Friday, 25 March 2016

Conscious Uncoupling

I was reading an interview with Chris Martin yesterday (bear with me - it does become relevant).

He believes there are two ways to end a marriage. "You can come at it very aggressively and blame and blame. Or you can put yourself in the garage, so to speak. Take yourself apart and clean off the bits. Reassemble."

Blimey. Doesn't that sound familiar?

So, it turns out that consciously uncoupling from Gwynnie is much like consciously uncoupling from Sauvignon Blanc.

Chris goes on to say that his inspiration was a poem by the 13th century Persian poet - Rumi. And, in fact, it's a poem used by Mindfulness experts and recovery centres round the world: The Guest House.

Here it is:

The Guest House - Rumi

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 honourably.
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.

Chris's summary of Rumi's lyrical poetry is this: "It says that even when you're unhappy, it's good for you."

It is - I think - hugely relevant for addicts, because we used to meet each guest at the door with a large glass of vino.

"Hello anxiety! Have a bevvy! Disappointment! You look like you could do with a beer!" Any unwanted visitor was quickly drowned out and ignored.

But, as Rumi tells us, those visitors are there for a reason. We need to listen to them, and learn from them. Only then can we grow wise and strong and be good teachers for our children.

So, the next time someone unwelcome comes knocking on your guest house door, do not pour that drink! Meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. They are a guide from beyond.

Have a good, Good Friday!

Love SM x


  1. The glass of wine acts like a magnifying glass too don't you think? Sadness becomes depression, worry turns into anxiety, happiness jumps over the cliff into delirium etc. Sobriety enables us to greet the visitor, examine them and then show them the door if we don't like the look of them.

    Happy Easter to you and yours SM

    1. Quite right, lovely Laura! Hope you're ok. Belgium can't be a happy place right now.... X

    2. We are all fine, Himself left on Monday morning so it was a real shock to realise I had kissed him goodbye on the spot where 24 hours later a bomb went off. Just shows how random life is and how every day could be our last. The mood is quite subdued but united. X

  2. I hope it's true that unhappiness is good for you. I have always felt like I am on a journey with my sobriety which is nowhere near over yet. The saying 'if nothing changes, nothing changes' is repeatedly rattling in my ears. I have changed, I am stronger, I am a better person now. But I am still on my journey, stuck it feels, at a crossroad I really don't want to be at. Your last few posts have really helped me SM. I almost threw the towel in and tried to block it all out again. Even chocolate isn't doing the trick. I just hope I am strong enough to see this journey through. Big, sober hugs LNM x

    1. Keep going LNM! I'm so sorry you're having a tough time. I promise you, though, the one thing guaranteed to make it worse would be drinking again. Please don't do it. You're awesome, and it will get better. We're with you xxxx

  3. Wow! This is what I needed at this point in my journey! Day 48 and I'm just beginning to work on my emotions that I covered up with wine! Right now I am angry but I greet it with laughter (said in jest! Not quite there....yet!)

  4. "Only then can we grow wise and strong and be good teachers for our children". Amazing words which resonate with me this morning. Thanks SM, another fantastic post. Red xx

  5. Thank you for this! A great reminder that everything is a part of the whole. That even the "bad" stuff can contribute to our growth. What's the saying? " No mud, no Lotus"
    Happy Easter

    1. I've not heard that saying before! Love it! Xx

  6. This is great and sooooooooo true. I am laughing right now. Wine was my door greeter for anything that wanted to enter my mind and upset me. God forbid I feel any pain or emotions!! My big test came recently when my beloved dog died suddenly. I actually had to feel the pain instead of drowning it in red wine. Thanks for this..I am still chuckling!

  7. I read this poem at ny father's funeral 23 years ago. It is such a great all-purpose reminder of how to deal with the poker game we call life.