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 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 are 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 be faithful and
therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see
beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if
you can source your life on the edge of the lake
and shout 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 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 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 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 Dream, Indian Elder

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