The Guest House

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depressions, 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 honourably.
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.

–Jellaludin Rumi, translation by Coleman Banks.


By therapist gave me this poem. I like it. I have a door, that I slam shut, in order to protect myself, to try to keep depression and bad thoughts away for a while at least. My door, my protection, also slams a little too quickly on most things, especially those that aren’t nice. I find it hard to just ‘be’ with feelings. My guesthouse does not welcome all. It needs to. Not the depression, that can stay outside for as long as possible, till it breaks its way in. But the rest of it needs to come in. I need to be with each new arrival.

Hope you liked the poem too!


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