I was speaking to a friend the other day and giving thanks to him for something he’d done for me. He responded with, “You’re Welcome.” He then went on to say how rare it was for him to receive the response of ‘You’re Welcome’ when he says ‘Thank You.’ He spoke of how disappointed he was with the other responses he receives after giving thanks like; ‘No problem, It’s nothing, Whatever, Yeah’ or no response at all.
As I walked away from the conversation I pondered what it might mean to be welcome and welcoming. It seems to be an empowering affirmation and invitation as well as some of the oil that keeps the lamp of love burning in civil conversation. It lubricates relationships to help us connect with ourselves and each other. In it’s absence, it unconsciously creates distance and apathy that subtly tears at the fabric of our souls.
Don’t we all need to be welcomed in this world? Isn’t acceptance and love something we all long for? Aren’t we all needing solace and strength, affirmation and appreciation? Can a simple welcome, even in the midst of difficulty set the stage for reconciliation? What if we welcomed everything that came to us with humility and a reverent bow instead of with pride and indifference? Could the light of Life burn brighter?
The process of conscious thanksgiving and welcoming helps us keep the heart light burning within us and the whole world. It’s part of the oil that heals the alienation we all experience and helps us unite our divisions and inspire encouragement in the most simply ways. To welcome even what we don’t like teaches us reverence when we’re open to it. Here healing is possible through new attitudes, affirmations and acceptance.
How often do you get discouraged and feel unappreciated? How often do you welcome affirmation, acceptance, love and joy into your life to inspire new intentions and rise above difficult situations? How important is a smile, a pat on the back, an encouraging word, a kind greeting, a pleasurable and courteous reception of acceptance? These are all baseline qualities for prosperous and meaningful living. These are all part of the welcoming process that nurtures and inspires new life as gifts to give and receive.
To expand on this I’m sharing a piece called The Guest House from The Essential Rumi translated by Coleman Barks. It speaks of welcoming in ways that pull the props out from under our feet and place us deeply in the center of Inner Being. Jelaluddin Balkhi, known to us as Rumi was a Sufi mystic in the thirteenth century. Welcome . . . . . . . .
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.