The following is a metaphorical story from the thirteenth century mystic called Jelaluddin Balkhi, presently called Rumi. It’s titled ‘The Guest House.’ Read it slowly and know that he’s speaking to you from an inner perspective. Take it personally and allow the images to remind you of the various thoughts, words, and actions that visit you daily from within.
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. They 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 . . . . . . .
I suspect each of us have these guests coming and going from within us every morning, afternoon and evening. Joy, depression, meanness and even some momentary awareness always seem to show up. How do you receive them? Do you let them come and go or do you invite them to stay, forever complaining at your own attachments to them? To watch them come and go without any attachment is the guest master’s job.
To welcome, entertain and honor them is to appreciate the hidden treasures they’re always pointing to. When caught by their energy we become them rather than learning from them. To disrespect them is to miss the lessons they have to teach. It’s our self righteousness and judgements that keep our house empty of the wisdom, love, joy, and peace that delight and transform our house and our guests.
When we meet the dark thoughts, shame, and malice with distain and judgement, more of it is created. When we meet them with laughter, a disarming energy is released which transforms the moment. Because each is sent as a guide from beyond we can dialog, dance and play with the apparent opposites thereby allowing the sun and moon to shine on the whole. When we realize the joke’s on us, everyone laughs, resistance dissolves.
- Today and everyday for the next years practice Welcoming all the guests that show up in your guesthouse. Find ways to laugh with them and get the joke of their ‘Contrast Training’ to help you enlighten up .”Welcome Grumpy. What’s your guidance? Really?”
- At the very least, smile with your dark thoughts, judgements and distain. Engage these guests from your heart, discern the prankster in them, laugh and cry together. Hmm…