Elif Safak quotes

  • I see what you mean. It must be a huge relief, and an easy way out, to think the devil is always outside of us. (…) we would stop looking for Sheitan outside and instead focus on ourselves. What we need is sincere self-examination. Not being on the watch for the faults of others.” (p. 257).
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mean #Thinking #Self

  • Personally, I didn't think there was anything wrong with sadness. Just the opposite – hypocrisy made people happy and truth made them sad.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Sadness #Thinking #Opposites

  • Perhaps this is why lunatics have a harder time dating, not because they are off the wall but because it is hard to find soemone who is willing to date so many people in one person.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Wall #People #Dating

  • The past lives within the present, and our ancestors breathe through our children.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Children #Past #Breathe

  • If you want to destroy something in this life, be it acne, a blemish or the human soul, all you need to do is to surround it with thick walls. It will dry up inside.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Motivation #Wall #Inspiration

  • Cities are erected on spiritual columns. Like giant mirrors, they reflect the hearts of their residents. If those hearts darken and lose faith, cities will lose their glamour.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Spiritual #Heart #Mirrors

  • What i’m saying is, my friends, one ought to be able to let go. If a path does not please us, instead of insisting on going that specific way, of making our selfishness the guide, we ought to forsake. The books we cannot write, the films we cannot shoot, the projects we cannot develop, the jobs we cannot pursue and the people who no longer love us. Being able to let go, at times, is the most beautiful of all!
    -- Elif Safak

    #Beautiful #Letting Go #Jobs

  • Knowledge that takes you, not beyond yourself is far worse than ignorance.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Ignorance

  • One thing that has helped me personally in the past was to stop interfering with the people around me and getting frustrated when I couldn’t change them. Instead of intrusion and passivity, may I suggest submission? Some people make the mistake of confusing “submission” with “weakness”, whereas it is anything but. Submission is a form of peaceful acceptance of the terms of the universe, including the things we are currently unable to change or comprehend.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mistake #Acceptance #Past

  • If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Past #Illumination #Mind

  • A life without love is of no account. Don't ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. “Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! “The universe turns differently when fire loves water.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Spiritual #Love You #Love Is

  • God is a meticulous clockmaker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Order #Earth #Clock

  • I hunt everywhere for a life worth living and a knowledge worth knowing. Having roots nowhere, I have everywhere to go.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Roots #Knowing #Life Worth Living

  • Either grant me the bliss of the ignorant or give me the strength to bear the knowledge.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Giving #Ignorant #Bears

  • Stories cannot demolish frontiers, but they can punch holes in our mental walls, and through those holes we can get a glimpse of the other and sometimes even like what we see.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Wall #Glimpse #Stories

  • Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That's the hardest part and that's what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Do not go with the flow. Be the flow.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Doe #Flow #Firsts

  • Moments are born and moments die. For new experiences to come to life, old ones need to wither away.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Needs #Moments #Born

  • Even a speck of love should not go unappreciated, because, as Rumi said, love is the water of life.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Love Is #Water #Should

  • Love exists within each of us from the moment we are born and waits to be discovered from then on.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Waiting #Moments #Born

  • Hell is in the here and now. So is Heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside us this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy, or fight someone, we tumble straight into the fires of hell.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Dream #Falling In Love #Hate

  • That was the one thing about the rain that likened it to sorrow: You did your best to remain untouched, safe and dry, but if and when you failed, there came a point in which you started seeing the problem less in terms of drops than as an incessant gush, and thereby you decide you might as well get drenched.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Rain #Ifs And #Sorrow

  • One night, a group of moths gathered on a shelf watching a burning candle. Puzzled by the nature of the light, they sent one of their members to go and check on it. The scouting moth circled the candle several times and came back with a description: The light was bright. Then a second moth went to examine it. He, too, came back with an observation: The light was hot. Finally a third moth volunteered to go. When he approached the candle he didn't stop like his friends had done, but flew straight into the flame. He was consumed there and then, and only he understood the nature of the light.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Night #Light #Flames

