I’ve Survived by Listening (Part Two)

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

–Rumi, “The Guesthouse”


When pain spoke, I refused to listen.

In so doing, I deprived it of its right to be heard.

If Rumi was right, and we are guesthouses for our transient thoughts and emotions, why are we such inhospitable hosts?

Why do we allow some guests to speak while forcing others to keep silent?

Who are we to decide who gets a voice?

Could the secret to inner peace be—becoming better hosts?


When pain speaks, I listen.

(“Judge not, and neither condemn…“)

Once it has spoken, the pain thanks me and sits down.

Until next time.

And that’s ok.

I am not my pain.

I am the guesthouse.


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