I was introduced to this gorgeous poem during my Mindfulness Based Stress reduction course. At the end of a body scan practise, the teacher read this and I couldn't believe the clarity I felt after it. How many times do we try and 'get rid' of negative emotions that arise in us? We try to hard to push them away or even worse, we don't even acknowledge them properly and bury them so deep inside of us. The logical brain knows that this is no good, but for some reason we do it anyway.
Rumi gives the emotions a personality, makes them human guests in our 'guest house'. Welcome them in like an old friend you haven't seen for a long time. Sit with them for a while, hear what they have to say. When you have listened and feel it's time, gently guide them back to the door. Allow joy to fill the room with laughter. Sit beside sorrow while it brings tears until there are none left. Invite the dark thought in for a while before turning on the lamp for light.
The lesson is at the end, 'Be grateful for whoever comes, Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.' No matter how uncomfortable the visitors make you feel, there is something valuable to learned from each of them. Before I realised I was the owner of a 'guest house', the emotions would come and go, nameless, but bringing their disruptions anyway. Now, like Rumi encourages, I sit with each arrival for a while and learn what that means for me. Enjoy this poem and see how the guest house works for you. I'd love to hear your throughts. Ashley x