  • Father, I am from a different egg than your other children. Think of me as a duckling raised by hens. I am not a domestic bird destined to spend his life in a chicken coop. the water that scares you rejuvenates me. For unlike you I can swim, and swim I shall. The ocean is my homeland. If you are with me, come to the ocean. If not, stop interfering with me and go back to the chicken coop.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Children #Father #Ocean

  • We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No two hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same. He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is tantamount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Heart #Unique #Two

  • Real filth is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure waters, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Real #Heart #Water

  • To each his own way and his own prayer. God does not take us at our word. He looks deep into our hearts. It is not the ceremonies or rituals that make a difference, but whether our hearts are sufficiently pure or not.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Prayer #Heart #Differences

  • I like to borrow a metaphor from the great poet and mystic Rumi who talks about living like a drawing compass. One leg of the compass is static. It is fixed and rooted in a certain spot. Meanwhile, the other leg draws a huge wide circle around the first one, constantly moving. Just like that, one part of my writing is based in Istanbul. It has strong local roots. Yet at the same time the other part travels the whole wide world, feeling connected to several cities, cultures, and peoples.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Strong #Moving #Writing

  • A saint belongs to all humanity.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Humanity #Saint

  • We're born into a certain family, nation, class. But if we have no connection whatsoever with the worlds beyond the one we take for granted, then we too run the risk of drying up inside. Our imagination might shrink; our hearts might dwindle, and our humanness might wither if we stay for too long inside our cultural cocoons. Our friends, neighbours, colleagues, family - if all the people in our inner circle resemble us, it means we are surrounded with our mirror image.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Running #Heart #Mean

  • Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission. A power that comes from within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquility and peace even when the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mean #Essence #Opposites

  • Bountiful is your life, full and complete. Or so you think, until someone comes along and makes you realize what you have been missing all this time. Like a mirror that reflects what is absent rather than present, he shows you the void in your soul—the void you have resisted seeing. That person can be a lover, a friend, or a spiritual master. Sometimes it can be a child to look after. What matters is to find the soul that will complete yours. All the prophets have given the same advice: Find the one who will be your mirror!".
    -- Elif Safak

    #Spiritual #Children #Thinking

  • Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Running #Mean #Moon

  • What is the point of roaming the world when it's the same misery everywhere?
    -- Elif Safak

    #World #Roaming #Misery

  • How can love be worthy of its name if one selects solely the pretty things and leaves out the hardships? It is easy to enjoy the good and dislike the bad. Anybody can do that. The real challenge is to love the good and the bad together, not because you need to take the rough with the smooth but because you need to go beyond such descriptions and accept love in its entirety.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Real #Love Is #Names

  • God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexplicably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is a fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Art #Moving #Perfection

  • Ways of loving from a distance, mating without even touching-Amor platonicus! The ladder of love one is expected to climb higher and higher, elating the Self and the Other. Plato clearly regards any actual physical contact as corrupt and ignoble because he thinks the true goal of Eros is beauty. Is there no beauty in sex? Not according to Plato. He is after `more sublime pursuits.' But if you ask me, I think Plato's problem, like those of many others, was that he never got splendidly laid.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Sex #Plato #Distance

  • We cannot abandon this rabbit hole for fear of a traumatic encounter with our own culture.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Encounters #Rabbits #Culture

  • How can you blame others for disrespecting you when you think of yourself as unworthy of respect?
    -- Elif Safak

    #Thinking #Blame #Think Of You

  • We're stuck. We're stuck between the East and the West. Between the past and the future. On the one hand there are the secular modernists, so proud of the regime they constructed, you cannot breathe a critical word. They've got the army and half of the state on their side. On the other hand there are the conventional traditionalist, so infatuated with the Ottoman past, you cannot breathe a critical word. They've got the general public and the remaining half of the state on their side.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Army #Past #Hands

  • While the parts change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every decent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Passing Away #Thieves #Doe

  • Stop running after the waves. Let the sea come to you.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Running #Sea #Wave

