Learning to Love What Is


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.”
~ translation by Coleman Barks


This Rumi poem adorns my fridge door. The words, when I remember them help, a lot.

It seems I tend towards emotional extremes.

I’ve judged events as utterly fantastic, amazing or OMG!! Many of those life-events remain so while others…not so much. One experience in particular, seemed so severe it shattered my heart to the point I felt there would be no mending. With the passing of time and honest reflection, I must admit some positively beautiful things happened as a result of that seeming tragedy, even though my heart remains deeply wounded.

It is truly best for me to leave my judgments aside as life unfolds around me. Sometimes I can pull that off, but my oh my, I can take things so very personally.

And so the practise goes.

If I do not objectively examine my thoughts, they will take me on a wild ride.

The truth is, I know less today “for sure” than ever before, and that’s a relief. Not long ago a teacher suggested I may want to develop an attitude of curiosity regarding my life. I recently received a business email that gave the appearance I may lose some business income. For a moment I was distressed but shifted to curiosity as to what may happen next. A few hours later I received correspondence from someone else with what may well turn a loss into a financial gain. Life unfolds continuously and staying balanced emotionally reduces my stress and saves me energy. Consciously avoiding drama, as much as possible, will only serve my highest good.

As I breathe, I practise remembering that life is a gift and here to serve me. Accepting all my life with love, gratitude, and curiosity shifts my perspective and makes all the difference. I am the only one who can change my thinking. When my thinking changes so does my viewpoint. That point of view shapes how I understand my journey here on earth. This teaching reflects native wisdom in hawk medicine. It’s the view from 50,000 feet or seeing the big picture.

Every encounter, event, relationship, connection and transaction has shaped me into the man I am. I stand on two feet, grounded in gratitude and thankful for all of it, for I love my life and life loves me back.

May you have a peace-filled season filled with joy and happiness.

With Love and Gratitude for what is,