top of page

Spiritual Reflections on the Work of 13th Century Persian Poet, Rumi

By Sithara Stohr LSW & Ben Tudor LMFT

Art can be healing, challenging, and create space for us in many ways. It can help us see the world differently. Many of us have artists, poets, or people whose work resonates with us. Reflecting on art together can provide perspective and develop connection. Two of our therapists took some time to reflect on their favorite quotes from a poet whose work has affected their lives.

Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet and philosopher. He is most well known for his Masnavi series that teaches how to find love in God. His works have been translated into numerous languages, and have affected the pathway of literature as a whole in many countries. Rumi's work was influenced by his family, life story, and Islamic preachers. With a basis in the reality of life, his poetry has been accessible and relatable for many, even hundreds of years later. These poems explore themes of life, love, spirituality, and purpose. Overall, Rumi’s work reminds us that there is beauty in our imperfections and his work is a reminder of the importance of creating meaning in our lives.

Ben Tudor, LMFT

Your introduction and relationship to Rumi:

I can’t remember when and where I first heard of him, but the following quote was my gateway.

Though I do not practice an organized religion, I, as a human, with the gift and curse of consciousness, am constantly looking for meaning, greater understanding, and information towards my personal philosophy of life and life living. Rumi is a phenomenal guide, and collaborator, in my never-ending pursuit to make some sense of myself, my experiences, and the world I cohabit.

The quote:

“Be melting snow, wash yourself of yourself”

Why it is meaningful to you?

It’s humbling. You’re not that special. :)

But also, it acknowledges that at times you are your own worst enemy, your biggest obstacle. If you can just get out of your way, it becomes much easier to embark on a life that you can be proud of. One that is fulfilling, while still being challenging. You can’t be afraid to fail.

It also speaks to the idea that even if we are the one holding ourselves back at times, we are also the one who can best heal us. We hold both powers. Which voice do you want to be louder?!

I think it also speaks to a kind of shedding of one’s self over time. A shedding of outdated elements of self, and a forgiving of one’s past mistakes.

Sithara Stohr, LSW

Your introduction and relationship to Rumi:

As many college students do, I felt as if life was constantly changing and I couldn’t keep up. A dear friend gifted me an old book with many poems and art. Within it, there were many poems regarding similar struggles that I found myself facing. However, many poems that stood out to me in these moments were from Rumi’s work. I found myself drawn to the seemingly simple lines that held so much meaning behind them. I dove deeper into his work and felt connected to it during a transitional period in my life.

The quote:

A quote from Rumi’s work that stands out to me, among many, is, “As you start to walk on the way, the way appears”.

Why it is meaningful to you?

This quote relates directly to how I began to connect with Rumi’s work and the change it inspired in my life. There were moments where everything felt distant and unclear. It was so difficult to trust myself when the odds felt stacked against me. Yet, as I shifted my own belief system, it felt as if there was clarity and connection in a way I hadn’t previously experienced.

To me, this quote is a reminder that we cannot possibly know what is coming or why. Yet, walking on our path is the only way to figure it out. Opposed to feeling distressed by life's unpredictable nature, I felt empowered. It felt empowering to continue on my path knowing that I have the skills and capacity to figure it out as I go.

Other Rumi resources, poems, and quotes

The Guesthouse (a stunning poem of how to best manage, accept and relate to one’s emotions)


Let's talk about the hard stuff.

Artesian Collaborative is a mental health practice based in Chicago. We excel at guiding individuals and teams through tense and difficult topics - and helping them feel good about it.

Our therapists provide mental health counseling for individuals, couples, and families. Our team also leads corporate and community trainings in the areas of Stress Management, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, and Relational Leadership.


bottom of page