If we look at one of humanity’s greatest poets, Rumi, we see that this exemplar of love, wisdom and enlightenment, found his great awakening and became a poet of unparalleled inspiration only through the grief of losing his spiritual master. When Shams of Tabriz disappeared, Rumi — grief stricken — began to whirl around a pillar in the lodge where he and his students gathered for prayer and invocation. Propelled by a broken heart and dissolved in tears, Rumi freestyled the pain of loss and separation. All the beauty that we ascribe to Rumi is hidden in that pain — and is the result of it. Only that pain brought forth such transcendent beauty. Rumi himself realized the irony of this spiritual secret and wrote about it using many symbols and allegories. Among them, “If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?” And, “The wound is the place where the light enters.” The master knows what the novice can’t yet see. The secret is in the suffering.