Lately I been having a hard time getting things done. My energy is as low as my motivation to do things. On 2018 I went thru a small procedure to help heal some tears in my left knee. I gathered these injuries thru my years of dancing. To dance it was as to breathe for me, even though in the last years previous to the procedure I wasn’t dancing nearly as much as I would brag about. Dancing was who I was, I was a dancer and I enjoyed very much the expressions on people’s faces when I would reply “I am a professional dancer” to their question “What do you do for a living”
Dance offered me a shortcut for approval, admiration and instant boost in confidence when I would meet new people. Even among my friends, I would often hear “My job is not nearly as exciting as yours” To be a dancer meant I was glamorous, and artist, an unique, it meant I would be around beautiful and exotic people, attend fun parties, and wear gorgeous costumes. It meant I was magical and when I was on stage I was untouchable. Dance passed from being something I truly love to do just because, to something I would use to help me cope with the one fact I wasn’t ready to face: I didn’t like myself.
Don’t get me wrong! I still love dance and I know in my heart I will always love it because I have loved it even before I found it at the age of 10. I love it for no specific reason, even thou I have many to do so, however I have learnt that I don’t need a reason to love, love either exists or it doesn’t, and mine towards dance is undeniable. What I am saying is that at one point that love got forgotten, and so I stopped doing it for the right reasons and begun to do it because I was yearning that acceptance I couldn’t offer to myself. So when the procedure happened and I found myself not being able to even walk to the kitchen for a glass of water, that whole facade came crumbling down to my feet, letting me completely dis-covered, no costume, no make up, no glitter, just me and my humanness. I remember struggling to get into the tub and breaking into tears “Dance did this to me!”
I was wrong and right about that statement, of course being that the procedure was so recent and in consequence making all my emotions so raw, at that moment I couldn’t see that. I had done that to myself, I was the one trying to cover up injuries that needed healing, ignoring for years the pain, physical and emotional, that would subtly stab me in the outer side of my left knee, reminding me of my steps that had gone stray. But I don’t blame myself, instead I hold that old me in compassion, because if it wasn’t because of her today I wouldn’t be where I am in my recovery. Today, I understand why I was right about that statement: Dance did this to me, it made me stop so I can reassess my actions. It left me naked with just me as me, so I could embark on this journey of self-discovery, growth and transformation. Dance was trying to teach me that rhythm has a purpose, and when I lost that rhythm I also lost the purpose. It obligated me to ask some difficult questions: What is the reason why I am doing this?
Today, almost one year after the procedure I do feel better, however my journey hasn’t end. Facing up to my fears about being me without the help of my “stage make up” is something that hasn’t been easy. I am still finding pieces here and there of the old me and sometimes a new me, I try to bring them together as I re-create myself, some days I find myself suddenly filled with uncomfortable emotions, uncertainty about how the future will look, and in my worst days, with an immeasurable desire to give up.
“Everything that I would build would crumble down over and over again. I would try and fail, fall short, be invisible. What I didn’t know is that the broken pieces would accumulate and later they would serve as a huge stepping stone from where I would reach higher than ever. All I had to do is to endure the rough weather, stand still like the mountain, let the storm do it’s thing and to not give up.”
But what does it mean to not give up?
For me, to not give up means to not give into the old behaviors fueled by my negative thought patterns. To get up and do the rituals that would bring me back into rhythm. To give up means to abandon all the things that make me feel happy, good, alive, connected because I believe that there is no hope, that things will not get better. To give up means to I would allow one day, one thought, one or two or five circumstances dictate my whole life.
So, in days where I feel the fatigue from the journey, to not give up means to do the next small step that would help me feel better, even it that means to just take my vitamins. Because I have seen it, once I feel good in my body I begin to have more energy to do the second small step towards clearing my vision, and then the third to action, then the fourth, and the fifth… I just need to not give up.
I write this, first to help myself thru the cognitive process of understanding and internalizing my breakthroughs; and second, because I hold on to the hope that my story may help you to find your own breakthroughs.
What is one small thing you can do today, right now to help your body feel better and to show yourself you believe good things will come?