The Invitation by Oriah

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 shrivelled 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
to 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 at 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 the 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 centre 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.

See more at http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/

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I absolutely love this poem as I find it truly invigorating and inspiring. I recently re-discovered it on the inside of a bathroom door at a friend’s house in the countryside of England. I find it moving how the words resonate so clearly with one’s humanity. There is so much beauty in the world, and so much excess. But can you sit quietly and be happy with the person you are without the ever-increasing array of distractions available to us? Are you the kind of person that will wake up after a “night of grief and despair…and do what needs to be done to feed the children”?

One thing I have learned recently, is that service is the ultimate expression of love – for yourself and others. We are all sharing this planet together. How can you be of assistance to another human being today? How do you feel when someone truly comes to your aid? Whether it entails making your lover a cup of tea in the morning or helping an old lady cross the street, I encourage you today and every day to reach out and lend a hand. Make yourself useful and you will feel valued and connected, because you are.

Do you have an opinion about this poem or about the concept of service as love? I would love to hear from you. Please share your stories #onthecouchwithcarly