Rumi's poetry always makes me think. When I first read this I thought about cages. What cages do we put ourselves in? And once we recognize the cage, how does love free us?
(in no particular order)
Cage #1 Every day we design our life around the decisions that we make. What kind of life are you building from the decisions that you make? The most amazing thing is that in each moment of your life, you have the ability to redesign some part of your life. Don't just build a life, build a life you love.
Cage #2 Each decision is a choice. What causes us to make the choices we make? Our beliefs. Henry Ford's quote "If you think you can do a thing or you think you can't - your right". If you were to look at your year so far, have you achieved something special yet? I have a friend here in Los Angeles, who is over 65 yrs old and she went sky diving this year for the first time. Look at your bucket list and make the time to go out and cross one off the list.
Cage #3 Afraid of change? We get comfortable with habits that become cages. We get up in the morning and do the same routine getting ready for work. We drive the same way back and forth to work. We do the same routine at work. I had a boss at work years ago that every day ordered a turkey sandwich. Every single day.
These habits or routines don't allow us to bring anything new into our lives. We don't need to see different things in our lives, we just need to look at what we have differently. A cool idea is to drive down a different street on your way home. Go down some surface streets instead of just traveling the freeway. Notice what shops are on the streets that you didn't know about. Notice the homes that you drive by, the house styles, the landscapes, and get ideas for your own home. Try experimenting in your life where you can add in the small changes and see how far outside your cage you can grow.
So what about love? I find with myself that self love and self trust go together. If I don't love and trust myself, then I can't love and trust others.
A lack of self love and self trust is what gives strength to the bars of the cage. When I fully love and trust myself, then the bars of the cage melt into nothing. Because of that love and trust, I can see past the fears keeping me in my cage.
I might be scared of change, but I trust myself to listen to my intuition to learn or try something new. Instead of belittling myself when it doesn't turn out perfect, I trust I will get better with practice.
I remember back in the 70's they had the gas wars. We have these long lines to get gas, and could only buy gas on the odd days (based on our license plate). One of the results of the gas wars was that full service went away. We had to start pumping our own gas (unless you live in Oregon or New Jersey). I lived in Washington at the time and for some unknown reason I was terrified to pump my own fuel. So for many months I was able to time my driving of the car, to always leave my husband with the low tank and he would fill it up. But one day it happened. I had to pump gas myself. I got out and was watching others fill up their tanks and finally with a deep breath I filled up my tank. The car didn't explode and I survived.
Then I started laughing at myself. Why did I make such a big deal about something so easy? Because I didn't trust myself to do it right. Goethe stated "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."
Fill your heart with love for yourself. Trust that you can break out of the cages you have built around you. Go out and design and build a wonderful, inspirational, fulfilling life.