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 whomever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

I find Rumi, at this moment, both beautiful and *incredibly* difficult. My human house is overflowing today with all sorts of uncomfortable visitors — self-recrimination, feelings of discontent, restlessness, disconnection, anxiety, fear, joy, love … well, you get the idea.

Let’s face it, it’s not like all of us don’t go through myriad states of emotion and thought every day — we never stay on the same plateau, unless we’re numbing ourselves with some type of drug … and I can (gratefully) say that I’m NOT doing that.  And I am fully aware that this state of being is temporary. BUT, here I sit reluctantly and somewhat petulantly, welcoming visitors.

Being in possession of an analytical and over-active mind, I want to know — always — the why, where and hows of a thought/emotion/circumstance.  But, it doesn’t seem to be helping me to know that all of these visitors come from a variety of places — work, family, friends, personal life … my own yoga practice expectations.  Knowing with my head doesn’t change the emotions of the Heart.  The Heart has a wisdom and understanding that I (we) often overlook because it’s sitting underneath all the chaotic emotion swirling above it.  I know when I feel bad, rotten, etc, I won’t necessarily look beyond the drama of the emotion without a very conscious act of will.

And with that knowledge, I gathered some will and did a short meditation last night in an attempt to figure out why I was feeling what I was feeling.  And, of course, I figured out nothing.  I didn’t welcome anyone in.  I didn’t sit in my emotion. I didn’t wrap them up in love and compassion. Instead, I tried to force myself to release what I hadn’t even acknowledged yet, subsequently got frustrated, made a cocktail, stayed up too late surfing the web for nothing in particular, slept poorly and woke up grumpy, indeed.  *deep breath*

*Another deep breath* I need to start over.  I’ve no idea (really) if it’s THE answer, but I’ll try to take Rumi’s advice and be more welcoming.  I’ll try to show myself and my Heart a bit more compassion (looking at my new tattoo for a reminder if necessary!)  I’ll try to give myself a break and acknowledge that I AM human … mistakes and imperfections are sort of prerequisite.  And I’ll make an effort to acknowledge my difficult emotions and challenging situations as  potential paths to illumination.

Om Mani Padme Hum

My new tattoo, of the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra,
on my inner left wrist to help remember
that compassion is always accessible.

If that fails, I’m going to try some chocolate.

3 Responses to “This Guest House is FULL!”

  • Megan says:

    You do know, of course, that by simply acknowledging and understanding all of the above — even if didn’t lead to outcome you wanted — you are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of us who are slowly anesthetizing ourselves with American Idol.

    (ok, I prefer “No Reservations” but you get my drift)

  • Hiking_Yogini says:

    And Megan, I guess I must acknowledge that “surfing the web for no particular reason” is its own type of anesthesizing…

  • Deena says:

    Thanks for fiոаlly writing about > This Guest House is FULL!
    < Liked it!

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