by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Darling, the body is a guest house;
every morning someone new arrives.
Don’t say, “O, another weight around my neck!”
or your guest will fly back to nothingness.
Whatever enters your heart is a guest
from the invisible world: entertain it well.
Every day, and every moment, a thought comes
like an honored guest into your heart.
My soul, regard each thought as a person,
for every person’s value is in the thought they hold.
If a sorrowful thought stands in the way,
it is also preparing the way for joy.
It furiously sweeps your house clean,
in order that some new joy may appear from the Source.
It scatters the withered leaves from the bough of the heart,
in order that fresh green leaves might grow.
It uproots the old joy so that
a new joy may enter from Beyond.
Sorrow pulls up the rotten root
that was veiled from sight.
Whatever sorrow takes away or causes the heart to shed,
it puts something better in its place-
especially for one who is certain
that sorrow is the servant of the intuitive.
Without the frown of clouds and lightning,
the vines would be burned by the smiling sun.
Both good and bad luck become guests in your heart:
like planets traveling from sign to sign.
When something transits your sign, adapt yourself,
and be as harmonious as its ruling sign,
so that when it rejoins the Moon,
it will speak kindly to the Lord of the heart.
Whenever sorrow comes again,
meet it with smiles and laughter,
saying, “O my Creator, save me from its harm,
and do not deprive me of its good.
Lord, remind me to be thankful,
let me feel no regret if its benefit passes away.”
And if the pearl is not in sorrow’s hand,
let it go and still be pleased.
Increase your sweet practice.
Your practice will benefit you at another time;
someday your need will be suddenly fulfilled.
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi 1207-1273
— Mathnawi V: 3644-6, 3676-88, 3693-6, 3700-1
Version by Kabir Helminski
“The Rumi Collection”
Threshold Books, 1998