I had an inherent shyness as a child which morphed into sheer self-consciousness as a teen. I masked it by a kind of deliberate silliness, directing attention away from myself and onto another, not entirely real, persona. So much of the time I was dancing with fear. These days I have a more balanced approach to dealing with such twinges of shyness and self-consciousness, something more of a realistic approach to dealing with fears and anxieties – but they are not entirely absent; I have to swallow hard and overcome them. Sometimes it is very difficult. (It’s hard to explain to someone who has never struggled with the feeling of self-consciousness – that literal shrinking inside of you, begging to be elsewhere).
We all have factors in our lives which we deal with regularly. Things which lead us on a dance we do not like, filling up our dance cards until there is simply no room for anyone else. These factors can be anything: fear, worry, bitterness, anger, addiction, or very specific things that only we (& God) know about. They take their toll on us. I have learned from my experience with Chronic Fatigue that even confidence requires energy – on a physically bad day, overcoming that innate self-consciousness is much, much harder. And tiredness, of course, makes us more susceptible to these things – it makes me more susceptible to fear’s advances. And these advances, of course, tire me further.
It’s good to have a realistic view of these things in our lives, to acknowledge their presence – to note what inflames them or makes them more difficult to overcome. In this way we can learn to manage our ‘dance card’ better. Personally, I want to dance a different dance.
I want love to be my constant interrupter:
can I cut in?
For love is the nemesis of fear, overcoming those ‘twinges’ with a greater reality. In its true form, love is stronger, bigger, more powerful. I need no longer feel self-conscious because I am simply not dwelling on myself at all. I wish to reach the point when I am compelled to dance only by the love of Christ, nothing less.
I’m longing for the day when all the negative things inside me are ejected from the dance floor forever. When I will no longer know in part, but know fully the one who loves me and leads me on the greatest dance of all. When everything falls into it’s rightful place, placed into perfect perspective.
And I shall dance and dance and dance…
…and never, ever, tire.
Picture credit: 'Dance at Bougival' by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Public Domain image