‘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.’
I memorized these words from ‘Guest House’ by Rumi. This poem is so resonant of the experience of being human. How there is a certain ‘wonder’ about it – we never know what each day is going to bring. Literally. We have no way of knowing! Some days have it all in packets of it – the joy, the depression and the meanness. The wounds and the hurt. The gratitude and the amazement. How do we hold it all? How do we stand there as the wind blows and keep our jackets? Maybe we don’t.
He goes on to say ‘welcome and entertain them all even if they are a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture.’ Maybe it is a good thing for the furniture to go. For the house to become empty. For our selves to dissolve. The harder we hold on to our ‘selves’ and identity, the more it hurts to let them go. And the more peace we feel when we do become naked.
Rumi goes on to say: ‘the dark thought, the shame, the malice – meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.’ What a revolutionary thought! To be okay with the malice and darkness of our hearts. To invite them in, instead of turning them away at the door with a broomstick the way we customarily like to do! To be okay with the loneliness and pain that accompanies being human, for it does, as much as the happiness and joy does. To embrace the spectrum of human life – because we can, because we are alive, and because this heart can feel!!
He ends by saying, ‘Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond’. This is hard practice. It involves surrender and grace. Unconditional Love and unquestionable self-worth. Trust. And this trust is what allows us to finally BE – dance with life as it unfolds.
May we find our ways in this Universe with Love,