Being


After the storm of arriving in Mumbai has calmed down and the winds of chaos have settled, there comes a slight breeze of sadness, a whiff of loneliness, that creates a dense and unsettling presence in one’s life. There is a certain quality of sadness and longing that I feel right now, thinking of my friends I left behind, the tennis I used to play daily, the quiet but active street life, and the familiarity and intimacy I once shared with my city, my San Francisco.

While I am cognitively aware that this sadness will pass, that it will be replaced by feelings that pertain to a much happier time, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by it at this point in time. I realized today, as I sat in bed feeling the intensity of my sadness, that I have a choice: to either wallow in my sadness and feel angry about it OR to be with my sadness, feel it’s presence in my life, and allow it to stay with me so that I can really appreciate it’s opposite when it arrives: joy, happiness, fulfillment.

So today I make a choice: I chose to be with this sadness with compassion and no judgment, and perhaps tomorrow, I will feel differently. And if I don’t, I will try to muster up the strength once again, and embrace this feeling, maybe even befriend it…..because, as Rumi so eloquently speaks on the virtue of befriending one’s feelings…….

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.

 
~ Rumi ~
(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)
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