I met JoAnne Silvia in the Andilit writing community. She knows how to get right to the heart of a matter, so it is perfectly fitting that she is my first guest poster for this series. I am ecstatic to share her words here today on invitation.
Years ago, when I was still licking my wounds from divorce and the rebound from hell, I was at church and overheard some people talking about a garden party.
My church family is loving and accepting, but I was in a bad place. I wondered if would get an invitation as those childhood feelings of being outside the popular crowd rose from dormancy. The personal invitation didn’t come.
I would have liked to have gone to the party, but when I didn’t get the invitation, I scheduled something else for that same time. I’d been struggling with some health issues that turned out to be stress related, issues originating from the rebound from hell on the heels of divorce. Knowing someone who did hypnotherapy, I decided to give it a try. It turned out she was available on the same afternoon as the party. Not wanting to sit home alone whilst the party was going on, I scheduled the session. That way, I wouldn’t be able to go to the party anyway, because I had other plans.
The hypnosis session turned out to be an important step in my healing. Lying on the massage table, I remained fully conscious, but in an altered state where emotions of grief and insights of my needs were easily accessible. I cried out my anguish. Water and dogs, two constant loves, surfaced from my subconscious mind as the medicine I needed. Swimming soothed me. Dogs offered unconditional love.
I know I was in an altered state, because, when I came out of hypnosis, it was the same feeling I felt after giving birth: a profound shift in awareness, from an extremely inward focus, to a suddenly acute awareness of my surroundings. The intense emotions evaporated instantly.
The next Sunday at church, a friend mentioned she was sorry I wasn’t able to make it to the party.
“I wasn’t invited,” I stated simply. I didn’t mean to sound so pitiful.
“Oh.” She looked bewildered.
Not long after that, the person who hosted the garden party had another get-together. She came to me directly and looked me in the eye.
“I want you to come to my party.” She said it slowly with clear intention.
I firmly believe, now, that my not being invited to the garden party, was an oversight. I know how that can happen, I guess. You think you’ve invited someone, or assumed everyone knew they were invited. Did my wounded state lead me to assume I wasn’t invited?
If the lack of invitation happened today, under those same circumstances, I would assume it was an oversight, and dig around to get more information. Provided I wanted to be included, I would fish for an invitation, or maybe just ask, “So, I heard you’re having a party, Is everyone invited?”
But maybe I wasn’t supposed to go to the garden party. Maybe on that particular afternoon, I was supposed to be lying on that massage table, in the dim light, in that quiet place of personal healing.