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.
I find myself returning to this classic poem again and again whenever life gets hard, hectic, or frustrating. In moments of anxiety in particular, it's so soothing to be reminded that everything comes and goes in its own time.
It's easy to feel like feelings are permanent– as if you will always feel this anxious, this sad, this furious. But our own lives show us that this is not the case. When has a feeling lasted forever?
This poem brings me back into the truth: all feelings pass, sorrow and joy alike. When I read this, I feel the urgency to fix everything now melt away.
Instead of locking down when we see a difficult feeling on the horizon, "The Guest House" invites us to welcome all feelings warmly, to see them as teachers. I don't need to fix anything– I just need to be here now, hosting whatever guests may come.
Thanks for reading along with me,