There must have been something atmospheric going on lately, because a rash of people in my life have been struck with melancholia. The Western approach to the blues is about striving; attend a service, do a worksheet, work through your emotions… The idea is to build an arsenal of weapons so robust, an emotional physique so formidable, “bad” emotions will simply flee before they land a first blow.
Sometimes it even works.
But on the two occasions in my life I’ve met people who seemed deeply at peace with themself and their future, they held a different philosophy. I could explain more, but that would be just busywork when Rumi says it better:
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, version by Coleman Barks)
Is there a poem, a story, a song that helps you know it’s okay to not always be “up”? I’d love to add to my collection.