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 to dream of meeting your soul'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 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 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, or to remember the limitations of being human.

it doesn't interest me if the story you're 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.

i want to know if you can see beauty
even when it is not pretty every 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 still stand on the edge of a 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 a night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done
for the children.