Clearing

Image Description: A brown mat with the word “Welcome” in black. It’s on the ground in front of a yellow door which is slightly ajar. Public domain image.


I woke up happy, hopeful, and uplifted, and I was grateful. On Saturday, I shared here about my sudden, unexpected back pain. But already by Sunday, it was gone, and I was feeling both lighter and delighted.

This caused me to reflect: Sometimes, we need to make space for our pain and feel our way through it, whether it is physical, emotional, or both. Though that is challenging, it may need our attention and our intention to tend to it. It many cases, it won’t persist in the same way forever. It may also clear us out for something different. I think about one of my favorite poems,

The Guesthouse

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.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

Whatever you’re feeling, may you be cleared out for some new delight.

Renee Roederer


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