much as I was in the quest of peace and figuring out what I really wanted to do in life, who I wanted to be, this very place seemed like it was waiting for me to get there and feel the tranquility. It was just there and then the realization hit me hard. Might as well agree with what was penned down in Circa 3000 BC:
As above, so below.
As within, So without!
The force of attraction of my positive feelings was indeed channeling more positive vibes from nature to me, and that was the moment I lived. It was as if the universe had begun to rearrange itself to make it happen. I sat down, I was feeling good and it felt as if I was attracting good my way. I felt it and it felt ecstatic. I was finally able to focus. And I began to continue reading The Forty Rules of Love, From Ella to Aziz, Shams to Rumi, My mind could not stop fantasizing who I wanted to be: A travel writer; an incurable romantic, someone who loved nature, seeing and interacting with people from different backgrounds; the inhabitants, someone who could feel the aura, the symphony every place had that turned into music if you could feel and feel deeply, to be able to taste the foods that had traditions blended with the ingredients, to walk through the streets that had witnessed history! I felt my true being resonated with shams;
I hunt everywhere for a life worth living and a knowledge worth knowing. Having roots nowhere, I have everywhere to go.
Every corner of the world holds a legacy. However, to find your own self you must find the unknown, and that can be possible if you can fantasize and turn your fantasies into the realm of reality, only then you're in a position to learn not only about the world around you, but within you and beyond. I learnt this just as I read these lines in the novel;
The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time.
And that my friend, is where I am off to now just as I close my eyes again, I am a traveler into my soul ready to take a walk through the world, pen down what I witness and photograph what my eyes would behold as my memories, perhaps years down the lane, I will be a story teller, because we are what we live, and I happen to be a firm believer of living in the present, living every moment. That is what cherishes your soul and that is the experience you can cherish with others. That is all I could think of when I read;
Do not go with the flow.
Be the flow.
The revelation hit me hard, it meant 'Nothing can come into your experience unless you summon it through persistent feelings and thoughts'. All I had to do was to submit myself, just as it said in the book;
Some people make the mistake of confusing ‘submission’ with ‘weakness,’ whereas it is anything but. Submission is a form of peaceful acceptance of the terms of the universe, including the things we are currently unable to change or comprehend.
I went on reading, till my eyes fixated on the words carved on the paper more powerful than anything else;
What we need is sincere self-examination. Not being on the watch for the fault of others
I learnt, all that is to be done is to feel and fantasize before it could possibly happen for us, with faith in the unknown. Believe and it'll come to you. Live in the moments and let rest be history, to be told as a story. With that, I found the unknown. In my solitude, I found myself. I found peace. It is just in being who you truly are. Be you, and be bravely!
Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely.