The Guest House by 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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
LOVE Yourself in 90-days
October 15 2022 – January 15 2023
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Rumi is a famous 13th-century Persian poet, scholar and mystic. The Guest House is one of my favourite poems and always turn to when I’m feeling sad or troubled in some way. It is a reminder to not judge ourselves and to welcome ALL our emotions.
Embrace Mindful Living
In the poem, Rumi uses the metaphor of a guest house to describe life’s journey. Rumi’s poetry is sublime and eloquent, and it makes us appreciate the uncertainty of life and embrace mindful living.
I love how Rumi uses metaphors in this poem. Rumi says ‘being human is a guest house’ – ‘every morning a new arrival’ – he’s talking about our feelings, emotions and thoughts. They are all unexpected guests.
But I love how he says we should ‘welcome and entertain them all‘! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows etc. – we should honour our feelings – ‘still, treat each guest honourably’.
Then he says they ‘may be clearing you out for some new delight’ and how they’ve ‘been sent as a guide from beyond’.
It’s so simple and true. From a young age, many of us were taught to suppress and bury our feelings and judge ourselves for feeling the way that we do. I think Rumi’s perspective is most helpful and if we honour and acknowledge our feelings, then it allows them to be fully witnessed and we are able to let go (very different than trying to ‘get rid of ‘ them). What’s done is done. It’s in the past. The emotions have been honoured, acknowledged and then released. They no longer have a hold on us. Otherwise, they stay inside of us, festering away, like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode when something in our life triggers a similar painful emotion.
Listen to Rumi – welcome and entertain all emotions and look forward to the ‘new delight’ they are clearing you out for!
To a healthier and happier YOU!
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Founder of LOVE Yourself Project
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