This week I’ve been spending too much time just stalking around on facebook, trying to get a glimpse of what else is going on in the world while I am floundering around attempting to keep my sanity taking care of my busy, needy, teething toddler son. And I don’t know if it’s really a coincidence that I keep seeing posts made by my former classmates in the dance community, congratulating themselves and each other on the great work they are making, the parties they are throwing, the networking that is happening. I’m glad for them. I want them to succeed, and I want dance to flourish in Seattle and abroad.
But at the same time, if I’m really honest, the naked-insecure-vulnerable part of me is jealous. And I have such a high self-rating that I would consider myself capable of similar successes, had I chosen to continue devoting myself to Dance instead of falling in love with Jesus and heading down a very different path back in 2008.
Here is the thing. I am convinced that if you have ever had a life that is entwined with and devoted to Dance, even if you take a break or head off in a different direction...you are still a dancer. Even if you are doing NOTHING as an artist, taking no classes, seeing no work, just living your life and figuring things out, it’s still there. It’s a God-given part of you, and that impulse doesn’t die, even if the mental synapses to pick up choreography and the muscular tone have wasted away.
And that insecure part of me wonders: do I hold my relationship with dance too loosely? Have I accomplished precisely nothing with my years trying to build up Surrender Dance? Why am I so willing to live without dance, as I have the past 3+ months?
Five years ago, I would have certainly answered that the current me holds dance too loosely. You have to work for it! You have to make sacrifices! Without Dance you are a nobody! Without Dance you will get fat! But Dance isn’t what I live for any more. I believe that my God-given priorities are my relationship with God first, then my relationship with my husband, my relationship with my child(ren), and everything else follows. So if those things are first, I am not willing to sacrifice time with my family to go rehearse for several hours a week. I’m not called to do that, I’m called to be with them. Also I have discovered that I am still a fully functioning, complete person if I don’t currently have dance in my life. I can stay in shape without taking dance classes, and my identity as God’s daughter allows me freedom from the fear of becoming a boring person just because I’m “only” a stay at home mom right now.
What have I accomplished with Surrender Dance if right now it has all come to nothing? Well, if nothing else I was able to be obedient to what I felt God was calling me to. And hopefully this dry season will lead to fruit later on. I think we were able to have some meaningful relationships, have fun, and raise some money for nonprofits that needed it. I don’t think all the time and work and sacrifices were for nothing, and it has honestly been really refreshing to get a break.
Why am I so willing to live without dance? I guess I already answered it with the priorities bit. Sometimes good things, like Surrender Dance’s weekly classes, come to an end. And for a season there is rest, and questioning of what’s next, and I think that is healthy even if it is a bit uncomfortable. Ultimately I have to go back to the center.
The center of my life is Jesus Christ. If I let my insecurities go and come running to the Father, He sees me and knows me as my best self, the Whitney I am meant to be forever. He knows I have an ache for dance, for he gave it to me! The grace and mercies that hold my life together are not to be ignored. And there are seasons in life; sometimes I have lots of dance and lots of opportunities for dance, and sometimes there are none. But my life is always full, and I am more multifaceted than just a woman who either dances or doesn’t.
Written by: Whitney Aguire via dying to self