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,
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.
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 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 a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
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
And if you truly like the company you keep
In the empty moments.
~from The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
I read this introduction to the book of the same title a few years back. This soul-filled piece of writing found me again this morning when I searched for another epic poem, Marianne Williamson’s Our Deepest Fear. The site I clicked onto happened to be a personal growth site with a page displaying them together. How perfect.
An invitation indeed. This poem is a powerful wanting. It is a message from a place beyond the conditioned mind of the small self. It is a call to return home to a place most of us left behind when utter authenticity no longer felt safe. It is a call from behind the walls around our hearts, answered only from the same place.
It takes great courage to live in the real. To be powerfully human in our uniqueness.
Yes, powerfully human. The truth around who and what we are when we engage all of our potential has been coming at me from every angle of late. The terms human and humanity have been trodden on in most spiritual circles for centuries, seen only as the doormat at an entry way into something greater. Spirituality, and religion in particular, has created in me at least a sense of duality between the expression of physical form and the awareness behind it. That is merely a different flavor of the oldest dish we have ever served ourselves: there is something wrong with who we are.
As the ego jumps up in protest, quickly bringing to mind and judging all the evidence of our potential for darkness, I invite you to reread the above poem, and ask yourself: If this were what we asked of each other, if we were this honest, this authentic, this vulnerable; and by being so, this deeply connected with one another, would the world and it’s history tell the same story it does now? Would the fears that entrained us deeply enough to create societal classes, competition for resources and racial divisions have become our operating systems?
I was searching for the Deepest Fear poem because I woke up knowing I wanted to write something about Marianne Williamson, and her running a Presidential race. I don’t know Marianne personally, but I have listened to her speak and read enough of her work to recognize her as a soul who has answered the above Invitation. She has found and embraced the power of her own divine humanity. She has sat long enough with herself to recognize all parts of who she is, and to know the whisper of Love as different from the constant explanations of Fear.
I checked out her website as soon as I heard she entered the race. Her view on every issue is right there for you to see. Some of them will be called radical. What they are is authentic and honest. I’m not sure I agree with every single one of them myself, but I sure do love the utter transparency and conviction I feel there.
Personally, I don’t want another leader who talks of new ways of doing things. I want someone who knows a different way of being. Who is operating within themselves and with the collective from a place more expansive, creative and loving than our patterned belief systems.
I am encouraged, no matter what happens in 2020, by the kind of people already in the Presidential field. It is a reflection of changing energies. I heard Beto O’Rourke on an Oprah Super Soul Conversation, and fell in love with the guy. I’d be happy to vote for him as well. But I feel there is a depth of insight, born in the experience of expanded awareness, that Marianne holds within herself. She knows how to connect to the infinite possibility beyond the mind, and therefore holds a greater vision for human expression.
Is America ready for such a change? Such a shift? Ready to let go of it’s fears and trust Love to lead the way? Perhaps not. We won’t know unless it first clearly sees the choice. Until a new voice is heard. It would be great to see an expression of a new paradigm on the debate stage.