Oriah’s Invitation

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.

I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.

I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool for love,
for your dream,
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are squaring your moon.

I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without moving
to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy,
mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful,
be realistic,
remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me is true.

I want to know
if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know
if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure,
yours and mine,
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.

I want to know
if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.

I want to know
if you will stand
in the centre of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.

I want to know
what sustains you from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

–Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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