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Dance Like No One is Watching

We celebrated our son and his bride’s wedding this past weekend. We had a glorious weekend full of family, friends, love, and joy! Of course there were the traditional wedding dances. The bride and groom danced, the bride and her father danced. And then it was time for the groom and his mother: AKA me! I would have loved to have learned to dance properly at some point in my lifetime but haven’t. I love to watch a beautiful, elegant pair on the dance floor and always wish (and even hope) that I could dance with such flow and grace! My husband and I even picked up a certificate for dance lessons at a silent auction benefit to prepare for the wedding dance: a certificate that went unused with our current too busy schedules! Even with dance lessons our dancing would have remained rather stilted and clumsy I am sure.

Add my upbringing to the lack of ability as a beautiful dancer. I was solidly trained to constantly question, “What will people think?!” The eye of the beholder was to always, always be my judge. For decades I was self conscious just walking across to my seat at an athletic event! Was I dressed properly? Was my posture good? How was my make up and hair? I can still recall the tension.

Now came the time to go out on the dance floor with my son and to be the focus of attention for a song’s length time at the wedding celebration. I did so without fear! I did so without concern of the judgment of others! We had a glorious, joyful dance with each other! This dance felt healing and right. In spite of over 300 people present and (somewhat) attentive, I didn’t have a care in the world for “What will people think?!”. Instead my heart was full of love for my son and new daughter, and of joy for this dance we shared.

I got many compliments on our dance: it was not due to the flawless performance of our dance steps (it was not at all flawless); it was not due to our elegance and grace. I do believe it was due to the love and joy that was spread to others through our being able to embrace each other and the love and joy we were able to feel in that moment. Had I been concerned with “What will people think?!” that love and joy would have been blocked.

I didn’t think about any of this at the time. But later, upon reflection, I realized just how far I have come. I credit this tremendous growth to my personal work with Natural Lifemanship and Somatic Experiencing and growth in my faith walk. Anyone who works with others in a therapeutic process should be in their own therapeutic process. I am ever so glad for the gifts this process has given in my life!

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