Once In A Blue Moon

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The quote by the renowned poet Rumi, “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished,” encapsulates a profound lesson about resilience, personal growth, and the art of navigating life’s challenges. While the quote may appear enigmatic at first glance, its essence speaks to our capacity to learn and thrive through adversity. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of this quote and explore everyday examples that illustrate how embracing life’s “rubs” can lead to personal growth and transformation.

Understanding Rumi’s Wisdom

At its core, Rumi’s quote encourages us to view life’s irritations, difficulties, and obstacles as opportunities for growth rather than mere annoyances to be avoided or resisted. The metaphor of the mirror being polished suggests that our inner selves, much like a mirror, can become clearer, brighter, and more refined when we confront and overcome challenges.

Everyday Examples

  1. Challenges at Work: In the workplace, we often encounter demanding projects, tight deadlines, and difficult colleagues. Instead of being irritated by these challenges, we can view them as opportunities to hone our problem-solving skills, enhance our resilience, and develop a greater capacity for teamwork.
  2. Relationship Conflicts: Disagreements and conflicts are common in relationships, whether with family, friends, or partners. Rather than letting irritation fester, we can see these conflicts as opportunities for improved communication, deeper understanding, and stronger bonds when resolved with empathy and patience.
  3. Health and Wellness: Personal health challenges can be frustrating and irritating. However, they can also serve as catalysts for positive change. For example, managing a chronic illness may lead to adopting healthier lifestyle choices and a newfound appreciation for well-being.
  4. Learning and Education: In the pursuit of knowledge, we often encounter difficult subjects or encounter setbacks in our studies. Embracing these challenges with patience and perseverance can lead to a deeper understanding of the subject matter and personal growth as a learner.
  5. Parenting: Raising children can be filled with moments of irritation and frustration. However, these challenges provide opportunities for personal growth as parents learn patience, empathy, and the art of guiding their children with love and understanding.
  6. Navigating Uncertainty: Life is inherently uncertain, and unexpected events can trigger irritation and anxiety. Embracing uncertainty by adapting to change and seeking opportunities within it can lead to personal growth and resilience.

The Path to Personal Growth

Embracing life’s rubs requires a shift in perspectiveβ€”a willingness to view challenges as opportunities rather than burdens. It involves developing resilience, patience, and a mindset of continuous learning. By doing so, we not only become better equipped to handle life’s difficulties but also polish our inner “mirrors,” allowing us to see ourselves and the world with greater clarity and wisdom.


Rumi’s wisdom reminds us that life’s irritations are an integral part of the human experience. When we approach these irritations with patience, resilience, and an open heart, we allow our inner selves to be polished and refined. Everyday examples from work, relationships, health, education, parenting, and navigating uncertainty illustrate how embracing life’s rubs can lead to personal growth and transformation. By choosing to see challenges as opportunities, we can emerge from life’s trials with greater clarity, wisdom, and a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.


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