The Company You Keep
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’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.
Written by Rumi
Translated by Coleman Barks
Take a moment to consider the company you keep — the people you hang with, the environment you live in and the thoughts you entertain morning, noon and night.
Do you like the world you've created for yourself? Are there any changes that are calling for your attention? Are you being active or passive these days? Just note right where you are, here at the end of this decade of the twenty-teens.
It has been a tumultuous year for many. Upheavals, losses, changes, shifts…. the letting go of old ideas and the sometimes endless waiting in the void for new insight, clarity and understanding.
There is suffering, worrying, anticipating…”All of this,” spiritual teacher, Ram Dass advised, “is part of the process of being human. Let your sufferings and fears and anxieties just be — don’t deny them or get lost in them. Just allow whatever you are experiencing to be grist for the mill of your awakening."
Be mindful and learn to quiet the mind. Trust yourself. As Ram Dass said, "When the faith is strong enough-- it is sufficient just to be. It’s a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time.”
Another great visionary, Rumi, the revered 13th-century Persian poet wrote, The Guest House. Its core message is to be with whatever life brings. Whether it comes in the form of a joy or a great difficulty, greet it -- without fear or loathing, and watch as you become wiser, kinder and more compassionate to yourself and others.
And it follows, that faith, even a mustard seed worth -- helps clear the way for something new to be birthed.
Rumi wrote, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” If this year has been tough for you, for a friend or loved one, remember that this too shall pass and You are the best company you can keep.
Work with everything life brings you in the New Year and welcome it all! Hello 2020!