An invitation is THE MOST important thing of all

So as I have mentioned in my previous post (which can be found here), I have been having a rather challenging time lately and am slowly unpacking my insides and exploring my layers as well as working on what needs to be worked on. Most of it being attempting to mend broken relationships in an authentic way (not trying too hard, pushing too hard, taking my time) and finding an effective and good way of saying “no”, a way of doing what I love doing and giving what I enjoy giving whilst making sure I give myself what I need in order to do it in the best way. In other words turning, what I call, my work and my calling into a sustainable practice. A difficult thing.

At YIP we share everything – bedrooms, time, moments,space, love, laughs, tears, happiness, sadness, the sun, bread, bathrooms, the laundry machines, difficulty, work.

When I zoom out and pretend to be a hawk looking upon my life, and all of our lives as streams (or timelines) I see tiny streams leading to this little big pond called YIP, if I fast forward a little; I see the pond becoming split up again into individual little streams going in different directions again. Some closer than others, some in the same direction as others, some looking a little different than they were when they were lead to this pond. However, essentially we are all here, in the same place, in this time, sharing this very particular portion of our individual journeys on this earth.

There are many words that keep being used around here –  I’m so familiar with them, I could create a little booklet of them with quirky explanations of each. The one that falls, quite easily, in the top-5-most-used-words is INVITATION. At first I liked it, mainly because I have been trained as a coach and one of the biggest learnings I have taken from my training process was that if I want to make suggestions or give advice I need to ask for permission to do so, or I need to be invited or asked to do so. Under no other circumstances do I step into that zone. Understandably.

The Invitation, is what has been lacking in many interactions, situations, stories where the intention of the action or words has been good but has been missed or has caused pain and destruction due to the lack of the invitation for the action, suggestion or words despite the (good) intention.

It comes off as imposing. Dumping ideas, thoughts, actions, deeds onto an unwilling listener or receiver.

Of late I have been realising that part of what is causing me intense aggitation is being given words (in particular) that have simply been unwelcomed. Words that have just not been invited in. This is uncomfortable, because the intention in most cases is good, the aim is to assist or alleviate some sort of negative feelings or activity or lack there-of. It comes from a good place and yet it is still intensely being rejected by my insides. It’s like receiving spam in the form of unwanted and uninvited words of wisdom – “spam words of wisdom” as I like to call it.

Here is another example, slightly more focused on a particular area of work which has been, personally, a really difficult topic to tackle, the topic of “development aid”. This topic – for me – begs the question: “What is help, really?” and “what it true freedom?”.

I believe that this article begins to touch on what I’m talking about, through looking at the instance of the KONY2012 video.

My final thoughts when dealing with people, especially those in a dark place, approach with caution and assist only when assistance is asked for.

Wait for the invitation. Listen for it.

(Source of image above)

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