When I was just a young girl someone I loved dearly and looked up to told me I shouldn’t dance because I didn’t have rhythm and I lacked coordination — dancing made me look awkward they had said. They were not trying to hurt me by telling me. They were trying to help me by sharing. They wanted to make sure I didn’t embarrass myself.
What did I do? I took their opinion to heart and I stopped dancing — at least in public anyway.
How often do we let the opinion of someone else bring us down and without even realizing it, begin to question what we know to be true and wind up altering who we are? It wasn’t until a recent bout with bronchitis and many days of silence that I realized I have spent a LOT of my life listening to others and letting their opinions drown out what I know to be true for me.
Things have such a way of coming back around, don’t they?
How many times have I stopped “dancing” in my own life because someone has had the opinion I should be someone other than who I really am? More than I even want to count. With every well intended piece of advice or in some cases criticism the girl that I had come to know and love slipped away — the truth is I haven’t been able to even recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror.
The girl I once knew was comfortable in her own skin, confident, and fearless. She swears, she cries and she loves chocolate. She sees God in the smallest of things and knows without a doubt that there is more to this life than what is right in front of us — that the things we think are important are not always and the things that we dismiss are often a downright miracle. This girl might throw in an extra comma or two and not always be grammatically correct but in the end what matters most to her is that you hear what her heart is trying to tell you.
Ask and ye shall receive. I prayed for a sign from God and I got one. The week before I got sick I watched Brene Brown — a shame researcher — talk about the masks we wear. She spoke about our fears of rejection and failure— about how living a life that is not wholehearted leads to depression, anxiety, illness, etc,. I knew that for sure!
After Brene and I spent some time together I vowed to stop being so worried about what others might think and live my life wholeheartedly — to let others see ME. If they rejected me I would be okay with that. What I couldn’t live with was this lie I had been living — faking it hoping I would make it and being anyone other than who I really am.
I’ve lived this past year trying to be polished, thinking my words through so that I don’t use bad grammar, not posting many of my thoughts to Facebook because I worried my punctuation might be off — trying to insure that I don’t do anything that might make me come across as ignorant or uneducated.
I am officially coming out of the closet. I’m just me and I no longer have the desire to be anyone else.
If I could go back in time I would tell that sweet girl that it matters not whether you have rhythm or coordination, if you want to dance, DANCE!