When people find out that I used to be a ballerina, they often ask me why I'm not one anymore. My response is always this: "After we moved, the only dance studio around was way too expensive. But I still like to dance on my own, sometimes."
The truth is, that sentence is an entire lie.
I stopped dancing because I didn't feel confident to join the studio. And I rarely - if ever - dance on my own.
After reading that, you might assume that the reason I don't dance is simply because I don't like dancing. But that's also a lie. I love dancing. The reason I'm not a ballerina anymore is...I feel stupid.
During the first two years of ballet (my preferred style of dancing), I flourished. Within mere days, I could do the splits. As we learned the beginning ballet steps, I was applauded for my excellent pliés, tendus, and relevés. And when it came to sautés (little jumps, not anything you do to food :) ), I could jump the best while making the least amount of sound. I was pleased with my progress, and it seemed like my teacher was, too.
But then, I realized something. Idina was far better at twirls and leaps than I was.
And so, even though there were ballet moves that I could do better than everyone else, I was convinced that I was the worst in the class. As soon as I'd realized the areas in which Idina was superior, I withdrew. Suddenly, ballet didn't make sense anymore. I couldn't move gracefully enough, couldn't understand the routines my teacher put together. I carefully weighed every comment my teacher made to each of her students and always concluded that what she was really saying was that I was the worst in the class.
And so, ever since, I haven't been able to dance.
Isn't it crazy, how you can steal your own joy by convincing yourself that you're a loser? I have a friend who, even though I've read a couple of her personal writings (I was given permission, hah), she never writes - because she thinks she's terrible at writing. And you know what? I can honestly say, without a hint of lying, she is one of the most phenomenal writers I've ever seen.
I don't know...maybe you do everything. Maybe there isn't anything you avoid, because you've convinced yourself that you're not good enough. I know there are plenty of those things in my life. But what holds us back?
Seriously, isn't it pathetic that I can't even dance alone in my room, because all I can think of is, "I'm really awful at dancing and shouldn't even attempt it"?
Here's the thing. I don't think God thinks my dancing is awful. I think He looks at what my aforementioned friend writes and is very pleased with it all. In fact, I believe that when I dance to praise God, and when my friend writes to praise God, He takes great delight in it.
So, tomorrow...oh, dear. I'm about to make another promise (I hate it when I do this, because once you guys read this, I won't be able to back out of the promise, hah). Anyways, tomorrow, I'm going to dance again. Because the truth is, I love dancing. I'm going to face my insecurities and dance for God. I think He'll be pleased.
How about you?