Do you dance?

28 Apr

Our lives are busy. We have families. We have jobs, and friends. We have hobbies we enjoy. You might have a dog, or a cat, or a pet turtle. We’re busy. People expect things from us, and we try to accommodate them. Sometimes though it seems like people expect a lot from us, and accommodating everyone can become a burden. So we learn to adapt. We learn to dance. We do a little bend here, a slide there, maybe a dip next, and the notorious two step when it’s needed. Dancing can be fun, and sometimes it can be tricky so we need to be careful. If we dance all the time, we can lose ourselves while we perform for others.

Maybe your boss expects you to portray a certain image. It’s a good image, maybe not who you really are, but you play along for the sake of getting along. Or your family wants you to do something that you really don’t enjoy, but everyone else wants to do it so you go along. You want everyone to be happy, and it’s not like you HATE the activity so you adjust. Maybe your companion wants to go somewhere that you don’t want to go. They are pressing you to agree, and you eventually say it’s fine, you’re happy to go. But that’s not exactly true – you aren’t really happy to go, but you’ll go because it’s easier than saying no. You take a little step to the left.

We learn to dance. We do what is expected, we turn where we’re directed, and we partner up when needed. There is a saying that we should “dance like nobody is watching.” If we were truly dancing like nobody was watching, we probably would be doing things a bit differently. We might throw our arms in the air, tap our toe, smile and say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” And then happily sashay away in a different direction. If we danced like nobody was watching, like nobody expected certain steps, we could move our own way all the time, and we might be happier.

Life isn’t really like that though. Sometimes we need to accommodate those we care about or need in our lives. But if we accommodate everyone else all the time, at the expense of our individual choices, eventually, the dance catches up to us, and we lose our footing. So, we need to find the balance. Sometimes we give a little, and sometimes we hold firm. Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we say no. It’s okay to turn down requests. It doesn’t mean we don’t care. It just means that this time, we’re dancing to our own music. We’re choosing our own steps. Maybe a tango isn’t right for us today. Maybe everyone else is doing the tango, but today we need to waltz. We’re still dancing, but today we will choose our own steps. You can always choose your own steps. Do you feel like waltzing today? It’s a perfect day for it!

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