Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hero for June 2 - "The Invitation" by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Rev. Alex Holt, a Unitarian Universalist minister and Buddhist, first introduced me to "The Invitation" in a sermon. Although I've completely forgotten the topic of that sermon, I've never forgotten the poetry of these words. To me, they ask the question, "How may we be heroes to ourselves first?"

The Invitation

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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 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, be realistic, 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.

If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is 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 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 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 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.



What a beautiful post! It was a great way to start my day.

Yarntangler said...

That says so much to so many. Thank you for this.

Geezerguy said...

Best thing I've read in a long time. I'm stealing it for my collection. Thanks.