I woke up anxious this morning.
It's been brewing for a few days now. EMDR hasn't helped. Writing hasn't helped. Mindfulness felt impossible. But then I thought of that Rumi poem, The Guest House, and realized how similar the anxiety was to an out-of-town guest.
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.
What happens when someone visits from out of town? You flex your schedule. You tend to their needs. You accommodate their presence and make them comfortable as you can, because that's what a good host does. And if they're unpleasant or throw your life into disarray, you treat them with all the patience you can muster, because you know their stay is temporary. Eventually they will leave and life will go back to normal but it will be richer, better, because for a time you provided a safe landing pad for someone who needed it.
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.
That's what I've been trying to do with my anxiety today. Greet it at the door, laughing, and let it in. How striking it is, to remember that I am just as worthy a recipient of loving-kindness as any other person in the world. Because I am a person in the world.