Rumi’s poem The Guest House is one of the most powerful poems ever written. It brings so much together. He says, “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! Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”
Joy, depression, even meanness- all powerful teachers. What are they teaching you? Like all good teachers, they are pointing beyond themselves to a greater lesson. Emotions have their own higher purpose. Here are 3 steps to a higher emotional education :
1. Sign up for class by turning up to your life. Its where your heart schools you in emotions 101. Turn up, meet the teachers and get ready for a full immersion.
2. Complete the assignment. Do the, sometimes, hard work of diving deep into your emotions.
3. Graduate. In other words, the aim of good teachers is to do themselves out of a job. You have what you need within you.
When you graduate with a masters in emotional intelligence, you have emotions but you aren’t had by them. You feel things deeply, but know that they leave just as suddenly as they came. As Rumi says, “Meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.”
Awareness is the head of the house and student adviser. With awareness, know which emotions are in the house, and why they’re there, and never ever forget who you are when the guests leave.