Rumi’s 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.

Rumi (John Moyne and Coleman Barks, trans.), Say I Am YouThe Guest-House, Athens, GA: Maypop, 1994, p.41

Until I learn the lesson each encounter with life offers to teach me, the lesson will keep showing up on my doorstep. Until I can greet each emotion and thought with compassion and humor, I refuse the joy they carry in their pockets.

At fifty-six years of age,  it’s well past time to be grateful for everything.

4 thoughts on “Rumi’s Guest-House”

    1. You are welcome! It’s been many years since I read it, and am so glad I got this chance to revisit its beauty. peace, Johnna

    1. You are welcome! I got this book of Rumi poems years ago from my brother Bill, and this is the first time in several years that I’ve reread it. Peace, Johnna

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