“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Stay with me here.
I’m not trying to throw religion in your face or anything, but this scripture I memorized as a child further emphasized my point I’ll be trying to make in this blog.
Yesterday I was texting with a friend who is facing a lot of challenges in her life currently. She made the brave decision to start counseling, and was letting me know how her first session went.
In the conversation, I told her about my experiences with counseling and how it has helped me now that I no longer need to go anymore (although, confession, I miss it.) I told her how the things I was told in my sessions still echo in my mind when I find myself in complex situations and how it helps me cope with the overwhelming grief I find myself faced with.
Now why am I telling things about my deep dark secrets of my life? Why am I shining light on the sorrow?
Because of–do, do do!–what ballet taught me in this situation.
For some reason, when someone “Shares their testimony” or just suddenly goes into a story about their troubled past or whatever, I roll my eyes. Something inside of me cringes. Not that I don’t think people’s stories are valuable–quite the opposite. I love that everyone has a different story that has shaped and molded them into the person they are today. And honestly, if someone asks me anything it has a way of becoming a long, detailed explanation. But I really don’t like that about myself and try my hardest to condense it. Because who really wants to ask a simple question and get bombarded with a 20-minute-plus long story? Not many. Not everyone sees the importance in the details. Most people don’t care. I try really hard to get the point and let them control where they want the conversation to go from there. If they want more details, they can ask. I don’t mind telling. But if they don’t, then they aren’t overwhelmed.
There’s too freaking much to me anyway.
So when I found myself typing out this text, with some details about my session, I had a flash of what support groups must be like. I felt sick to my stomach. I felt stupid.
I sent it anyway.
And my friend’s response was a positive one. It was encouraging to her.
That’s when I thought of ballet.
In class, when you’re not dancing, you’re watching someone who is. This used to bother me, because I felt like they were judging me and laughing at all my faults.
sometimes I can still feel this way, but it’s usually just on days where I’m emotionally exhausted.
But that’s not what they do.
They watch to learn.
They watch to see what you’re doing and how it relates to them.
Not to think, “Oh my gosh, she’s perfect and I’ll never be.” or “Hah! did you see her sickled foot??” of “Her arabesque sucks.”
They watch to think, “Oh, that’s probably what mine looks like, I should turn out more.” or, “I wonder if that’s why I fall out of my turns, I should try that.” or “Okay, remember to pull up in the hip.”
They watch not to judge you, but to judge themselves.
To glean information on how to improve themselves.
In the studio, you are vulnerable. You are watched. You have to be if you want to improve, and you won’t improve unless you let yourself be.
And this is what I thought of as I typed that text.
I have to let myself be vulnerable. This is the part of me that needs to be shown so someone else can glean something from it. Just like I’m learning things from her and other friends whose lives I get to experience.
People don’t have to know or see everything about you. They’ll make their judgments regardless–and I can promise you, if you’re trying your hardest to be your best, their judgments won’t be negative.
Another blog for another day.
I do know I want to journal about it, too, so we’ll see.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.