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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Friday, January 3, 2020

January Third Challenge: Be a Big Container

This is a repeat of a post from 2010, and a line many of my clients have heard. It seems especially apt today, this third day of a new year.  Wednesday the trending topics on social media were all about optimism for a new decade.  Thursday night, the number one hashtag on twitter was #WorldWarIII. 

Always, in this life, there is beauty and terror.  Let's work on our serenity by neither pushing away (denying) or indulging too deeply in negative emotions.  Let's witness them, do our part to make the world an easier place, and be a big container for all that we experience.     

Can you be a big enough container for all that life brings you? 
We are as capable of love and joy as we are of sorrow and pain.  We don't get to avoid the latter if we allow the first.  We can delay suffering, but we don't escape it-- it becomes the bandaid off slow or quick dilemma. 
Be a curious, compassionate observer of your pain.  Look for the information it delivers.

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,
translation by Coleman Barks

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