Thinking Out Loud: Keep Dancing
When I was growing up in Church, I was taught that I shouldn’t “dance, drink, curse or go with girls who do!” But in adulthood one of the most important lessons we learn in life is ‘life’s a dance’. Sometimes we lead, and sometimes we follow. When we lead, we learn to be gentle, yet firm with a pure heart. When we follow, we do so with complete trust. It is amazing each one of us is involved in many different dances at any one particular point in time: we are the leader in some and the follower in others! Some dances are slow and majestic, others are crazy and frenetic, while still others are somewhere in between.
Dances can start out as a waltz of wonder, gliding ever so gently through life like nothing is amiss. Some dances are scintillating salsas full of passion and emotion. There are dances like a tango, tangled with chaos, or those like a flash dance only quickly burned out in single-mindedness. The dance may be similar to the Charleston, full of clarity of creativity! Some dances last a lifetime – others are over almost as soon as they begin. Most of the time we manage not to fall flat or trip up, which is even more amazing and requires some pretty fancy footwork! Yet, there are times we fall flat on our faces or toes get stepped on. This happens to all of us – no one is perfect.
Just keep dancing! Even if we can’t hear the music life is playing for us or we just don’t feel like it because we are thinking about all of the lemons we’ve been handed. Keep going even though we feel like we have acquired two left feet, or that we should be leading and not following (or vice versa). The main thing is to keep on dancing!
The dances of life: a metaphor for being engaged and involved with life in all its magnificent, terrible, astounding, simple, and intricate rhythms, even if the bottom of our life falls apart with the death of a cherished loved one! We need to keep dancing! It’s often safer and more comfortable to be a wallflower, but that leads to a lonely, isolated, unfulfilled experience. The decision to be part of the dance brings pain, tears, challenges and unimaginable joys! It reminds me of the words of a Garth Brooks song -‘our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance’.
John T. Catrett, III
Scissortail Hospice Chaplain
306 N. Main St., Suite E
Bristow, OK. 74010