Guilt promenades its rotund ass across my unusually broad shoulders reveling in the ample room they provide. And instead of dissuading it with a jarring shrug, or even a disruptive twitch, I stand perfectly still … glad to be of assistance.
I find the card confronting. She embraces guilt, welcomes it in. I find the thought almost frightening. Earlier this week when I was talking about an emotion that I had – and didn’t want, a very astute friend responded: welcome it in as though you were a guest house and it was a welcome guest. Excuse me? I replied. My friend went on to share this Rumi poem called The Guest House with me:
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.
Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks
It takes my breath away.
I know this to mean it resonates.
I know this is what I need to do.
I am going to have to work hard to be grateful
for the things I currently find painful.
But I also know that – past a point - painful does not serve me well.