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.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Some days I feel angry and frustrated, and other days I’m happy and hopeful. It’s important that we can acknowledge what we feel without judgement. We don’t need to heap guilt or shame on our heads when we feel positive just because others are going through a hard time. We also don’t need to make things worse for ourselves and those around us by staying stuck in our difficult emotions. It’s totally normal to feel a range of emotions, regardless of what’s going on in the world.
We can use our emotions to suggest ways to move forward. If I feel sad because my friend wasn’t able to be with her father when he died, the sadness tells me that I value close family ties, my connection to my friend, and physical connection during important transitions in life. Now what courageous step can I take that will help me deal with a situation I didn’t choose? Perhaps it will be to call my own parents, to remind my family that I love them, to give my friend the gift of a listening, sympathetic ear. I know physical contact is currently impossible, but what else can I do to get as close as I can to those I love?
Our emotions pass either too quickly or slower than we’d like, but we are more than our emotions. It’s helpful to remind ourselves that our emotions don’t define who we are. Our ability to experience and acknowledge all our emotions in a healthy way helps us develop compassion or take an action that helps to resolve the emotion. That feels good!