• Manahil Ijaz

Poetry for the Soul- "The Guesthouse"

Updated: Nov 16, 2020


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.


Rumi


The Guest House by Rumi, is undoubtedly a poem that soothes the wounds of the broken-hearted, the wanderers and the lost by introducing the beauty of submission. A poem written in the 1200’s is more relevant today than ever as it pinches into the most human dilemmas of the mind; where resistance is a reflex and acceptance of emotions and situations is increasingly difficult. This poem spoke to me vividly as it illustrates all our most dark thought processes and anxieties in the most palpable way. The use of language is succinct in enforcing the acceptance of all that is difficult, good or uncomfortable.


The phrase ‘every morning is a new arrival’ is something I would personally use as a daily affirmation. We get so focused on the negativity when circumstances are undesirable that we forget that with the break of a new day, there is undoubtedly a new arrival. And that arrival could be anything from a mistake, a lesson, a new encounter or maybe just a foreign emotion. This new arrival is where awareness breaks through; an opportunity to seek within and witness this natural shift.


There’s a common saying that ‘There is good in evil’ and this has poetically been phrased in Rumi’s words as he explains how even a ‘crowd of sorrows’ that could potentially diminish your wealth or prosperity, should be acknowledged for its existence. Even things that seem horrid have the ability to transform your life around for the better; for learning is the truest form of living. Not to mistake this as being oblivious, but to become aware of its presence and become as light as the air that negative circumstances just remain as temporary parts of life that awaken your soul.


‘The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in’.

This phrase reminds us of how light-heartedly life needs to be experienced that the arrival of anything should only reaffirm the faith in our potentiality that is yet to be released due to this new guest. The word ‘invite’ accentuates on the factor of acknowledgement and becoming a vessel that is devoid of nihilistic characteristics.



When we believe the universe has the potential to allow us to be whatever we seek, we submit the position as the driver in this racecourse of life and take the passenger seat to observe the boundless possibilities with a lens of non-judgement and pure acceptance. The last sentence ‘Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond’ in essence speaks about gratitude which is ultimately the only way to diminish our undying need for control. We tend to control our lives when we fear the unknown possibilities of the future. When we are grateful for the tiniest aspects of life that are bestowed upon us with little effort, we have faith beyond ourselves; where every possibility becomes an opportunity.

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