I hope my friend Linda will forgive me if I steal something precious from her blog.
Actually, Linda shared this precious thing with me years ago. It’s a poem by Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet and mystic. Linda used to read this poem every morning when she woke up during the breakup of her marriage. It kept her going.
I was glad to see it recently on her blog. This poem is actually all over the Internet, but you just can’t ever get enough of Rumi, so no apologies.
(Note: The word “ruminate” comes from the Latin ruminare, to chew the cud; also, to muse, meditate, ponder, or reflect. If everybody in America meditated every day, would we be known as a rumi-nation?)
Sorry about that. I’m going to shut up and let Rumi (as triumphantly translated by Coleman Barks) speak truth and wisdom in your ear:
The Guest House
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.
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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Learn the alchemy True Human Beings know:
the moment you accept what troubles
you’ve been given, the door opens.
Welcome difficulty as a familiar comrade.
Joke with torment brought by the Friend.
Sorrows are the rags of old clothes
and jackets that serve to cover,
and then are taken off. That undressing,
and the beautiful naked body underneath,
is the sweetness that comes after grief.