This human being 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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
This jumped out at me earlier in the week; I came across it in my friend Gina's book, From Gravel to Glory.
I'm very, very familiar with all of these emotions - they come visit me often. Almost daily! But I can't say I've treated them honorably; haven't we been taught to fight them, ignore them or bury them? At the very least, I tolerate them, hoping they leave soon.
I've never, ever thought of welcoming them (except for the pretty one, Joy, of course) - only be grateful when they finally leave.
But I can see the wisdom in these words, how taking time to learn a bit more about the shame, the depression, even the meanness - where each comes from, what prompted it to come visit me - will help me learn more about myself and get rid of the stones that are dragging me down.
I'm in the midst of a Spring Cleaning Fever, preparing my real stone home for its own Open House this weekend - cleaning, organizing, tackling projects that are long-overdue. In preparing for the Event, I've been visited by many of these emotions - excitement and nervousness, of course ... but also disappointment, guilt, irritation ...
I think while my body is in the midst of my house-cleaning frenzy the next couple of days, I'll let my mind meet and greet these emotions, this time with laughter and some pleasant conversation, and try to get down to the reason for their visit; I'll try to be grateful for them ... think of them as gifts to guide me and help me do a little spring cleaning in my soul.