The Invitation

The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer (A Native American Elder)

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare 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 the fool for love,
for your dreams, 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 sorrow,
if you have been opened up by life’s betrayals or
have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness and let ecstacy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or 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 betray another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful
and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it’s not a pretty day,
and if you can source your life from God’s presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
and stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver light of a 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 a night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done
for the children.

It doesn’t matter who you are, 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.

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