A poem can teach us a lesson, like a wise sage calling to us from the past.
In this poem we are being asked to consider, with gratitude, the gifts of experiencing everything, the sorrows, the pain, the joy, the delights. In short, we cannot experience anything if we don’t experience everything. So, let that bad day happen, don’t push away the glum feelings, the worries. Sit with them. Invite them in as you would a day filled with laughter and friendship. Yin comes with Yang, the light only comes with the dark.
We have a tendency to expect everything to be just great, all the time. And if it isn’t, we stamp our feet and demand a do-over. But how poor we would be without the richness of feeling it all. I am not making light of hard times and all my empathy goes out to anyone struggling. But it might help to remember that there are lessons in what is hard. And that things will not stay hard forever. The one thing that is 100% certain is that things will change, time will move, the earth will turn. So in the meantime, why not try to make gifts of the hard times and feed them to yourself to make you grow?
What is your gift of Covid?
Mine is photography. Last April-June I took a photograph every day as part of an #isolationcreation series. I would never have done that, had I not been stuck at home. In fact, my creativity thrived on not being able to go out and take photographs; forced to stay home I discovered a love of still life. My other gift was being forced to sit still and just be. I am by nature very restless and can’t stay home all day without climbing the walls. But I read, I cooked, I talked to people I hadn’t connected with for ages. I went for walks in our one hour outside. My capacity grew through being forced to do very little. The gift was in the irony.
Here then, is a poem from the wise Rumi. Feast on it and think what your gift might be.
The Guest House by Jalaluddin Rumi
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.