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 dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring with 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 shrivelled and closed from fear of further 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 even your own; if you can dance with the wilderness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning your self to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being a 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 be faithful and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even if every day is not pretty, and if you can source you life from its 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 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 matter to me who you are 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 with whom you 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,
Native American Elder