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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 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
to 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 Dreamer, Indian Elder