Open the door


“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. 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.” Rumi

I love this quote from Rumi. Each time a visitor arrives, I discover another layer of myself.  They have all come to heal me.

When I was grieving I wasn’t sure who would arrive at my door.  Sometimes it was anger, or fear.  Some days it was sickness.  Sometimes I didn’t answer the door at all. The more I ignored them, the more they kept coming around.

Over time, I became more inclined to peak out and see who was there.  Each time a new guest arrived, I became better at inviting them in. I realised that when I invited them in and sat with these feelings, I began to accept them. Some left quickly, some stayed for a while.

One day I became aware that the heavy guests were not coming so often. I began to notice a shift.  I noticed there were new guests arriving.  Some days it was peace, some days it was happiness. Sometimes it was awareness and joy.

When doubt comes in, I ask myself these questions.

Why are you closing the door to this feeling?

What would happen if you invited it in?

Can you sit with these feelings for a while to see what they have to say?

I am better at opening the door now. Some guests still make me feel uncomfortable, but they too have been sent as a guide and a teacher.

Embrace everyone at the door.  They are here to remind us; who we are and who we can become.


29 thoughts on “Open the door

  1. Ah, another Rumi fan. I love this post, Karen. It is so sweet and self loving. Embracing the guests at the door. So perfect….and holding every one of them in love. I think the ones that are hardest to love hold the key to our unfoldment. For me too now, most of the guests are happiness, peace, friendly. But when the more difficult ones come…..just love. They come for healing. I love the way you write. So practical, simple, poignant and loving.

    1. Thankyou Mary. It is so true, that we need to love every guest. I certainly have struggled with that at times, but it is the only way I have healed. 🙂

  2. Another timely and generous post. Thank you Karen. How much would we pay for a perfectly customized program of self improvement? But all we have to do is to welcome each guest.

  3. I appreciate this lovely Rumi prose and your thoughts on what it brings to you. Thank you. Just welcoming what comes does open the door for acknowledgement, acceptance, and even appreciation, as I try to learn from each visit. Today, impatience and judgment knocked, and I reluctantly cracked my heart open just enough to realize I wanted simplicity and some solitude.

    1. So true eM. Rumi is right, each day there is a new arrival. If we open our hearts a little more each day, we are more likely to have the good visitors too! Many thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

  4. Karen, Interesting and thought provoking.
    We all have an understanding of prudence. It raises a red flag within us to take a moment with reason and common sense. Armed with that we can answer any knock at the door. Letting in those which can lead us toward improvement, and sending on their way those that can only do harm.

  5. Another beautiful musing, Karen. Thank you. I really appreciate this bit of wisdom from Rumi as well – “This being human is a guest house.” One mentor of mine referred to it as “a well-lit inn.” It’s such a lovely way to see it, isn’t it? Thanks for bringing it to my awareness this evening! I’ll take it into my reflection/meditation time. 🙂 Love, Jamie

    1. Thankyou Jamie. It really is a wonderful teaching! Rumi has a way of igniting my understanding. I like your mentor’s description of “a well-lit inn.” We need to be ready for unexpected visitors anytime! 🙂

  6. I am happy to have met you. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I am looking forward to more healing and inspiring posts. God bless!

  7. Karen such an interesting post. I invited frustration and a bit of melancholy in yesterday. It was actually good to let them vent. But I soon packed them up and decided to move onward and do what I could to be more positive, even whilst feeling fatigued and dizzy still. The choices we make about our moods and emotions are so very important. I will heal quicker with a positive mind.

    1. It is good to invite them in and then let them go, Kath. Make sure you are doing lots of grounding on that beautiful land as well. Feeling dizzy is being in your head. You will heal, and you are a beautiful positive energy. 🙂

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