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Flickr photo by Celine Nadeau

Welcoming the Un-welcomed

By Christi Ortiz

A man came to a sage

and asked,

“How can I overcome my ego?”

“You can’t”

was his definitive reply

as he sat serenely smiling.

“What must I do?”

pleaded the earnest young novice

desperate for an answer.

“I too became frustrated with my attempts

to rid myself of ego entanglements

until that too became the ego’s playground.”

“So what did you do?”

Asked the incredulous wide-eyed seeker

eager to learn the secret.

 “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you”

laughing he revealed,

“I used to pretend it was my in-laws!

Instead of getting upset 

when it always popped up unexpected 

and uninvited.

I used to wave and say to myself,

Oh, there you are again

My dear, persistent friend!”

I would graciously let the ego say his piece

I would dutifully change the sheets 

and offer hospitality

And this was sure to comfort him enough 

To leave peacefully until another day.

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