by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
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 center 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, to be realistic, to 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's 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
on 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 center 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.
Excerpted with permission from THE INVITATION by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
(published May 1999). Copyright (c) 1999 by Mountain Dreaming Productions.
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without the
permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 10 E. 53 St., New York NY 10022.