Encouragement for the Journey
As I reflect on the beginning of a new year three things have been rolling around in my mind. The first is a poem by the 13th century mystic Rumi:
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 honourably.
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.
The second is this inspiring quote from Dag Hammerskjold that I came across several New Years ago:
For all that has been: Thanks.
For all that is to come: Yes!
And the third is a quote from Carl Jung:
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
These three suggest to me a courageous and a gracious approach to life, acknowledging that many things come to our door and tumble us over, leave us gasping and flapping and wondering how to tell which way is up. And yet, for all that, there is still a blessing to be discovered from the experience. Sometimes the things that come to the door of our lives are from interactions with other people and it is easy to miss the opportunity to welcome self-knowledge, show grace and offer compassion when our attention is focussed on ‘their’ problem.
Whatever comes to your door this year, may you find grace, gratitude, humour and honour keep you company through each day.