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!
(…)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. “The Guest House” by Rumi
I have heard this concept from many traditions, many teachers and in many different words…none so elequent as Rumi. Still I must learn the concept over and over as I fail to welcome my guests, not recognizing them as a part of my being human.
I can only be grateful for them times when I am more open to myself, thus allowing the lessons that the guides have been sent to teach me. And I am confident that they stand ready with a refresher course as often as I need it.
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s quotations have influenced my inner dialogue for several years. It wasn’t just that she reduced philosopy into pithy and pertinent sayings; more, it was that her conversations were homilies. Her ease and acceptance with herself and the world around her created an object lesson that was easily assimilated.
Her belief that life was a series of lessons from which we all learn helped me quiet my inner critic. She helped me comprehend that although I have made, still make, and will continue to make huge mistakes, I am not malicious or evil. I am a student of life who wants to live to my greatest spiritual potential. The rocks in the road that trip me up are those things that need my attention. They are route corrections for me to assimilate in order to keep moving forward.
I am thankful for all the gifts she has left for me to open as I am ready. Her words and her example are lasting legacies.
I am so thankful for those who study and share their insights into life. When I am struggling through the murkiness self-absorption of anger, resentment, hurt feelings; I need the intervention of loving kindness.
Deeply entrenched in negative emotions last week I was gently brought back into mindfulness by Miguel Ruiz on Super Soul Sunday. “Don’t take anything personally”, is one of his Four Agreements.
I’ve read this. I’ve re-read it. I have placed the charming affirmations around my house in order to reinforce these Agreements. And I forget them in the clinches. It is so much easier to blame someone else for my feelings and expect them to change instead of looking to my own responsibilities.
Well, perhaps not easier, but more expedient. In fact, when I assume* that someone will change in order to accommodate my likes and dislikes, I am not only setting myself up for failure; I am attempting to impose my will on another.
These are hard lessons for me to learn. I’ve been in my relationship for so long that I begin to think that I should be known, understood, and accommodated.
As long as I have continuing ed classes from Ruiz and other teachers, perhaps I will get more serious about my homework.
*Which is another caution in the Four Agreements, “Don’t Assume.”