Rumi and Essential Vitality
This week I share with you one of my favorite poems. It holds the essence of what I think vitality is all about—showing up for yourself in your own life. You are the author of your own story, the director of your own play, the creator of your own life. One way to show up and take responsibility is by being awake to what is in front of you each and every day. Written by 13th century Persian poet Rumi, this poem is as relevant today as it was 700 years ago.
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.
— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks
Can you imagine greeting a joy and a sorrow with the same degree of acceptance and vitality? Can you imagine meeting sorrow at the door laughing and inviting it in? I haven’t mastered this way of living with equanimity, however this poem is such an inspiration! It is a song to accepting whatever comes our way and loving ourselves enough to welcome everything as guidance, ultimately showing us some new strength, talent, resilience, or plain old toughness that we didn’t know we had.
Welcoming the increasing light,