The other day a colleague mentioned to me that she has seen individual clients from ages three to one hundred and three, and the problems are the same, just the perspectives shift. Another commonality that may be shared across the lifespan is our resistance to our humanness. We often find it unacceptable to allow all that is within us—our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions—to be present. And instead of welcoming all with openness and curiosity, we attempt to chase the unwanted, the embarrassing, the shameful, and the shadows away, but they will not leave until they are received.
Rumi‘ s Guest House is one of my all-time favorite poems that beautifully gets to the soul of our humanness.
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 are 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 whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.