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The past six months have been a roller coaster. (Read about stage one of this journey: https://tinyurl.com/yxzgdz3l) Moving, then changing my mind and un-moving. In other words, I decided to sell my house and move to a condo, then changed my mind (fortunately getting back the earnest money). The bottom line was that I would not have come out financially ahead. Too much deferred maintenance lowered the value of my house.

But even more powerful than the financial reality, there was an emotional facet to this about-face. It would have been wrenching to leave the back yard deer, the fruit trees, my labyrinth, the coldframe gardens, the view of the mountains, close neighbors who are also friends.

What followed took me by surprise and yet it made perfect sense. The next step, facilitated by my younger son: a refurbishment of the house I chose to keep. The exhausting though beneficial part is that I’m saying goodbye to too much “stuff.” Garage sales, donating, and just plain pitching   Some days I awaken with exhaustion. The ceaseless toil of clearing out the clutter wears me down…All the schlepping of papers, books, photos, office supplies and more from rooms that will get new saltillo tile and be painted from top to bottom. Other days I awaken with elation…the house will be beautiful. Like new. (When the refurbishing is done). Other days I find myself resenting the fact that I let everything slide and did not realize I should have been maintaining the house all along. Rumi’s poem “The Guest House” describes my emotions perfectly. If only I can be welcoming to all of those feelings, I will have accomplished a lot. After all, the adoptee’s journey is about being at home in ones own skin.

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.– Jelaluddin Rumi

*********************************************************************Although he wrote seven centuries ago, the Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic Rumi provided insights that serve us well today. The “guests” are emotions and thoughts to which one awakens each morning. Rumi advises welcoming them all rather than disdaining some as unwelcome pests and others as “right” and correct. It is true that we enjoy those guests that empower, buoy us up, and make us feel successful, capable, happy. But as I’ve traveled the adoptee’s road to discovering who I really am, I’ve found that we need to accept all the feelings and learn to live with them.
The emotions that appear in our personal guest houses can, after all, serve as guides from beyond.

*********************************************************************Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on life through adoption-colored glasses.

 

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