My busi-ness is Psychotherapy of the Heart for over thirty years now; working on slowing down, to become more awARE of how to LOVE.
Dancing has become one of my loves, something I was not allowed to do growing up because I was busy attending the Bethel Grove Bible church 3-4 times a week: morning and evening services on Sunday, Wednesday night prayer meetings, and youth group some Saturdays.
My mother was a strict ‘born again’ christian who thought she could control her children (and husband) with rules that would keep us away from “worldly temptations.”
Dancing was one of them.
As some might say, “I was born to dance” or “It’s in my blood.” So, I danced jitterbug in fifth and sixth grades with Danny. But in seventh grade, dancing close to Fay Grover was tempting and my mind became very busy with guiltiness. I had to quit dancing.
In my twenties, I was becoming a ‘liberal’ christian as well as a hypocrite – learning to dance the hustle, which decades later is still a favorite. Having two young daughters didn’t deter my desire to dance at Nite Court, The North Forty, and Talk of the Town, all in Ithaca, NY. Mario became my hustle partner and lover. During my second and third marriages, my dancing took a detour to running 36 marathons in 36 months, a national record for women (in the 80s.) During which time I was in graduate school at Syracuse University, becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist.
I graduated from ‘church Sunday school’ in 1984 (left religion behind) and received my Masters degree in 1985. In 1986, I drove my daughters across our country for a month of camping and hiking in many National Parks – another love affair of mine.
By 1993, I was married a fourth time to soul mate Gregory. I was triggered into my childhood pain, a well deeper than I could be aware of, even being a psychotherapist. I shut down my private practice for the year 1996-7 in order to heal – to grieve – ending MY marriage and becoming more ME. By the 2000s, I’m living in a rented renovated chicken coop, when during one of my weekly primal sessions, where I witness my friend’s feelings for nearly an hour, and then she mine, that I focused on the guilt I was still busy carrying around about dancing 4-5 evenings per week.
Being raised in a church community where the focus is on serving/helping others; how could I not help but feel guilty about dancing precious-service-hours away?
While my eyes are closed, I see images of myself dancing as a prima ballerina in Paris. (To the Nutcracker Suite I learn later.) My ankle breaks and my career ends. I begin sobbing. Then, I shout “I AM a DANCER!”
My body is shakes with sobs that free me of my guilt.
Addendum: I am still dancing four nights a week – without guilt and with Joy – watching World of Dance weekly with Glee.