  • The Iron Rule of prudence for an Istanbulite Woman: If you are as fragile as a tea glass, either find a way to never encounter burning water and hope to marry an ideal husband or get yourself laid and broken as soon as possible. Alternatively, stop being a tea-glass woman!
    -- Elif Safak

    #Husband #Glasses #Iron

  • Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful!
    -- Elif Safak

    #Gratitude #Doors #Being Thankful

  • The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practise compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone's back - not even seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouth do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man's pain will hurt us all. One man's joy will make everyone smile.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Hurt #Pain #Men

  • But let us not forget that cities are like human beings. They are born, they go through childhood and adolescence, they grow old, and eventually they die
    -- Elif Safak

    #Cities #Childhood #Forget

  • I slept peacefully that night, feeling exultant and determined. Little did I know that I was making the most common and the most painful mistake women have made all throughout the ages: to naively think that with their love they can change the man they love.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mistake #Night #Men

  • The child had indeed shut up but all the questions that had accumulated on his tongue circulated in his mouth, moved through the passages of his nose and climbed up from there to tickle into his teardrop ducts, so in his moss green pupils, curious, insistent, accusing sparks of questions continued to light up and fade away like fireflies flitting about on summer nights.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Summer #Children #Firefly

  • Where there is love, there is bound to be heartache.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Heartache

  • Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you
    -- Elif Safak

    #Lonely #Loneliness #Believe

  • Time is just an illusion. What you need is to live this very moment. That is all that matters.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Needs #Matter #Moments

  • Yeah, we should all line up along the Bosphorus Bridge and puff as hard as we can to shove this city in the direction of the West. If that doesn't work, we'll try the other way, see if we can veer to the East. It's no good to be in between. International politics does not appreciate ambiguity.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Bridges #Cities #Appreciate

  • Article Five: If you have no reason or ability to accomplish anything, then just practice the art of becoming.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Art #Practice #Becoming

  • How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mean #Reflection #Compassion

  • Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven't loved enough.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Love #Mean #Stories

  • perhaps it took a stranger to make a woman like her speak her mind.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mind #Speak #Stranger

  • No reason to feel depressed about being depressed. A depression can be a golden opportunity to collect the pieces and build ourselves anew. Global Souls are always on the move, nomads at heart, connected to various cities, commuters between cultures, both from here and everywhere.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Moving #Heart #Opportunity

  • Do not go with the flow. Be the flow.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Flow

  • Love cannot be explained, yet it explains all.
    -- Elif Safak

  • The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Space #Mouths #Infinite

  • The world does not move through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Moving #Mean #Past

  • Because time is a drop in the ocean, and you cannot measure off one drop against another to see which one is bigger, which one is smaller.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Ocean #Bigger #Drops In The Ocean

  • Isn't connecting people to distant lands and culture one of the strengths of good literature?
    -- Elif Safak

    #Land #People #Culture

  • You see, unlike in the movies, there is no THE END sign flashing at the end of books. When I've read a book, I don't feel like I've finished anything. So I start a new one.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Book #Ends #Feels

  • Creativity is contagious. And so is banality. Criticism is an art in itself. Don’t let the dullness around destroy the creativity within. T.S. Eliot said, “honest criticism and sensitive appreciation is directed not upon the poet but upon the poetry.” Good to remember…
    -- Elif Safak

    #Appreciation #Art #Creativity

  • Believers are each other's mirrors.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mirrors #Believer

  • Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mean #Doe #Infinite

  • Most of the problems of the world stems from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstandings. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Mistake #Simple #Silence

  • If you want to change the way others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself. Unless you learn to love yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Love You #Rose #Being Thankful

  • No matter who we are or where we live, deep inside we all feel incomplete. It's like we have lost something and need to get it back. Just what that something is, most of us never find out. And of those who do, even fewer manage to go out and look for it.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Needs #Looks #Who We Are

  • Identity politics divides us; fiction connects. One is interested in sweeping generalizations, the other in nuances. One draws boundaries, the other recognizes no frontiers. Identity politics is made of solid bricks; fiction is flowing water.
    -- Elif Safak

    #Water #Identity #Fiction