Nikki Van Ekeren
Rumi's Words Still Ring True Today
The great 13th century poet Rumi wrote about the art of not identifying with passing thoughts and to allow them all in with no judgement. He writes in his poem entitled “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!”
Sparked by the words of Rumi, I wrote this poem on the art of not identifying with our passing feelings:
“to observe rather than to identify with”
when we feel something,
we tend to identify with it
and make it part of who we are.
the intensity of the emotion
seems to blind its recipient
into thinking it is now an adjective
in which to describe them.
what if we label intense feelings
as passing thoughts
and not cling to their meaning and origin?
these experiences are not identifiers,
rather they are something we feel and move on from.
as humans, we tend to give labels to things
and then latch onto them for identity.
feel a feeling.
feel it with your entire being.
identify it and move on.
live your life
rather than reacting to
the energy of feelings.
I was at a workshop and heard a woman say “This depression that I feel is not mine.” This statement has greatly impacted me. She was feeling depression, but did not let it define her. Rather, she was working on getting to the other side of it. She was not afraid of the feelings in the process.
We are containers filling up with life. We interact with others who pass on different energy that generates feelings in the body. Some of them feel good and some feel bad. What if we could allow the discomfort to pass and not cringe and try to stop it? We are not the feelings that emerge from within, rather we are the actions we choose to take.
“Circumstances do not make a man. They reveal him.”
Life is not happening to us, it is uncovering who we are at our core. It is okay to want to become a better person. It is okay to not love every action that you’ve taken when feeling pain or discomfort. We are only as good as we aspire to be.
Rumi leaves us with the sentiment,
“Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”
This new perspective allows all feelings to be an insightful teacher. As one who feels everything very intensely, I write on this topic as a student who desires to live alongside her feelings and not suffer within them.