The Guest House by Rumi

Who knows if there will ever be a right way to receive certain blows life delivers? I think the most important thing I have learned is to do your best to experience your response with integrity.

By this, I mean, if you find anger where life got in, then be angry. Look directly at it. See if it’s holding anything. Ask it questions. Offer it a safe space to exist. And, when it is ready to move on to its next host, set it free. Your emotions are telling you something. What would it look like to honor them?

In The Guest House, Rumi says to treat whatever comes your way as an unexpected visitor to entertain. This can feel like a cold and heartless piece of advice, at first, depending on whatever it is that knocks at your door. But look more closely, and you might see the permission given to you. You get to experience every single note and nuance of your journey. You deserve to have range. Own it.

After all, it did not show up quite like that for anybody else.

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 are 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.
Jalaluddin Rumi
The Guest House


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