Follow your desire. I've heard that invitation many times over the last decade. And by desire, I mean a holy desire that is free from ego, agenda, etc. It's a common question in many of our classes and other contexts at Kavanna House. But a few weeks ago when I heard the following words rising in me from that place of deep inner knowing, I had a new realization.
"Move in the direction of your desire. It's the path that stirs you and calls to you, whether that is through pleasant or unpleasant feelings and thoughts. It is all meant to guide you. Continually allow all of it to guide you.."
In the past, I've mostly paid a lot of attention to the "pleasant" feelings and thoughts that point me to my deepest desires. It hadn't occurred to me that my negative (labeled by me) thoughts or feelings could be guiding me there, too. I viewed them as valuable only in the sense of pointing out places of incongruence or pain that I could attend to.
In the weeks since I received that message, I have a growing sense of appreciation for the unpleasant "intrusions" in me and my life. The things I try to shield myself from and work through quickly are in reality messengers of Light.Seeing my frustration, sadness, anger, and fears as guides to something that my heart desires means I can welcome them and sit with them until they have completed their work.
And in case I needed encouragement, today I opened an email from a friend thanking me for the link to an article I had sent. I had read most of the article before sending it, but never finished it. Today, as I skimmed through the article to see what else of interest was there, at the end I found a poem (see below). And there it was, the little nudge reminding me that the message I heard is alive and active, and I can draw on the wisdom and support of others as I open my heart and hands to my guides. Today, may I recognize these guests and welcome and treat them honorably.
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.
– Rumi –
Photo Credit: Roxanne O'Reilly