“There may be many soul mates along the Path, yet ultimately there is only one real Shems.” (Qudra Healing)
“Had I not met you oh dearest Shems, I would not of discovered my path. Had the heavens not sent me to you, I would still be a wanderer. Through you, I found Me, through this, I know nothing but Love. In gratitude I search for you. In humility, you’ve disappeared! I’m told, “Despair not, you are One with all those you love, now and eternally. “
In a shower of gentle raindrops
We dance in puddles of reflection
Surrounded by His mysterious protection
Unaware of who is who
Gaze down now to view the reflection
A peek at the height of love’s perfection
I see Me
You see You
We see Him
How could this be?
As in reality we only see ONE imagery!
We’ve unlocked the key to our own Mystery
The Truth WE see
“In every spiritual relationship there is a Shems and Rumi. Roles are exchanged periodically..in reality both are ONE.” (Qudra Healing)
A Guest House in Your Soul: Emotional and Spiritual Healing
Marilyn Gordon, BCH, CI
Rumi was a great mystic and poet whose wisdom and heart were as large as the cosmos. His poems ring out truths that even years after they were written are still profoundly meaningful. Rumi wrote about the growth of the soul, about transcendence and metamorphosis. One of his poems about tending to and healing the emotions is particularly relevant. Here it is:
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.1
This is a poem about inviting in rather that locking out or rejecting the experiences that come to us on a regular basis. It’s about seeing your illness and pain as guests. It’s about the art of paying attention to the experiences of your life. If you don’t pay attention to your wife, your child, your friend, your fear, or your sadness, the problems can escalate. In our culture, we like to push things down, get rid of them, banish them, drug them into the oblivion of unconsciousness – but here we’re being invited to welcome them all into a guest house. If we suppress our feelings, they keep popping back up, like jack-in-the-boxes. If we pay attention to them, just like human beings, they are magically comforted, soothed and transformed.
Your pain is like a weary traveler on the road. You may feel safe enough to open the door and welcome the traveler in. In the guest house inside your deep inner mind, you may be doing the welcoming, or someone else might be there at the door. Who is it? Is it Jeeves the butler? Michael the archangel? A Great Being – or a small child? Bill Cosby’s son used to say, “Hello Friend!” to everyone he met. Simon and Garfunkle used to sing, “Darkness, darkness my old friend…” You have your own way of greeting your pain or suffering, of saying hello to it. You may want to speak to it and say,” Come in. Here’s a place where you can rest your soul.” You may want to begin a conversation by asking it, “What’s happening? Tell me what’s going on. What is your sadness or anger or pain like? Tell me about it. Tell me more.” First there may be some emotions rising up. You can watch them and allow them. When you just “be” with this pain and suffering, a shift happens, a relaxation, a change in quality, a shift in intensity.
After you pay attention to it, you may want to ask it what it needs. This is a great transformational question. Does it want some comfort? An arm around its shoulder? A change of clothes so that it can take off its disguise and reveal its true self? Does it want to experience great love? A shift in understanding? A chance for forgiveness? A life transformation?
At this point, the pain may have transformed into wisdom in its pure potential. You can ask the Wise Mind to speak about what the meaning of this situation is to your life and then what you might do about it. Is this here to instruct you about what you’re attached to and how you can let go? Is it saying to you that it’s time for a change in your life? Is it saying that you may need a more appropriate form of action in a particular situation? Do you need to treat someone differently? Do you need to become more powerful? Is it time to speak up? Is it time to change the nature and quality of your thoughts? Is it possible to bring spiritual solutions into your life?
Watch for a great metamorphosis, and save a chair in this guest house for any Great One who may be hiding under the guise of sadness, anger, fear and pain. When you pay attention, the duckling becomes a swan, the frog – a prince or princess, and the beast may transmute into the “Guide from Beyond” that Rumi so eloquently talks about.
In this same poem, Rumi also says,
Learn the alchemy
True Human Beings know:
The moment you accept what trouble
you’ve been given, the door opens.
We can apply this in our own lives and in our work, accepting whatever resistance may be and allowing in the deep feelings that may come through our doors. When we adopt this welcoming and allowing attitude, we can go beyond condemnation and judgment and find a merciful attitude of embracing what comes, and it can only serve to expand and enlighten us.
1. The Illuminated Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks, New York Broadway Books, 1997