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#12074 - 10/13/02 10:12 AM what to do? Stop dancing.
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
woke up glum. read the paper. got more glum. thought about my family, all dysfucntional and totally unable to deal with the current bad times (personal and economic) and got more glum. Now I'm settling on the only truth I have to hold on to. Stop dancing. I've been doing it my whole life. Dancing to please my parents and peers and eventually my perp. Dancing to avoid feeling pain. Dancing to hide my own lack of self-worth. Dancing to hide from the pain and chaos of the outside world.
When I first realized I had to stop dancing my immediate thought was, oh then I better kill myself. How else to stop? But this morning I just stopped for a moment and let it all hit me. The hardcore brick wall of reality. And it didn't knock me over. It didn't feel great - but it FELT. And that in itself actually was positive and healing. I am going to quit smoking right now. The last heavily destructive fix I'm holding onto. I pledge it here so I'll feel like I'm letting you down as well as myself (okay, just go along with me here and pretend it's a big deal in the scheme of things ;\) ). I'm going to allow myself to feel everything. And I'm going to put great effort into not dancing. Ever.
Seems like all of us here and out in the world right now could really benefit from stopping the dance for a minute. The dervish of anger and avoidance and sorrow and hate. Let's just stop. And feel. God, it's so hard, but there really is no choice. There really isn't. And if we stop, we heal. And we stop hurting others and ourselves. It's common sense. We build our self-worth. We allow compassion for others, whether it's our loved ones, our neighbors, our perceived foreign enemies, or our good friends here (factperson, isn't it time to stop dancing? \:\) ).
I'm going to spin down today, let the wall hit me as often as it likes. And find peace in the fact that I am a loving, worthwhile person. In a world of worthwhile people who are all trying to get by as best they can in these painful and difficult times. Wish me luck. I wish all of us lots of luck.
lol,

Al

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

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#12075 - 10/13/02 11:42 AM Re: what to do? Stop dancing.
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I like your honesty and bravery in what you posted. That really came through to me and it just hit me pretty hard. But I couldn't help but think that maybe instead of stopping dancing, you just need a new dance.... or a new song.... seriously, I do know what you mean. And in fact I am in the process of making a CD of mine more formal and guess what title I gave it yesterday "dancing with life"... ahhhh the little happenings in life.

Anyways, thanks for what you've shared. It makes a lot of sense to me.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#12076 - 10/13/02 12:06 PM Re: what to do? Stop dancing.
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
Thanks Don. I agree I need a new dance. But I'm in the lifelong habit of picking up one dance after the other without stopping first for breath - or more than a breath. It's Sunday. I'm going to stop and let things wash over me and see what dance I really want. I've never known it.

And thanks for the good words on your post. Sounds like massage therapy is such a good idea for you. Your progress in feeling more relaxed and connected is really great, and encouraging.

-Al

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

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#12077 - 10/13/02 02:38 PM Re: what to do? Stop dancing.
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Dear Al,

My friend and brother. Please bear with me. This may seem obtuse, but your choice of metaphors has struck a deep chord within me and I must reply.

I know what you are saying, but I must say that you were no more truly dancing than Pinocchio, before he became a real boy.

I was going to say just "puppet", but chose Pinocchio instead because of the relationship he had to LIES. Sort of a magical synchronicity that just occurred to me, even if I am stretching things a bit.

OK, so his nose grew with each Lie he told, but before he was REAL, how much choice did he have? And who was truly pulling his strings?

Who has been pulling ours, Al?

One of the first things that I was asked when I began therapy was, "What do you want?" Of course, I had a list, and right near the top was this: "I want to dance again."

I meant this literally. To get up and dance. To go out and dance. To dance with a friend. To dance with a potential lover. To dance to the music, whether it was music I was hearing, or music that was running through my mind.

I could tell you about Debbie, in her red dress, asking me to dance with her, and how my refusal was the beginning of the end of that relationship. I could tell you of the heartbreak of that moment, and other moments that are long gone, but with me still.

The strings that pulled and pushed me had perhaps long been dropped by the puppeteers, but they were still attached to me; wrapped tight around my body. It was all I could do to move and walk with this baggage upon me. How then could I dance?

Several things came to mind immediately when I read your post and attempted to formulate a reply.

