I want to write about suffering, specifically the suffering over love.
It can feel like you’re engulfed in flames, but I don’t know how to start explaining this. I thought about writing a mystical poem, but then I came to the conclusion that there are plenty of those already, and they never get further than causing people to say, “Ah, how sweet” and share it. These verses are perceived like they come from a distant land, and while people throw them around like hot potatoes, nobody looks at them in any great detail. So, I decided to write about this suffering directly.
I have burned several times in the flames, but I wasn’t fully aware of it. I assumed that what I was burning over was the pain of love, but it was really the pain of being rejected or abandoned, just like I assumed loving was “owning.” We all know the story. You grow to like someone immensely, and then this person returns the sentiment and you begin a relationship. Things then start to go wrong and you break up, causing pain and suffering. Maybe this person rejects you from the start, and with the pain of this rejection, you start to meow at the door like a cat that’s been shut outside.
I have experienced this several times, assuming it to be love. One day, though, during my first visit to dear Meryem Suna’s camp, I had an experience. A girl caught my eye there, and I liked her, but back then, she would have been extremely unsuitable for me, so she rejected me hard. I still remember how it was a Friday evening and a party was in full swing at the camp, yet I was painfully burning in the flames. It is impossible for me to express such pain in words. Everyone else was dancing and enjoying themselves as I writhed in agony.
That night passed by in the inferno, but then Meryem pulled me aside and said, “Hasan, I see how you burn, but you always go for the girls that will ruin you. The common trait in all the girls you desire is their anger at men. You cannot be their remedy. They need to be healed by the feminine energy first, and only then can they open up to the masculine. They need to practice with females rather than you. Meanwhile, you constantly close yourself off to other women, women who willingly offer you a place in their lives. Change this.”
This is how she shifted my focus toward the right direction. Sure, it still hurt, but I soon realized how Meryem had pushed just the right button. (By the way, all those girls participated in several feminine energy practices and successfully healed themselves.) The next day, I opened myself up and an amazing being immediately found me. I experienced one of the most magnificent meditation sessions of my life with her…
Later on, as I reflected on the painful burning feeling, I understood that it wasn’t really me who was burning but rather the me I thought myself to be. Let me draw an analogy: Take a pristine diamond and wrap it in paper, so much that you cannot see the diamond any longer. You then pack mud around it until you have a huge ball. I always thought I was the ball of mud, but my dear universe threw this me into the fire at Meryem’s camp. The mud cracked away and the paper burned in flames. Oh, how it burned, right down to ashes! The next morning when I woke, it still hurt, but a diamond remained among the ash. It was the real me, the diamond…
In another of Meryem’s camps, I had another experience. A friend of mine, one I loved more than my own life, began to burn energetically during a sequence. She was spectacularly burning in flames, writhing on the floor, crying, and yelling. Naturally, my first instinct was to support her and help her extinguish the fire, but when I looked over at Meryem, she was merely observing.
“If there was a real danger,” I thought to myself, “she would have intervened, so who am I to meddle?”
I went back to my seat, and once it was over, Meryem explained it to us by saying, “Your friend went through a process the Sufis call ‘burning in the flames of love,’ and now she’s free. In these circumstances, our first instinct is to protect, support, and console them, but this is actually not good for them, because you would only be interfering with the process.”
Thus, we experienced many friends crying and yelling in pain, but none of us intervened, because we knew it wouldn’t help them. It was an expression of their souls, and interfering with it would block their flow. When the process was complete, we always saw how relieved they were and how free they had become….
Dear brothers and sisters, if you feel like you’re burning in the flames, then let yourself burn in those flames. Let yourself be hurt, but remember that it’s only temporary. It’s actually just the you that you think you are that is burning. The real you will come out afterwards, and your suffering will end. When something hurts, please do not try to sooth the pain with alcohol, drugs, or other means, because you’re just delaying a necessary process. You have the opportunity to get rid of it indefinitely. See it, feel it, and let it be… Let that burning pain transform you. It may seem unendurable, but that flame will bring out your real strength…
What’s more, if you see people burning with the suffering of love, leave them to burn in sorrow. Do not endeavor to cure or heal them. Who are you to interfere with this process, for someone who probably does not even ask for help? Even if people ask for help, be there for them without meddling.
Do not try to console them but rather just tell them this:
Shout! Shout! Shout your lungs out! Burn! Burn! Burn in the flames! Tonight may be painful, but tomorrow is another day. What’s gone is gone—just let it go. That person has offered you love by leaving, as well as freedom and existence. Be thankful for this blessing and honor it, because this person was merely the means for love to reach you. You see love in other things, but this is actually a reflection of the love in yourself. Once there’s no object, body, or other means, you are the love itself. This infinite one exists in everyone and everywhere…”
That is what love is, what has existed in you all along…
This is why you burn. Burn until you turn into ashes! Burn!
You burn, but real love will be born through you…
Hasan Sonsuz Çeliktaş
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