The Guest House ~ Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
I write a lot about gratitude, it seems, especially around this time of year. Rumi reminds us to be grateful for whatever comes—easier said than done.
When my heart is breaking it’s a challenge.
But the beauty of the heart is its strength. And the gift of the anguish is I grow ever stronger, more able to love. The grief may be deep but then the joy is even fuller.
So it may be challenging but I try to welcome the whole shebang, the joy, the tears, the anxiety and the fear.
You see I think in a way that there is a guide from beyond, taking me where I need to go, giving me what I want and need, even when I don’t know what that is.
Call it faith. Call it hope. Call it the way of the universe if you like, or call it God. I don’t care what you call it, but I know deep inside that we’re all connected, we’re all living our Dharma. There is good and evil, right and wrong and every thought and action folds into the next in an incomprehensible web.
In my world, spirit leads. Sometimes I am more connected than others. Sometimes my intuition leads better than others, because sometimes, I listen better than others, to what leads to my heart and spirit.
But that in itself is the guidance. When I am aligned inside and out, a sense of knowing and a feeling of calm stays inside, and is the moment that informs my awareness. When I am agitated, anxious, not heeding what the universe offers, I am still informed and lead to a point where I can learn to let go of what does not serve my greater good, and find my way to do the next right thing. Because, whatever I do, I cannot help but do the next right thing, even when it’s not so right.
Some might argue this is blind faith. This is faith. But this is not blind. This is what life has taught me. Life has taught me there are reasons, even when we don’t know what they are. Life has taught me to learn from my mistakes, knowing I will make the same mistake until I learn the lesson it holds.
As we say in the 12-step world, you go through it till you grow through it.
Life has taught me I am guided all along the way and that there is help all around.
Life has taught me to have faith in others and the universe.
Life has taught me life is not fair and no one gets special treatment.
Life has taught me I can accept the challenges and stand tall even when I have nothing to stand on.
This faith I have is not blind. This is what I have learned and I learn most things the hard way.
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum