Wednesday, February 19, 2014

And Then... It Just Clicked

In the last few months, I've learned a lot about myself and my relationships with family and friends. I've been processing and settling down from all the new information so it was difficult to write a post. I had started many drafts and now, finally, I'm able to share.

The end of 2013 was punctuated by these major events: an emergency at home, a realization that a significant relationship in my life had some serious issues and a lot of uncertainty about what would be happening in 2014. These events along with many others have helped me grow in a way I hadn't really anticipated.

In the last months in 2013 through early 2014, I was not my happy, positive self. I was worried, uncertain, hurt, heartbroken and confused. For someone like me, these feelings feel alien. I do not like feeling this way, in fact I work hard to get out of these states as quickly as I can. To have them all at once made me fell like I was undersiege and navigating through unknown territory. I also spent the last six weeks of 2013 in the Philippines to be with my mom and dad. This kept me from my usual activities and avenues of support. I wasn't sleeping well, I wan't dancing and I was holding tension in my body all the time. I was totally off kilter.

Thankfully, there were bright joyful moments in the mix. These moments brought palpable relief - I am so grateful for all of it. I met my adorable, almost 1 year old niece for the first time. She is friendly and so expressive: her smile just melted my heart. I was also able to catch up with high school friends: learning about their lives and new ventures was so much fun. It was wonderful to see how happy my father was with all three generations of our family being together for Christmas and New Year's.

So, here I was, felling battered and bruised and because I was trying so hard to keep from getting sucked into the negative void, I ended up creating a barrier that kept me from relaxing back into the lighter side of life.  I found myself more critical, very guarded and not at all joyful. I mean I had moments of  joy but the joy was so temporary.

I thought when I got back from the Philippines, I would re-center myself. I went to a weekend long dance festival to get some joy back. There certainly was that: it was such a joy to dance again and to get hugs and "we missed you!" from friends. I also had a chance to impact some people in a meaningful way by helping them to learn about kizomba. Their feedback on how I was able to make a difference was heartwarming.

Despite all this there was still something missing. I fell sick with the flu for about a week and then I'm not really sure what exactly happened, but something clicked.

Maybe the fever took with it some of the heaviness in my state of being. I finally was able to see that I was operating from a place that I didn't want to be in. I was interpreting everything based on not wanting to be hurt, not wanting to be confused and not wanting to be disappointed. In the end, I know something clicked when my friend made a suggestion that I could finally hear and absorb. The suggestion was to envision a future - no holds barred - of something that I wanted that would make me feel joyful again.

They say that you reflect back the fears that you have in your heart. If you approach something being fearful of getting hurt, you only see the hurt because you're watching out for it so carefully. I was stuck in this state and because I felt so "battered" I ended up curling into a ball and I couldn't see past where I was. Being in that moment was not the answer. So now, I'm finally able to let go of the hurt, disappointment and turn down my defensive mode so I can focus on stepping into an open canvas to start expressing my own truth and helping others find their happy path (with dancing feet whenever possible).