Positive vs Negative; Solution vs Problem

treeup4

The world we live in has much that is good and much that is bad. Each day we can seek out the positive or the negative. If we choose to dwell on the negative, then that is what we will experience. But if we dwell on the positive, then that is more likely what we will experience. – Mark Allen Zabawa

 

The above quote is from the Hazelden daily reflection for today.  Although I find truth in the glass is half full vs the glass is half empty mindset, a refinement or elaboration of that point for me is whether I am living into the problem or living into the solution.  In recovery, I find that the negative does not go away unless it is addressed – it cannot be ignored.  This seems true with the Jungian concept of the shadow or dark side of our individual existence.  Which all brings to mind one of my favorite poems by the Sufi mystic Rumi:

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.

        -Rumi

The Guest House

hivehousesThis poem by the Sufi mystic Rumi is one of my favorites.  I see this as the essence of living one day at a time, living life on life’s terms, in recovery.

The poem also speaks to me on another level.  The grace of sobriety, I could never predict the direction or the results.  I could never have predicted when I first got sober where I would have ended up today.  When laying in the detox bed a bunch of years ago, all I wanted was a relief from the binges, the self-loathing, the black-outs.  What I got was so much more.

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.

-Rumi