Friday, July 3, 2020

What I learned from Ballroom Dancing

Rage is unprocessed grief, but anger is the appropriate response to the violation of boundaries, and letting anger be real, have a voice with compassion and not rage, shows us where our boundaries are, helps describe the space of our Selves.

Like in dancing. You have to inhabit Your space fully and not invade your partner's space. The closer the dance steps put you, physically, intimately, like in say a rhumba, the more important maintaining your boundaries is, and you count on your partner to hold hers just as firmly, or the dance collapses in a tangled tumbling of chaos and clumsiness.

What I learned from ballroom dancing (and swing, and tango, and all the other partner dances) is that it's also important to know who is leading, because when a mistake happens (and one will, it always will of course) it's the Lead's job to fix it, regardless of how the two of you got there. It's the Partner's job to follow as it gets righted, and bonus points for making it look effortless, gliding through the mistake so well it's like it wasn't a mistake at all. And great dance couples can -- and do! -- trade off the lead, making their dance floor conversation a beautiful, rich tapestry.

I guess I'm not so much angry as grieving for a better past. With a life history such as mine, it happens. It's not anger like a tirade or an argument, but it's the honest statement that a harm occurred. And I can swagger inkly all over the place, a chip-on-the shoulder rendering of the fourteen-year-old scardy cat whistling past the cemetery, but it doesn't change anything.

Grief must out.