I want to know if I can live with failure and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” (The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer).
I will shout “Yes” to the silver moon for just about any adventure. I will trek, I will fly, I will try most things, but the one adventure I hold myself aloof from is the adventure of love. While I try not to think of my relationship history in terms of failure, obviously I am subconsciously holding myself back. And the Universe is happily supporting me by not putting The Guy in my path.
I recently revisited one of my favorite poems- The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. I first saw this beautiful piece of work in a dating profile and it is a haunting melody of reaching out to the person you want in your life. Surely we all dream of connecting with a partner who can meet these conditions, who can bring such depth to a relationship.
When I read Oriah’s words, I immediately had that yearning to have this type of person in my life- the soul mate who could meet me in seeing Beauty, who could stand in the fire and shout “yes!” to life. But I was also struck by that old adage “be the type of person you would like to meet”, so I reworded the lines in my head to be in the first person and was inspired all over again by how beautiful this poem is.
But I was also a bit scared- it was hard, facing these questions for myself. I didn’t have all the answers, and of those I did, some were painful, some hidden and some beautiful.
So this is The Invitation to Myself, written by Courage, Sorrow, Love, Challenge and Life. This is my invitation to myself to become the type of person I want to meet.
It doesn’t interest me what I do for a living. I want to know what I ache for, and if I dare to dream of meeting my heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old I am. I want to know if I will risk looking like a fool for love, for my dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring my moon. I want to know if I have touched the center of my own sorrow, if I have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if I can sit with pain, mine or others, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if I can be with joy, mine or others, if I can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill me to the tips of my fingers and toes without cautioning myself to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story I am telling myself is true (actually, it really does!). I want to know if I can disappoint another to be true to myself; if I can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray my own soul; if I can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if I can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if I can source my own life from its presence.
I want to know if I can live with failure and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me who I know or how I came to be here. I want to know if I will stand in the center of the fire and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom I have studied. I want to know what sustains me, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if I can be alone with myself and if I truly like the company I keep in the empty moments.
I am not fully this person yet. Can I live with my failures? Do I even know what sustains me, from the inside, when all else has dissolved? Can I still dream of meeting my heart’s longing? Can I stand in the fire? I don’t know.
But, here’s the catch 22- how do I find out the answers to some of these questions on my own? There are issues we can only face in relationship with another person. Relationships mirror our inner selves, revealing strengths and weaknesses that single life can hide. Connection is one thing you cannot practice on your own.
And other “But”… we singles keep getting told that we have to resolve our issues or become the type of person we would like to attract. BUT, how do I fully explore all that I am by myself? And can I ask another soul to connect with me as I find out the answers?
Perhaps that is what relationships truly are- rather than this gilded new age idea of two fully aware beings connecting and living happily ever after, perhaps a Conscious relationship is more about trying together, testing the fires together and standing on the edge of each other’s failures and still shouting “YES”.
And so, here is an invitation for both of us… Me with the answers untested for too long, and you, yet unknown to me, but hopefully patient and inspiring and equally willing…
Let’s meet our hearts longing, together when they blend and supportively apart when we need our own space.
We are going to age. No way around that, so let’s love each other as we learn and evolve and become so much more with time. Let’s love the growing details of our souls more than the declining details of our bodies.
There will be sorrows and pain. Sometimes we will move through these together, sometimes separately. Let’s allow each other our own way of processing and being through these times, with no judgment on how the other person is doing it.
Let’s dance- together, apart and back together, in joy, in ecstasy, in dreams and in love. Raucous, wild, happy dances; quiet, slow, loving dances; confusing, reflecting, pensive dances; complicated, challenging, growing dances.
Let’s hear and hold each other’s stories. Let’s be true to our own stories and make them a divine duet of poetry until each of our stories sings the dreams of the other.
Let’s only dwell in the Beauty of each other. We know and understand that is not all we all, but that is what we choose to worship, to nurture, to celebrate.
Let’s explore our failures and successes together, supporting all the endeavors that bring us closer to our soul purpose. Let’s remind each other to say, “Yes!” and invite each other to the lake when we forget.
Let’s get up together after grief and despair, or, when that is not possible for one of us, let’s shoulder the burden of each other’s needs for a time, to help them rest.
We do not know if we can stand in this fire yet, but I offer my hand to you as we approach it. If we shrink back, that is ok. We know we are strong enough to keep trying.
Let’s fully understand what sustains us and hold this in our hearts every day. Let’s be part of that for each other. We do not sustain each other, but our love provides the richest base from which our souls may grow.
Let’s be whole together. Two complete people, still growing and learning, side by side, adding to each other in every moment.
And so I continue to practice opening my heart, softening my edges, inviting both myself and others to Love.
Originally published at medium.com