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. ~Rumi~
Now, I am one of those people that believes that everything that happens can teach me something. I don’t believe in coincidence or luck. Call me crazy but I believe that there is a lesson to be learned, even though I may not like it (and trust me I don’t always like it), for whatever is happening. So am always looking for the connection between what is happening in the world around me and what I can learn from it. And last week was no different. Except for one big difference, at first I could see no real lesson!
I mean, c’mon man! We had an earthquake on Tuesday and a hurricane on Saturday in case you missed it, and I could find no real lesson?!?! This has got to be some kind of cosmic joke, right?
Then I came across this poem this morning and one huge lesson hit me like a ton of bricks! The reality that life happens and there are times when there is not a whole lot we can do about it. Life can be stormy, windy and scary one day and clear blue skies the next. Or it can be a beautiful sunny day and the earth moves under your feet shaking the very foundation you though was so solid.....
The hurricane and earthquake are such a reflection of life in so many ways. The earthquake was one of those unexpected things. No one knew or expected it. We are, after all on the East Coast! Earthquakes don’t happen here, right? The nervousness and uneasiness. What if it happens again? How do you really expect the unexpected?
And then there was Hurricane Irene, well we all knew she was coming. So, we nervously awaited her arrival. We watch, we waited, we hoped and we prayed. We prepared (and some of us bought wayyyyy to much food) for the worse and hoped for the best. Then we finally entered the storm half scared to death on one day(and if you weren’t scared to death, it certainly wasn't because the news didn’t try !) only to awaken to a sunny day.
It’s almost like the universe was reminding us that there are times when that all we can do is learn to find peace with whatever shows up at our door. That this human body is indeed our ‘Guest House’. Be it external, like an earthquake under our feet or hurricane of anger, resentment or pain from within.
There is something to be learned, the possibility of seeing our ‘bad’ experience as something that we can learn from, instead of something to run away from or try to forget. Who knows, maybe this experience could actually be preparing us for something wonderful if we learn what ‘it’ came to teach us. Not that it will always be easy to do or that we should pretend that things are okay when they are not. But there is definitely a gift in learning to accept and find peace with the seemingly ‘bad’ parts of ourselves and the world around us. Where are you holding on to anxiety, anger or hurt? What lessons could they be trying to teach you?