Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there. (Rumi)

How People Should Be

This is a true story, not my story, of a lady who once went to a party.  After getting home from the party she felt empty [and quite possibly a tad irritated and frustrated].  So she wrote down some thoughts [to understate things just a little].  I have a deep and huge amount of respect for someone like this lady who has both the insight into people, relationships and life, as well as the writing ability to so clearly and, I’m sorry I’m going to have to use a big word, profoundly describe what should be.  Read what she has said, it is amazing – it is the way people should be with each other and feel about each other, if only we all would behave this way.  She is so right!

This lady that I am referring to (and I hope she doesn’t mind this piece of mine and my referring to her this way) spent some time with the North American Indians, and they gave her a name.  her name is Oriah Mountain Dreamer and the piece that she wrote is called The Invitation

 

The Invitation

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 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,
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 be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your 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 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, 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

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