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The unwanted guests (post 24)

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

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.

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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  1. That was something new for me. I would have considered them as intruders coming to drain out my energy.
    But this post gives me a new outlook.
    Thank You Preeti.

  2. Your writing is as amazing as your manifestation of thoughts! :-)

  3. Your articles help us realize that our problems are typical, and we can solve them in constructive ways.

    Thank you and keep these post coming.

  4. "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."

    Beautiful and deep lines....I can relate to it.To keep one's attitude firm and strong,always take the things in a stride as they enter your life,your aura.The moment sorrow or "unwanted guests" arrive,make them realise that you may not be the right person to entertain it.

    Waiting to read more from you,

    Syed Amiliya

  5. Great , I really like this article ,keep posting..

  6. True, I've learned to accept things too. I used to be whinny about how life and people have been unfair to me. I'm in my early twenties and I started accepting that that's how people are, that's how life will be and I'm not gonna feel equally bad whether or not I worry about it. So I learnt to find a solution or just move on without regrets. I believe everyone will come across this phase. Guess age has it's advantage, makes us deal things in a much matured way. No matter how mean others are , it's all in our mind to overlook it or take it to the heart :) have a great day everyone.

  7. Loved your post and thanks for sharing the beautiful poem by Rumi.

  8. I always go away from here taking something new and almost always something to reflect upon.
    Beautiful poem and lovely post Preeti:-)).

  9. Hi Preeti,

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear/ know these words today. Thank you truly.


    1. Very glad to be of use Aparna.
      Take care and hang in there.

  10. Feeling inspired :D loved it.thankuh!! :)

  11. Preeti, I am in tears now may be because I am under tremendous pressure and pain.. And when you say let go I simply don't think that it is an easy thing to do... How can you let go of things, situations or people which means the world to you.. May be letting go would only mean an end to my own self.. And i am just being selfish in not letting go just because it hurts me and I dont want an end to myself... I might only breath but could never live my life again... How do I believe that it will be for the good...


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Be that man Who looks his woman in the eye when he gets home And says ‘You look beautiful, darling.’ And means it. Because this thing you have going is Sacred
Be that man Who offers his woman a back rub, a glass of wine Or coffee Or simply some time and space Where she can be herself. Because this thing you have going is Sacred

Be that man Who doesn’t make jokes about his woman, behind her back Because she is too precious, too dear Some things you do not joke about Because this thing you have going is Sacred.
Be that man Who would drop everything in a jiffy to be beside her Not because she cannot manage But because you know how much she hates to do it all by herself Tell her she is strong and brave, And hold her hand Because this thing you have going is Sacred ______________________ **************© 2018 Preeti ShenoyFor more poems click here. Some poems have already appeared in print. Kindly do not reproduce without permission.Buy my books: