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Invitations, Showing Up & Gifts Lurking Behind the Shadows ~ Cheryl Levadney

Updated: Nov 27, 2023


Last week I shared that I have been practicing invitation. I am curious if others feel the same or value invitation as strongly as I do? When I decide to invite someone into my home, to coffee, to go hangout, attend an event, hike, golf, go for a drive, a trip, a concert, an online event, a training, out for a drink, social media anything, or even to help me out with something, you name it…if I extend an invitation, I am extending my whole heart. Even as I write this, I feel the extent of my offering over the years.

When I reflect on how many “invites” I have extended over the years that have gone ignored or rejected my heart actually aches. It’s weird. When I reflect on the invitations that were accepted and honored, I smile and my heart feels a little better.

I know how freely I love. I know I have a long history of over-giving, especially to humans who, for all their reasons, needed it the most and were not able to show up for me in the same way. That is ok. I didn’t know better at the time. It has taught me lifetimes of lessons I could have not learned any other way. My parents always wondered why I must learn the “hard” way…I ask, is there any other way?

I have always remembered wanting to “know” how and why we “tick” the way we do. My parents really wanted me to follow the “rules”. Some rules were easy to follow, made sense, felt good to me, and kept me out of trouble. Other rules made absolutely no sense to me, made me want to come out of my skin, and enraged me. Not just their rules, school, religion, society, etc.

The rules that got to me the most always had to do with exclusion, hierarchy, hypocrisy, and assimilation. Why were we not free to be ourselves from the clothes we wanted to wear and feel comfortable in, food and movement that felt good in our bodies, who gets invited to the party, who shows up at yours, how much money you make or come from, how you show love, who gets to play…I could go on for days…you get my point.

The one rule that I learned when I was very young…in church, of all places and made the most sense to me was: “love your neighbors as yourself”. Ok…easy enough.

So, I loved like I wanted to be loved. And then when I loved and loved and loved and didn’t get the same in return I would build a brick wall around my heart…and I walked around with that for so many years.

My Soul has a sense of humor. She allowed me to build the “wall” however it was built as a labyrinth, a maze, there was always a way back in. If someone sticks with it long enough and doesn’t give up, they can find their way. Tricky, she is. She always knew I would heal, rise up, come back even stronger each time…AND that I would miss love. It’s true. I love love. Silly romantic, and I am no longer ashamed of it! SMH.

I digress. We were talking about invitations.

Now, I invite. I let go of the outcome. If no one shows, I use that precious time to love myself, to fill my own cup. I no longer take it personally. The invitation is more than likely open without an expiration date. Show up when you are ready. As invitations have value, so does time. I am no longer willing to “waste” anymore time, energy, or love on humans who just are not ready for it…this is not dogging them…I am getting on myself here…what was I doing? I was breaking my own heart, that’s what I was doing! It was that game we play, the script we write…except we forgot to share the rules or the lines with the other party. It really is insanity. So, no more breaking my own heart. Check.

Rule I live by now…”love your neighbors as yourself”. What is different? The “as yourself” part. I used to put the cart before the horse. I must have misunderstood the rule. I can only love my neighbor, my brother, my sister, my friend, my lover, my children…as I love myself. Whaaaaat?!! LOL.

Love you first. Show up for you first. Fill your cup to overflowing first. Then you share with those who show up with you…not for you…and not selfishly for themselves, but WITH you. Those who also have overflowing cups of self love to share. And then you scheme together on all the fun and new ways you can extend the abundance with others.

I have had that cliche history of the “rebel” or the “black sheep”….why? Because I loved to hard and fast, got hurt…a lot, didn’t understand why others didn’t, found out the “hard” way, learned all the damn lessons, healed, and came out stronger for it??

The other way…well, it might have killed my Soul, suffocated her. Settling for anything less than authenticity, transformation, and love so big it rattles every cell…well, that’s not my way. I will only accept the labels of rebel or black sheep anymore if it means that others see me as the “love rebel” LOL!

One of the many many many lessons I learned about myself is related to one of my “gifts”. I am sensitive. I am “punchy” at times. I always thought there was something wrong with me. I would be so uncomfortable in my own skin and around others sometimes. How is this a “gift”?

Well, I finally learned that I wasn’t always feeling “my stuff”. I was apparently picking up on what others were feeling around me. Maybe that is why I ended up becoming a fairly successful therapist. Maybe why others stated they felt like I was looking into their soul at times…I think this is a little over dramatic…don’t you?? Regardless, when I discovered this was a gift and that there was actually nothing wrong with me all along! I did need to learn how to use it appropriately. There were many misfires. And I never wanted to use it inappropriately or unintentionally. I really need to discover how it works and why I have it. I am still discovering the in’s and out’s.

What I know now, is it continues to get stronger every day. It’s weird and a bit exciting at times, and even can be “fun” when the “knowing” is validated. It really depends on the situation and the other person I am picking up on. Sometimes it’s so much at once, I get overwhelmed and confused. And then I must retreat. Close it off, shut it down. Until I receive more clarity. I no longer want to risk misspeaking or misfires. I no longer reach out and ask or push others to open up. They will when they are ready. I will be here waiting. It’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t feel it. I am practicing healthy boundaries for both myself and others.

Telepathy is a thing. People cross boundaries both intentionally and unintentionally all the time. Know this. How many different situations and people do you have rolling around in your head all day distracting you, keeping you off task, zoned out, overwhelmed, and anxious?

You didn’t close the channel, you didn’t set an energetic boundary - that’s ok, you didn’t know better or forgot - you know now. If they want to talk to you…they can make an appointment, ask you on a date, call you, ask to meet in person for an actual conversation. Texting and social media channels are the easiest ones to forget about and leave wide open. You are in charge of your mind. It is your domain. They did not buy a ticket, they are not paying you rent. Get everyone and every situation out of your mind…until you are alone.

Most, do not remember what it is like…peace that is…and it can be unnerving at first. Stick with it. That place, that empty space, is where we find our clarity. That is when the heart wisdom can enter. When everything and everyone else is gone. Even if it is just for a few moments. All of that other stuff will be there when you decide you are ready to go back to it. And when you go back to “it”, may I recommend or invite you to try operating “by appointment only”. One thing at a time. This friend’s, will change your life if you abide by it. And when you leave the channels open, the doors and windows of your mind wide open again…and everyone and everything sneaks back in…ooops! Still learning. Kick it all out again until you find your peace, your heart wisdom, it’s always there waiting for you…and then go back to “by appointment only” again. Repeat. Again.

Did I digress again?

Gifts. We all have them. We all are to share them in our own unique way. Gifts tend to be hidden behind our shadows…those things we do not love about ourselves. Go there. Shine light. Shadows are illusions. They disappear as soon as you direct the light on them. As with anything that we are fearful of it’s more than likely based on a lie or the past (which is not now)…I mean unless a rabid animal is chasing you any other immediate physical threat is happening right now…Shine the light on it, you will see, it’s safe. And a fun result could be, you discovering something really rad about you. Make it an adventure. A treasure hunt.

I am getting ready to send out an invitation this upcoming week. I will not spoil it here. I will leave you with some anticipation. This invitation is big for me, anticipation is intense for me, I have zero notion what the outcome will be as I have never done anything like this. I am excited to see who will show up!

If you have read this far, you have truly shown up WITH me, I honor you, and am so humbled you shared your precious time.

Always with Gratitude & Love,


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