We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ~ Teilhard de Chardin
Indulge me for a moment, will ya?
- Pretend you’re an alien ready to remove its earthly shell. Starting at your head, “unzip” your body down the middle and let it fall to the floor, crumpled like a heap of clothing.
- Forego every role you’ve ever associated yourself with – mother, friend, child, spouse, work titles, etc.
- Act as if you didn’t have the possessions you currently have – houses, cars, bank accounts, etc.
- Detach yourself from all of the circumstances you’re currently experiencing (even if it’s a “feel good” experience).
You probably know your body and mind/ego very well but what about your other dimension? Could it be what some people call your soul, your spirit, or your TRUE self? What do you think?
Recently I came across the poem below called The Invitation and I’ve read it several times now! With each pass, I imagine who I am, where I am, and what I’m doing.
The author’s intention for this poem was to reflect on how she felt after leaving a party where people asked questions like “what do you do for a living,” “where do you live,” or “where did you study” – you know, the basic “getting to know you” type of questions. But is any of that what really matters?
This piece has since turned into so much more for those reading it, transforming how we see ourselves in relation to others and the world around us.
Warning: If you allow yourself to be open, vulnerable, and transparent while responding to the call of this piece, it may cause a (wonderful) disruption in your current flow of living!
Read this with intention and then celebrate what you ultimately discover!
The Invitation by Oriah
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living, I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring with your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or even your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being a human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true. I want to know if you can risk disappointing another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithless* and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “YES.”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children. It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself; and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah is first and foremost a story-teller, a lover of words and symbols and the stories that lift our spirits, open our hearts and offer us ways to see patterns and create meaning in our lives.
Over to you…
Life is hard. And life is wonderful. “The Invitation” is about finding what we need – the inspiration, the intimacy, the courage and the commitment to live fully, every day. ~via Oriah
Does this poem alter your sense of self and help you identify your true essence?
*Note: The word “faithless” in the poem is not a typo; it is the word Oriah intended, not faithful.