Monday, June 9, 2008

welcome them. no, seriously.

this is one of the hardest things for the human beings i know: to welcome what feels painful; to look at what is frightening; to be willing to sit still and pay attention and welcome what we don't understand or can't control. none of these things make any sense unless we believe - know - that there's Something at work larger than what we feel in the millisecond, what we hear from the shadows and tapes in our heads and skin and abdomens, what we use by default to make our decisions.
but i do believe Something is at work. and so i am learning to be still, and wait, and welcome it all.
note: i am learning - this is in process; nevertheless, i'm learning.
here's a poem in which 13th century Persian poet/theologian Rumi, in which he encourages us not to reject, not to dismiss, not to run, but to welcome.

The Guest House, by Rumi; translation by Coleman Barks

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.