The Guest House

This poem, shared by my colleague at work today, speaks volumes to me about self-awareness. “Every morning” we greet a new arrival at our door. We learn something new about ourselves. This can make us feel amazing. But it can also make us feel awful. It can make us feel inadequate. It can turn our lives upside down. It can violently empty us of our furniture. However, the poem suggests that we should treat this as a positive thing. It will take us to a “new delight”. Learning more about yourself can be challenging, but it is important, and will ultimately help develop a better you.

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 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.

— Jellaludin Rumi,

translation by Coleman Barks

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