The Guest House

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“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
Each day a new visitor …
On my journey I have been greeted by many unexpected visitors some I did not want to invite in or entertain in any way, yet they were there.  As they continued knocking on my door, my only choice to invite them in, they entered, sat down and we sat together in the uncomfortable silence.
Along this journey there has been a lonely visitor; the missing of my people, the connections I enjoyed back home, the sister who had become one of my best friends, my daughters who simply light up my world with the sound of their voice, my friends who support and love me for who I am.
I reach  a place, an understanding that this decision made to travel the world for one year has had a rippled effect on the people closest to me.  Some happy and supportive for my decision, my journey, others not so much.  It is in this realization that I must remember to let go and let others walk their own walk, I must let go and understand that each person is responsible for their own side of the street and I can only be responsible for my side of the street.  Quite simple really.
I must understand that the ripple effect sometimes positive, can also bring about negative results.
As this visitor visits me and I recognize that I do not want to open the door, I wish to keep it firmly closed wallowing in my wanting, my wishing, my hoping that they were right beside me on this unforeseen ride, instead I crack open the door and allow this visitor inside.  We sit in silence, we allow the sadness to well up, we do not push it away, we do not try to get away from it, we simply sit in all that it is.
As each one of us is dealing with our own side of the street and all that it entails, sorting through the garbage keeping what is important and letting go of the rest we come to realize that there is only one side of the street we will ever need to keep clean, our own.
Letting go …
To let go does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off; its the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try and change or blame another; its to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To let go is not to be protective; it’s to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less, and love more.
This letting go sounds so easy yet so difficult.  Practicing this over and over and over again in my life I still find myself falling back into the familiar rut and wanting to take responsibility for others, to care for, to fix, to be protect, to change.
This is a pattern of behaviour that is still so ingrained it still seems to be my first reaction until I allow the door to slide open and invite those feelings into my guest house and allow them to be present rather than pushing them away, I open the door and invite them in, we sit together and allow it to be.  It is in these moments that space is created, enough space to see the reaction and shift it into a response.
The guest house, each day a new visitor …

Fall. Surrender. Restore. Rise. Repeat.

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