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
to be realistic to remember the limitations
of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
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
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,
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.
By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved