When Unexpected Visitors Come Knocking
"This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor...Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. 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
By Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.
Author of
THE ART OF BEING, 101 Ways To Practice Purpose In Your  Life

Today I am going to tell on myself, using my own experience as an illustration to make a point. For the past several weeks I have felt as if I've been stuck in a sensory deprivation device such as a full emersion tank, finding it very difficult to experience my emotions, thoughts and feelings of the moment. The level of my creative energy has been nil as well. What I know is that by writing about it I become more aware of how to heal it. As I read the above quote this morning from the Sufi mystic Rumi, I had one of those miraculous "ah-ha" moments when I felt like he was in my mind and body, talking directly to me. "Oh", I said out loud, so this is what has been going on. It was as if a great weight was being lifted from me as I realized that for the past few weeks I've had a continuing parade of "unexpected visitors" morning, noon and night, knocking on the door of my mind-several of whom Rumi mentions above. Why wasn't I more aware of them? Could it have been that I misidentified my visitors or worse yet, had I denied their presence all together?

In retrospect, I now know from whence my unexpected visitors had come: Two weeks ago my wife Diane was forced into emergency surgery with a herniated disc in her neck. Thankfully she is well on the mend now, but she ended up having a titanium plate put in place to fuse two vertebrae together. I had become so swept up in her pain and exhaustion and the drama of it all, tending to her needs, that I rendered myself unable to greet my own "unexpected visitors" appropriately when they came knocking. Clearly the message they were bringing me was that I needed to take care of myself too-I just needed to be present enough to hear it. Well, thank you God, I got the message!

How about you? Have you ever had any unexpected visitors such as the ones Rumi is referring to? Of course the answer is most likely yes. We have all experienced many of the emotions, thoughts and feelings he speaks of. Knowing this is so, the more crucial question is; in the future will you embrace your "visitors" with open arms and listen to their message, or, will you deny that they are even there. Make a commitment to take care of yourself by listening for those "unexpected visitors" when they come knocking-and make no mistake about it; as long as you are in the human condition, from time to time, they will knock. Tend to your own emotional and physical wellness. You deserve it. Take time daily to spend in sacred silence. Meditate and be alone with Spirit, and welcome your unexpected visitors-they really have been sent as guides from beyond.

Copyright 2007 New Reality Press

. . .what I know is that by writing about it I become more aware of how to heal it.. .

* For the next twenty-four hours consciously consider your body as a guesthouse and be the silent witness to what emotions, thought and feeling come to visit.

* Is it possible that you may have been out of touch with your emotions, thoughts and feelings recently, perhaps due to what's going on around you? Allow today to be the day when you become aware of them and welcome them.

* If you have any "unexpected visitors" show up, meet them at the door of consciousness, laughing! Be willing to embrace them and sit with them a while. Simply honor them and see what is revealed, knowing you are in charge of the thoughts and feelings and fears that attempt to enter your domain, and then witness the peace that accompanies the "ah-ha."

Peace, Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.
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