Wednesday, July 9, 2008

An Unexpected Guest

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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Sometimes you come across just the right words at just the right time. This weekend I listened to vitriolic voicemail after vitriolic voicemail, each one nastier than the previous. Each one mocking me, making fun of me, questioning my morals, questioning my decency, lambasting my character.

I mean, it could be laughable since this diatribe was mainly based on the fact that I wear high-heeled shoes (hence, I am a whore). But even the laughable isn't so funny if you hear enough of it.

I really wish Mom wouldn't call so often.


It wasn't my mom, and it wasn't a friend or family member — or anyone that has anything to do with me. It was a very troubled person, a person who is suffering, a person who would like to see me suffer, others suffer — anything to not be alone with such intolerable pain. In such a state, we can fire off shots haphazardly, not caring who they hit, only hoping they hit someone other than ourselves. Well, in this case the person knew her desired target.

If only they knew there's no need. Everyone suffers, you don't need to supply suffering to anyone. None of us is alone in pain.

And though I was rattled by this tirade, and though I was shaken to hear such things about myself — however untrue — I dug down deep into myself and found a shelter there. I know who I am. After all these years, after all this struggle, I really do know me. It has taken so long, and there have been many curves along the path, times I got lost and more times that I fell, but they've gotten me to where I am.

And those things for which some would have me be the most ashamed, are actually the things of which I am the most proud. I am a single mother. I had a child out of wedlock. And truth be told, that has made me who I am today. I am so much stronger, so much more resilient than I ever knew I could be. Having the strength to say "No" to those who would bully me into an abortion changed something in me forever.

I never had to take a stand before that day, or I never had the will. I never thought I was strong enough, important enough — hell, never thought I was "enough."

Well I am enough. I like me as I am. I am better for the very things you would criticize. And so bring it. Bring your criticisms and your judgments, call me a whore. Hell, sew that red letter and affix it to my chest, it won't change me. I know who I am and I like who I am.

I am remarkably human. Fragile. Imperfect.

Any other names you want to toss at me may stick or they may fall. It doesn't matter. So far as I'm concerned they're just synonyms for my humanity, and yours. You lob your pain at me in hopes to rid yourself. I see it. So toss away, toss away your pain, your rage and that profound fear that threatens to tear you apart.

If it lessens your suffering, I can take it. I know your words will fall away as I continue on my path, and I'll thank you for reminding me of who I am, and of how much love I have discovered in myself.

Namaste, suffering woman. You are a guest in my house, and I will make something lovely from your pain. Let it humble me, and let it teach me to love even more. I only wish the same for you.


  1. You are right, some people hurl their pain around in an attempt to share it when it becomes too much. You're being a very good Buddhist today, I would be inclined to show her what heels can do to her rectum. :P

  2. It's taken me a few days of meditation to get here.

    Believe me, on day one I had some plans for those heels.

  3. *Flabbergasted*

    I don't want to mess with your zen... But I kinda feel like choking her. I know you're right, but... What a horrid, nasty bitch! OM

  4. I wanna go in your guest house.

    (I'm sorry I am such a pig. This was well done.)

  5. Thank you.

    And you are welcome in my house anytime.

  6. You rock. The end. I'd leave it on your answering machine but SOMEONE had to go and get a restraining order.

  7. Your viewpoint is contagious. Namaste.

  8. Yes - just like a seeping, blistering, crusty herpes sore.

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  10. I remind myself of other's projections into my space whenever I'm faced with such negative comments.

    but...I'm with megan, I would be inclined to show the alternative uses of a four inch heel with pressure is applied in a calm, even and steady manner.

  11. What an amazing post. You have a great attitude. I'm so glad I read this.

    I heard a quote recently: "You never see two branches of the same tree fighting." We're all branches on the human tree and we need to knock off the nonsense.

  12. Peace and quiet in my soul.
    I seek it daily.
    You have found it once again.
    Grace you have discovered,
    forgiveness is magical
    and frees me to fly.

    (high on life)

  13. Why don't you shove Chase Utley's shoe up her ass?

  14. How did all you violent people find my blog?

  15. 9 days out of 10 I can handle all the pain that's tossed at me. But on the last day it hits close to home and eats away a little at the inside.

    I wish for some of your calm to infect me.

  16. I really liked this post, and how you dealt with what happened. You have a lot of strength.

    People suck.

    I liked what you had to say about suffering, so true.

    Karma is a bitch, so you have a lot of good karma stored up now. Good for you. I had something similar in this past year, but I handled it quite a bit worse than you. Wish I'd read this back then.

  17. Gratitude.

    You are setting an example for how it should be done.

  18. Wow, your words are awesome.
    You not only put her in her place but teach:
    hate is useless.

    She is jealous
    and needs a
    "corset + rabbit
    gift set"
    or a bumper sticker:
    "I love my rabbit"

    I may only know you from the www, but I
    know your inner beauty from your words.
    Thanks for sharing.


  19. This blog really struck a chord for me. Thank you.

  20. I see the latecomers are a much less violent set.


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  28. What a lovely birthday present I gave to myself, today. I decided to look beyond the first page of your blog, and found a very precious human being.

    Thank you.