You are Welcome

There have been several of conversations around Pathways of Grace this week around feeling welcome.  It has been interesting to note how differently people perceive what it means to be welcomed and welcoming.

For some, it is a warm greeting, eye contact, and a hug.  For others, a hug would not be welcoming, and for some, continued eye contact would make them want to run.  Welcome can be someone taking the time to get to know you.  A neat and tidy space.  Welcome can be uninterrupted time. For others, it’s the freedom to not interact.  

Feeling welcomed has so many layers to it; culture, custom, upbringing, past experiencing (positive and negative) and expectations are just a few.  Many times we assume the other sees what being welcomed means the same way we do.  How do you perceive being welcomed?  Seriously, I want to know.  Leave your thoughts so others can understand the depth of welcome.

The spiritual practice of welcome is a willingness to be open to someone else, something else.  Sometimes we welcome wonderful things in our lives, sometimes it is not so wonderful.  Having a spiritual practice to be willing to be open and welcoming of others and life allows us to connect and incorporate things into our lives we may have never imagined.  Becoming a person who practices welcome is connected with being a person of fullness.  Welcome is shut down when there is lack. Welcome, however it is performed, comes from a place of abundance.

I look forward to hearing your ideas around welcome and leave you with two of my favorite Welcomes, the Welcoming Prayer and The Guest House.

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.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

What we are “welcoming” is the Indwelling Spirit’s Presence amongst the ALL of life.

The Welcoming Prayer

Gently become aware of your body and your interior state.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment because I know it is for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions,
persons, situations and conditions.
I let go of my desire for security. I let go of my desire for approval. I let go of my desire for control.
I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.
I open to the
love and presence of God
and
the healing action and grace within.

––– Mary Mrozowski 1925-1993
The creator and spiritual mother of the welcoming prayer practice