Licensed Professional CounselorI love to share the following poem by an ancient Persian poet. To me it is comforting to remember that life is challenging for everyone simply because we are human.

We have been entrusted with an awesome ability to think thoughts and feel emotions. And sometimes it’s just so terribly uncomfortable to take it all in.

But what this insightful poet advises in his fatherly way is that fighting to keep the door shut on our feelings is not the kindest and wisest course for us. The path to personal change and growth actually begins with acceptance of things just as they are.

Here’s that marvelous poem:

The Guest House

By Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

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 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 whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.