I read something a friend posted today and it got me thinking. The post dealt with a young man who learned a lot about himself by remaining celibate after having abused sexual relations, and he made a very valid point. We all use sex as a substitute for intimacy at some point in our lives as we think it will fill a hole in ourselves and replace the love we truly need. Eventually, many of us discover the futility of trying to replace love with sex, take a step back and take the time to get to know ourselves better…but many don’t.
I can relate to this young man’s story as I followed a similar path shortly after I began divorce proceedings. The real tragedy, though, is that, in doing so, I shortchanged my daughters. But as time went on, I was very fortunate in that I started shedding bad habits beginning with smoking, and including that pointless promiscuity. I’ve been celibate for well over 10 years now, and in that time, I’ve learned a great deal about myself, not the least of which is that I, like everyone else, deserve to be loved for myself and not for pretending to be what someone else wants.
So here I am, I’ve made myself a better person and am finally willing to open up to someone else and don’t remember how. At times, I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself, at least until I read words like those shared by my friend. The young man vowed to protect himself and others from sexual misconduct, to preserve happiness for himself and others, and to protect and respect his own commitments and the commitments of others. I believe that making a commitment like this is enormous. It is a big enough deal to protect those with whom you interact directly, but to commit to protecting those you don’t even know takes a strength of character beyond most of our imaginings.
But where, truly, must we go when we finally learn to love ourselves as we are (which doesn’t mean that we stop improving ourselves, by the way!) and have reached that state of Joy where we can forgive and accept, if not everything, at least a great deal of it? Should we not then open our hearts to others, including those we may never meet? Should we not do what we can, with no act being too small, to make the world a better place for everyone on this planet?
I know I have not yet reached the elevated state of which the young man wrote, but it is definitely something to strive for as I move along my path to pure love, acceptance and forgiveness.
But speaking of moving along my path, I once again stepped out of my comfort zone to meet friends at a little bar for some WCS. I had a GREAT time! Not only did I get to chat with some of my favorite people, I was actually asked to dance several times! Kudos to the men who did their darndest to make sure all of the ladies got to dance, despite their being outnumbered by a lot!!
Dance music tends to bring out a wide array of people from the die hard, “look at me” kind of dancers to the ones who are just there to have fun, but still take it somewhat seriously, to the drunken girls who get out on the dance floor with no regard for what dance is being done. And we had a new one tonight which rather amused my friends and me. I looked up to see a rather large woman dragging a bar stool from another room in the bar/restaurant. As I watched, she continued to drag it to a table which was on the dance floor, and planted herself there! I looked at a friend who was sitting at the table with me and before I could get the words out, she said “clearly, she is NOT a dancer!” (which is a nice segue into my next topic). We got a good laugh out of that one!
And speaking of dance snobs…I overheard a comment which was partially made in jest referring to a certain group of people as dance snobs. But as the thought has bounced around in my brain, I realized that, just like we are all prejudiced to some degree, those of us who are dancing 2 or more nights a week on a regular basis, who spend time learning new dances, moves and routines, and are always up for more dancing; we are all dance snobs in our own way. We are quick to warn each other about someone who is ignorant of dance floor etiquette or who holds your hand in the vulcan death grip, or is otherwise likely to cause a partner injury in some way. As line dancers, we are almost militant about insisting that someone who does not know the dance and has not even taken a lesson belongs in the back of the bus. Granted, it is for the safety of all of the dancers since one person constantly going the wrong way is hazardous, especially during a dance that is fast and moves across the floor, but face it, we get a bit superior about it! Case in point is the influx of strangers while another club is being remodeled. We know who they are and clearly, the do not belong to our elite little circle, now, do they? They don’t understand the rules of “our club” and show no interest in learning them, so what good are they anyway? As yet, we haven’t stopped to think that maybe some of these folks might actually enjoy our music and dancing and decide to take some of the lessons and learn how. Right now, they’re outsiders and strangers who neither understand nor adhere to our unspoken rules and we look forward to the day they go back to their own club!
Then there are the line dances that some of us just will not do. Dances like Electric Slide (which I’ve re-christened the Sesame Street of Line dances), My Maria, and some of the other uber simple ones which are just beneath those of us who have mastered Juanita, Chill Factor and Chocolate! (although Candy thoroughly kicked our snobbish little butts with Skiffle Time on the cruise!) What all this boils down to is that one dancer, at least, is going to make a little more effort to accept and include the newcomers! There just might be a gem in there somewhere!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the return of my energy which allowed me to get a ton of things done this weekend, including taking down the rest of the Christmas decorations before January ended!
2. I am grateful for an abundance of opportunities to leave my comfort zone. The result lately has always been surprisingly positive.
3. I am grateful that the winds calmed down for just a bit today.
4. I am grateful for completed chores and getting my house in order.
5. I am grateful for continuing opportunities to learn, grow and become a better person.
Love and light