In the beginning, you were dancing.
There were hundreds of thousands of people around you but you either didn’t notice, or didn’t care. The dance was so beautiful, so joyous, so exciting, so full, that you simply didn’t think about anything else.
And then one day, you looked up. Just for a second you stepped out of the dance and all around you there were people. Some of those people were looking at you. Others seemed to be whispering. Others still were in their own dance that looked very different from your own. One person even pointed and shouted over, “You can’t dance like that!”
You turned yourself back to your dance, but something was different now. A little sliver of insecurity had opened up. Some small space of uncertainty about your dance. And the longer you thought about it, the more that sliver turned into a gap and then into a giant cavern.
It seemed like a good idea to try and make your dance more like the dance of the people around you, so you kept glancing up and taking your lead from them. For a while this felt comforting and protective, but sooner or later you noticed this:
There was no joy left in the dance.
Your heart was empty and your smile was gone. It was not beautiful or exciting or full. It was nothing now, this dancing. A dead kind of movement.
A client and I were talking about our experiences of starting our blogs, many years ago, and how easy and free and wonderful it had been. Our writing had been our dance. I, for one, had known very little about the online world and the supposed rules that governed.
I didn’t know about how I was supposed to write specifically for my audience, whoever my audience was. I didn’t know that I was supposed to think about how I wanted them to feel when they read my work. I didn’t know about how it was wrong to share too much or to share too little.
All I knew was the dance inside me. All I knew was the joy of sharing a story, an experience, or a lesson learned. And it didn’t seem to matter that I didn’t think about how I wanted people to feel when they read my words, it was enough that I was feeling something and that feeling flowed into the hearts of the people who chose to read.
In the beginning, you were dancing. We were all born dancing. It was your dance and yours alone. Joyous and beautiful and exciting and full. No one had ever danced the way you did.
But the world does not like too much joyous dancing. It is uncomfortable for society to see you dance your true dance. It does not know where to place you, when you dance so wildly. You are a problem because you remind everyone else that they, too, have stopped dancing.
When you dance, the hearts of those around you intuit that there is something real in what you are doing and it opens up in them a longing for that lost part of themselves. But that is a difficult and painful thing to face, so it is easier just to say that you are mad and stupid.
Society would like you to be very good. To be unique, but not too unique. To be yourself, but not too much yourself. To let go, but not all the way. To open yourself, but not fully. That way we can appreciate your dance but without being forced to face the death that has happened in our own hearts.
In the beginning, you were dancing. Are you dancing still?
Love and courage,