Life is full of moments and when you are consciously aware of them, along with their truths and the messages they may hold, you should embrace them like they’re your favorite dance partner and dance with them consciously, thoughtfully, authentically and gracefully because life is truly a dance.
Recently, someone sent me a message, which simply said “ I hope you’re doing well and stay strong by choice”. Hmmm, stay strong by choice. I thought about those words for days and probably even more so during this pause that many of us are taking from our normal lives, whatever that they may look or feel like. I found myself reflecting on my life’s dance with strength and I wondered about the people, who surround my life or who have passed through it, and if any of them have either drawn from or learned from my strength or how many of them may have found my strength to be annoying, irritating or maybe even intimidating. And if I have annoyed or irritated anyone of them, I wondered, how annoying or irritating I would be to them after I have danced my last dance.
This I know for sure, life can be a complicated dance and it takes balance, persistence, curiosity and passion to navigate and perfect it’s dance steps. I have made many mistakes along the beaten path of this dance and I have survived some unimaginable hardships but my history is also rich with people, who have paved the way for me with learning how to be strong, no matter what dance steps I may have stumbled with. It may have taken most of my lifetime to understand and learn from their messages and examples but today, I recognize that they taught me how to stand up every time I was knocked down. They taught me how to face resistance with courage and how, at times, it would be important to glide through the dance of life with grace. They taught me that honesty is a virtue. They taught me a strong integrity will follow you through life. They taught me that real love is unconditional. They taught me that giving is always more life rewarding than receiving. They taught me that kindness and compassion should always be forefront in your thoughts and words. They taught me not to confuse strength and weakness with opinions and how vulnerability is a sign of the greatest strength you will ever embrace and it will be your greatest dance partner. No, I’m not perfect and my dance has not been perfected but I try every day to be mindful with making it a better version of yesterday’s dance.
For me, no matter what anyone may think of me, my choice will always be to find that strength within myself and to be grateful for every moment that I get another day to dance. With age, came more of an understanding and acceptance about myself and I learned to like me and honestly, the last thing anyone needs is to be reminded of their dance mistakes or who they believe you may or may not be. I own everything about my life’s dance moves, the good, the bad and the ugly and I know them all, oh, so well and better than anyone else so really there is no need to remind me of my past missteps.
Some people may not always like me or the things I do or the things I say or my honesty or my intolerance and I’m okay with that. And trust this, at the end of each day, I reflect on the moments of each day where I could have done better or said things differently or how I wasn’t heard, and more importantly, the moments I am so grateful for. The moments that I will always take issue with are the unkind and disrespectful attack with words or the moments of being consciously or unconsciously ignored and not heard. I have danced with more arguments in my lifetime then I care to remember or care to admit to and some have been downright ugly. I have learned from those moments and it’s when the disagreement takes on an ugly dance of it’s own and where it comes to the point that you have lost the ability to hear or listen to each other’s voice respectfully or the ability to be open minded or reasonable, that is where I find the best retreat, for me, is to just walk away. A disagreement with a goal of proving yourself right is never one that is done consciously or one you will win but if you listen to the whisper, “rise above it”, you learn walking away gracefully is the most peaceful, alternative dance move.
The truth is we are so deeply immersed in the noise of contemporary life and we are very quick with remembering and reminding others of the bad dance moves they may have made in their lifetime and yet, we seem to struggle with celebrating the best dance moves of our lives or of others. The questions I find myself asking quite often is how did we become a world that believes it’s openly acceptable to disagree in the most abusive, disrespectful, arrogant and cynical manner? When did we become a world so tolerant and acceptant of such bad behavior?
I remind myself, quite often, that I have less time left in this dance, then I have already danced and I want to dance the rest of my life honestly, consciously, lovingly, authentically, unapologetically and more importantly, I want to live a life surrounded by people that I don’t have to hide from. I know that I am not done with this dance and I have so much more to do, so much more to give, so much more to teach, so much more to share and so much more of a dance to dance so why would I want to waste it on the unimportant things that matter the least to my life’s dance. My only hope is that when I have danced my last dance, it is the good and the great stories of my life’s dance that I am remembered for and that they are shared and honored for many years to come.
Life is a dance. I hope you learn to embrace the moments that give you the greatest strength, love, courage, compassion, authenticity and grace. I hope with every rhythm of the beat that you feel in your heart and soul and with every step of life that you get the chance to dance, I hope you dance and I hope you stay strong doing all of it…by choice.
In this video, I may have stumbled and I may have made a few dance move mistakes along the way but I rose to the occasion, I stayed strong and I will always celebrate this moment of my life because life is truly a dance.