Step On My Welcome Mat


Child's Pose

Image from Mary-Heather on Flickr

There are times when I believe in the expression when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Deep in the throes of self-defeat after losing a wrestling match with PPDemons. I dragged myself onto my mat for Yoga class. I was full of caveats for being there: “only because it’s a Yin class so I can just restore without effort;” “allow myself to leave whenever I wished;” “give myself permission to be anti-social without worrying about it;” I wasn’t exactly open to anything.

I found out we had a substitute teacher and almost rolled up my mat right then. But, I decided to stay because this substitute teacher normally teaches beginner’s classes and I enjoy her easy laughter. Not much, but I allowed a tiny bit of light into my dark thoughts. I let go of my expectations and just listened to her voice and my breath.

And she read this poem by Rumi:

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’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.

I was gently opened by these words. They settled into my heart without causing me pain. And I have let them stay with me. I’m observing their effect on my Post Partum Depression. I’m meditating upon the realization that everything-all of it-is welcome and loved within me. I’m still taking it on faith that I can begin to feel joy or even simply good most of the time.

I’m open to the possibilities.

And maybe, just maybe, this openness is as loving of the light as much as the dark.

11 thoughts on “Step On My Welcome Mat

  1. I really needed this right now too.
    I’m so glad you shared it.
    Rumi has a way of dropping into my life when the time is right too.
    I’ll be reading this one a few more times.
    And I really hope you continue to heal.

    • Thank you. Rumi has a way of dropping into my life when I need him, too. I own no copies of his work because he drifts in when I need him. Just like I feel I’ll come across a book of his poems one day at just the right time

  2. Zoie, I sincerely appreciate you sharing this…you are amazing, truly. I’m hoping that what you need continues to come to you as you need it, and that you know what an encouragement you are to so many. 🙂

  3. I could have used this poem today. Well, I could have if I were ready to be open to it. I’m too busy wallowing in the muck today. Are “wallowing” and “entertaining” the same thing? Hmm…if my friends came over and I wallowed in them, I guess that wouldn’t be the same thing as entertaining them. But they’d likely not come back again. I have a suspicion I can’t say the same for my depression/anger/impatience…

    Thank you for sharing this, Zoie.

    • Wallow away and welcome the wallowing, and the judgments that arise within you about wallowing, and the annoyance at the judgments about the wallowing. All of it. See them and know that you are not your thoughts. That’s freedom from suffering from them.

      I’m doing this sitting with them, almost constantly now while I’m awake. I’m apparently avoiding almost every thought, every emotion and I’m just being with them. I may do this for the rest of my life. I don’t know. I’m okay with that. Already, I’m seeing differences even with the horrible, sticky stuff.

  4. Oh Z this was wonderful. I am so sorry that you are struggling so with the demons. I have had my own struggle. But I am so happy that you found some peace and solace. It resonated with me and I think you for sharing it. ❤
    Know that you and your wonderful family are in my thoughts and prayers.

I love comments and try to reply to each one. I look forward to connecting with you. Namaste

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