The 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
When I first came across the above poem, I was astounded at the depth in these words. For the first time I understood the meaning of the hindi phrase गागर में सागर भर दिया .
I would have never looked at sorrow that way--that it was clearing me out for something better.
Yet, the more I look back and reflect on my life, the more I realise it is true.
While we go through the pain, what we are doing is pushing the limits of endurance. We are raising the bar that much higher, becoming stronger, without our realising it.
Madhuri and I were chatting over whatsapp today, and she and I both agreed that whatever happens in our lives is a part of 'a grand plan'. Of course, there is free-will in your life. That is in your hands. But there is only so much that you can control. You just cannot control everything in your life--no matter how much you plan, no matter how much you take care of things.
The sooner one accepts this, and the sooner one welcomes even the seemingly 'unwanted guests'--- like meanness towards you from someone you never excepted it from, rejection, unkindness, betrayal, jealousy, pettiness---the easier it becomes to let go.
It is indeed for the better, though it doesn't seem so right now.
Just do the best that you can under the present situation---and things have a way of working themselves out.
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