The Guest House

I found an interesting poem in one of my self help books called The Guest House. “[The Guest House] uses a strong metaphor to portray mindful acceptance of thoughts and emotions, especially unpleasant ones,” (Baer, 2014). Imagine you (or more specifically your brain) are the guest house and your thoughts are the guests.

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 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

Meet your thoughts at the door. “Welcome them, and invite them in. Don’t try to chase them off, ruminate about them, or criticize yourself for having them,” (Baer, 2014).

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It’s easy to ruminate about your thoughts and criticize yourself for having them. Try not to for a change. Try to accept them as they are without trying to change them or overthink/overanalyze them. Welcome them for whatever they may be. Some guests are annoying and negative but we still should be a good host.

Don’t chase your thoughts off and ignore them. When this seems like an easy way out, it’s not. They are going to build up one way or another. So it’s best to just let them past through, and you’ll be able to move on once those guests are gone.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll be rewarded for being such a nice host.

Stay strong lovelies <3


References

Baer, R. (2014). The Practicing Happiness Workbook: How mindfulness can free you from the 4 psychological traps that keep you stressed, anxious, and depressed. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications

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