Where are we right now? And where are we going? Do we even know where we are coming from?
Uncertainty is disorienting. Days spent in isolation and quarantine are not all that distinct from another. And so much free time creates a new challenge, as is often the case with freedom – this is the challenge of choice. What can I do with my day? What do I want to do with my day? The needs and shoulds seem to fade away without the pressure of “work”, which is refreshing indeed. Nonetheless, time stretches on. Options pile up as we organize Zoom meetings, workshops, webinars, yoga and meditation classes. Am I to commit to this class? This dance party? Even more – Am I to offer something? How am I to do my part in this new normal?
As a spiritual director, I tend to think of choices less as options or opportunities but more as invitations. What am I being invited to? What are you being invited to? The concept of an invitation allows me to consider my Yes or my No in a different way. invitations typically don’t present themselves with any kind of pressure. On the contrary, invitations are often received with a sort of delight – a birthday party, a wedding, a graduation, a baby shower, a bachelor party. You’re Invited!
Yet and still, invitations have the potential to overwhelm. Like the 30-something who is suddenly overwhelmed by wedding invites. The invitation still presents us with a choice, although I like to think that the weight of the choice feels lighter when received in a form that feels intentional. Invitations can feel special when I perceive that someone thought to include me. So who or what is including me today? I may ask myself.
If I received an invitation every day for two weeks to a wedding, I might get overwhelmed, annoyed, or however one reacts to overstimulation. We all have our ways of dealing. Likewise, if I received an invitation every day to the Netflix and chill party, or the Instagram fiesta, or the CNN pre-show and afterparty, how might this constant influx make me feel? Do any of us really want to go to the same party every day?
Today, I invite you to check-in. What are you being invited to today? And what might you need to decline in order to accept this invitation?