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 your dream,
for the adventures 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 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 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 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.
-Oriah Mountain Dreamer-
Skimming through my course materials the other night, this piece of prose jumped out at me. I quickly scanned it and thought “This looks like something I should share with everyone on my blog”. Then I read on into my text and promptly forgot about it.
The next morning, I looked up the poem on the internet and read it again. I enjoyed it.
However, it wasn’t until I began typing the poem out that the words began leeching into my soul and taking on life. When you slow down and savour each word and roll each sentence around on your tongue and in your mind, that you find the message hidden deep within.
The message that is meant for you.
As I did.
Read it out aloud.
Slow down your words and think about what you are saying.
Tune your mind in to listen to your words.
And find the part that speaks to you.
Find exactly where you are.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have lived such a life that not a single word of this beautiful piece of prose resonates within your soul?
But then you would have to question about whether you may have missed something important in your journey through life.
For it is in the fires of trials and tribulation that we are refined.
The tears we shed serve to wash away the impurities.
Grief reminds us that we are not solitary beings, dependent only upon ourselves.
When we visit the dark places within our mind, we come to the realisation that if there is dark – there must be light.
And when we emerge out the other side of all of this, we are not only stronger and more self aware, we carry the tools to lead others through to the other side to join us in the sunlight.
We have lived it.
We can share.
What a gift!