In my book, The Rumi Secret, I begin with the following poem as translated by Coleman Barks.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house
every day 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.
In the United States, this is Rumi’s most famous poem. Its wisdom is timeless, and it presents a lifelong challenge for us all. Embrace it all, he says–our tragedies, the recurring problems, the failures. Along with these, we can all discover our capacity for joy, for ecstasy and for peace.
There are no requirements for joy. As Mother Teresa said of love, it is “a fruit in season at all times. Anyone can gather it, and no limit is set….”
By grace, joy is given to us, and it can come under the most unexpected circumstances. May we all take Rumi’s words to heart on this precious day. As Mary Oliver says, while we may not “know exactly how to pray,” we can become skilled at paying attention.
Blessings to you, dear visitor. Please join my email list at email@example.com. May you be blessed with new acceptance today.