SPIRITUAL / SPIRITUALITY – YEAH SOUNDS GOOD – BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
I was given a copy of the poem below a number of years ago and for some reason it came prominently to mind a few days ago.
It was written by a women who, at the time, went by the name of Oriah Mountain Dreaming. Mountain Dreamer meaning “one who likes to push the edge”.
The reason for the poem, in her words…
“As the words flowed I recognized a voice that has always been there within me:
the voice that passionately seeks life’s purpose;
the voice of the tired heart that longs for real intimacy and deep rest;
the voice that asks me to be fully present with it all – the pain and the joy, the beauty and the sorrow, the inner silence and the noise of the world. from Oriah’s book “Opening the Invitation”.
And so from me, I invite you to read this poem. I invite you to listen to your own tired heart, to go to the depths of your own longings and reach down and grab them. Claim them as your own and express them with the passion of a hurricane’s winds, the unbearable heat of a raging fire and the wildness of a crashing wave, all with the certainty that you are planted firmly in the warmth of the Earth’s soil.
Spirituality is who you are in the depths of your Soul. The true and authentic you who longs to break free of the invisible prison walls that bind you to another’s way of thinking, being, or doing, instead of expressing your own uniqueness.
I invite you to be you, and discover your own Spirituality, whatever that may mean for you. I invite you to break free and express the person inside of you, to embarke on the ‘fool’s journey’, to take the risk of looking like a fool but in the process releasing the elementals that lie embedded in your Soul. Break open those centers that open to the World and let the essence of your true being explode into the atmosphere of this Planet. Break free and feel the fluidity of who we truly are, the wildness of your being that resonates with Nature. Nothing in the Universe is static and unmoving. There is motion and fluidity in all of life. Fluidity, motion, passion, expression…is life!
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 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
I want to know if you can
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
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,
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
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
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
© Mountaindreaming, from the book The Invitation published by HarperSanFrancisco, 1999 All rights reserved