Thankful for invitations

Colleen Crawford

I was invited to a pre-Thanksgiving feast and before we ate our meal, our host asked each of us at the table what we were thankful for. "Invitations" came immediately to mind and stayed there. I didn't want to take the time to marinade that thought because I didn't want to miss hearing what the others were saying. When my turn came, I mumbled something to the effect of "Invitations. Like this one.” I added an unrelated thought and was grateful when the torch was passed to the person beside me. I said the word that was in my heart but I didn't add my heart to what I was saying.



I have been rejecting a lot of the world's invitations lately. I was struggling and it was getting harder and harder to find the energy to pull myself out of my safe place at home and into the world, even when I was being invited into the warm arms of friendship. I was tired. So tired. I was broken and I didn't want light to shine upon who I was because I was so lost. Yet I kept receiving invitations.



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Some invitations come out of the blue and all you have time to do is go. No time to think. You just pack up and leave. I had one of those invitations during my summer holidays and I went. I just followed the road and I was there. Exactly where I needed to be.



If I had been given time to wonder and think too long, I would have said, "I'll be there next week.” In fact that is exactly what I had said mere hours before my "invitation" to drop everything and go immediately. I appreciate when life has other plans. When I'm busy over-thinking something, gathering my resources and pumping myself up so I have the courage to walk out the door donning a mask of courage I don't feel, I often talk myself out of taking that very first step. It is ever so much easier when the invitation is immediate. Come. Now! When there is no time to think, I automatically do the right thing.



When life is comfortable and all appears well, there are often undercurrents of a quiet knowledge that things must change. I'm not good at making necessary change unless my life becomes unmanageable in its current state. As the years have unfolded, my life's eviction notices have evolved into "handing in my notice.” It is so much harder to walk away from life as you know it when all seems well. Except when the deepest part of your knowing is telling you to let go. It is a little bit like over-thinking the invitation you receive two months before the actual event. "So much can happen in two months," races through my mind at those invitations. I'd so much rather just show up at the last minute.



My pre-Thanksgiving day invitation was a little bit like that. The fear monger who lives inside my head was so afraid to say yes. "I don't belong" raced through my mind even though my friend assured me I was wrong. It was an honor to be invited into the arms of friendship and a family where blood ties didn't exist.



I've always cringed at invitations I have felt I have received because it was the right thing to do. The obligatory Mother's Day supper, invitations just because I'm my mother's daughter or it is the expected thing to do. This invitation came from a place of "I would like you to join us if you are free". No, but thank you was just as acceptable as yes, please! I was chosen.



We fall into some of our invitations and some invitations are well thought out. I appreciate all the invitations I receive. Sometimes I may not act on them as I should and that is when life conks me over the head with a two by four and knocks me silly. I am grateful I haven't been knocked unconscious lately. I'm accepting and declining invitations with a clear head and an open mind.



I'm grateful life is always extending me an invitation to keep moving forward, out of my head and into the world. That is a lot to be grateful for.

 

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