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The Guesthouse

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 are 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 whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

—  Rumi,


In this beautiful poem by Rumi, he is telling us that the entirety of human experience is valuable. None of it is to be discounted as unnecessary or even avoidable. All emotions are valid and indeed desirable, even those we wish to evade. One moment is joyful, another is sad. Honour them all, he says, because each leads to a new place of awareness. Accepting each state is accepting the entirety of one’s being. The shadow and the light carry equal weight. Our challenge is to open ourselves to whatever life brings us both internally and externally.