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The Invitation

It doesn't matter to 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 matter 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 and your own
without moving to hide it
or fake it
or fix it.

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

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is
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 where you live or how much money you
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and
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
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 like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer May, 1994



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