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 dreams, 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 and 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, 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 faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if you can source your life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or 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 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 for the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you are, 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 (From Dreams of Desire, 1995 by Oriah House. All Rights Reserved.)

Message from Oriah Mountain Dreamer:

While I am pleased that this piece, The Invitation, has spoken to many others and happy that it is being shared, I would ask that you honour the original by sharing it as it was written.

I am a teacher and writer living in Toronto with my two teenage sons. While my family history includes stories of Scottish, German and Native American descent I am a Canadian woman, and not an Indian elder as has sometimes been reported, being neither old enough nor wise enough to claim the status of elder for any people. I have had the priviledge of studying with and learning from the wisdom of Native American elders who gave me the medicine name, Mountain Dreamer. My first book, Confessions of a Spiritual Thrillseeker, is currently out of print. I am now working on a book entitled The Invitation, expanding on the thoughts and teachings held within this smaller piece. Dreams of Desire is a small collection of poetry available only through Mountain Dreaming.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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2 thoughts on “the invitation ~oriah mountain dreamer

  1. A wonderful friend shared this with me. Now I want to pass it on. Thank you for this. What a beautiful reading to start my day.

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