For today’s Mindful Monday post, I would like to share a poem with you from one of my favorite poets, Rumi:
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.
In Rumi’s wisdom, he speaks to mindfulness with our emotions. Our innate nature wants to feel and hold on to only the happy, excited feelings. It is natural–when we feel good, we want to feel good forever. We cling. The other side of our happiness is the anxiety of when it will end.
Yet all emotions–sadness, fear, worry, anger–all emotions have their own power and importance. They are a signal from within, asking us to take notice about something in our external or internal worlds that is causing an important reaction. Yet they are uncomfortable, and so we want those feelings to go away as quickly as possible. Many of us go to lengths to avoid feeling anything difficult, be it alcohol, drugs, shopping, gambling, and other ways of escape.
What if, instead of rejecting that which feels hard, we could invite those feelings in? Sit with them, get to know them. Be compassionate towards them. Be curious even?
Perhaps they would lose some of their power, their grip on us. Maybe if we knew that we could be with all of our emotions–positive and negative and everything in between–we could surrender some of our fear, as well as our desire to control our life circumstances. When we observe our thoughts and emotions, we realize they come and go, ebb and flow, like the waves of the ocean.
So today and in the week ahead, I invite you to notice if you find yourself trying to control life in order to avoid feeling something uncomfortable. Is it possible to let go of that control, even for a minute, knowing that you will be able to sit with whatever emotion arises as a result?
Wishing you a peaceful week.