On entertaining your ‘guests’

On entertaining your ‘guests’

In this time when we open our homes and hearts to our friends and family, it sometimes pushes us to open the doors to ourselves. Whether we want to or not. What comes out may not be so pretty.

A teacher told me once those people who make up your family are those with whom you have the deepest karmas, the most to resolve, and that we are given them as family members so that we may have time to work through those things.

Depending on your view, during this one lifetime or in others’ estimation, many lifetimes. I guess for some of us (ahem, Lisa) it takes longer than most. In that spirit, here is a Rumi poem inviting us to do just that, to fling open our hearts’ doors and invite us whatever is there.


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.

She 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.


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