I just finished Anita Moorjani’s book “Dying to Be Me,” where she relates her incredible near death experience and subsequent complete recovery from lymphoma. It is an astonishing and powerful story, and her messages really resonated with me and stretched my mind.
One main message is self-acceptance. She makes an interesting point when talking about this—that while she now lives from a place of joy rather than fear, it doesn’t mean she always thinks positive thoughts. She says that we all have negative thoughts, and since they are part of us, they are something we should accept. Rather than resisting or fearing negative thoughts and emotions, we should feel them and let them move through us.
Now I don’t know about you, but I resist my negative emotions very strongly! This was a fascinating idea to me, that I could just accept them and then they would go on, and that was actually healthier than trying to avoid them.
It seems to echo something my yoga teacher talked about recently, which is the concept of “bless and release”—if something is bothering you, rather than getting caught up in it, give it your blessing and let it go. In other words, accept it, let it move through you, and release it. This feels like a radical approach to me, and I’m really quite thrilled to start playing with it.
There is a poem I love that expresses this concept much more beautifully than I ever could. So I will let the amazing mystical poet Rumi have the floor this week:
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’re 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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.