First was a song from Seal, "Newborn Friend", which includes these lines:

Quote:
I would dance with a total stranger,
And hold them in my arms."
--Seal
And then a song from Lee Ann Womack, "I Hope You Dance", which includes this:

Quote:
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',
Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
I hope you dance....I hope you dance.
But there was more I wanted to say, so I searched the Net for dance and found something interesting. No matter where or how I searched there were more references to abundance, guidance, and avoidance, than to just dance.

Avoidance speaks for itself. So much we have avoided as we kept to our primary goal of survival. So much lost, so much untasted, untried.

Guidance. I have spent decades looking for this. In libraries and books mostly. But from others also; Guidance counselors, therapists, friends, relatives. Looking for the truth. Studying religion, philosophy, history, psychology, and other people's behavior. Living a life in theory only. Wishing, hoping, analysing, planning, anything but doing. Avoiding - Avoidance.

Vicious circle, isn't it? Looking for Guidance by submerging yourself in Avoidance. To what end, I now ask? And the answer is abundance. Not material abundance, but an abundance of spirit; of peace, joy, and happiness.

The peace, joy, and happiness of a child, to whom all things are new and beautiful and wonderous. That connected-ness to the universe, to my real self that makes me go to vist my three year old neice and put "The Little Mermaid" in the VCR so that when the song "Under the Sea", comes on, I can dance with this little princess until I am out of breath.

I am learning.

Quote:
"Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before."
--Shel Silverstein
My searching also came up with a Bible quote. It is Ecclesiastes 3. This verse (with some additional words) was set to music by Pete Seeger back in 1954. He called it "Turn, Turn, Turn".

Quote:
TURN, TURN, TURN

Chorus:
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep.

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together.

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing.

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of peace. . .I swear it's not too late.

Words from the book of Ecclesiastes
Music and additional words by Pete Seeger (1954)
TRO - (c) 1962 (renewed) Melody Trails, Inc., New York, NY
Al, I swear too, "It's not too late". I will dance again. And so will you. But not to their song. We will dance to the rhythm of our true self, our own Hearts and Souls.

Existance is a dance. A constant ebb and flow of forces that we are both a small part of and the sum total of.

The light and the dark, the good and the evil, the truth and the lies; hot, cold; up, down; in, out; advance, retreat; the Yin and the Yang.

We cannot stop, Al. You can stand at the center for a while perhaps, find equalibrium, rest your body, catch your breath.

But the music plays on, and dance we will. We must just remember to make it our choice, our own dance.

And don't forget, we make our own moves, but we never dance alone.

Donald
--------------------------------------------------

P.S. Sorry if this sounds corny, but to dance just means so much to me, I hate to see it given a negative connotation.

Donald- Lord of MY dance.

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#12078 - 10/13/02 04:04 PM Re: what to do? Stop dancing.
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
Thank you Don. I was feeling shitty again and your post helped a lot. I suppose my betrays my fatigue. It isn't just the fatigue of dancing to other peoples' tunes as much as dancing period. I'm tired. I need a breath. I need to stop for a moment and feel And that's what I guess should qualify. It's not about not dancing again, or even changing the dance. It's the need to stop and let it flow. To shut off the valves for a second. All of them. Not permanently, but for a moment to regroup - with compassion and hope and understanding.
You put it best that one can find Avoidance in Guidance. That includes self-guidance so even one's own dance needs to stop from time to time. That time for me was today. Everything I see is calling up feelings, good and bad and sad, etc. And I'm just feeling them today. And it hurts. And your post made me cry. And I appreciate it. I do. I'm just feeling it and that's cool.
No, there's nothing corny about said. Nothing, at least, that wasn't just as corny as the metaphor I started it all with. And your quotes are great. Yeah, I intend to dance again. But I'm really glad I stopped for a second. And I'm going to take a good long breather if I can pull it off. My heart needs a rest.

lol,

Al

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

Top
#12079 - 10/13/02 04:28 PM Re: what to do? Stop dancing.
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
ARW
Your mention of dancing to please other people reminded of my best friend a few years back. At the same time as I was going through the early rough stages of recovery he was going through the divorce from hell from his alcoholic wife who'd forged his signature and took him to the cleaners for about $75,000. Then his 17 yo daughter got pregnant with a local armed robber and thug and his eldest lad emerged from the closet ! All within 6 months.

So between us we were a sorry pair, but I had nobody pulling at me, unlike he did. Not a minute went by without his cell phone going with a new crisis.
Eventually I persuaded him to come off-roading with me, I go once a month to do competitive off road trials.
We leave the phones at home, leave early and come back late - stopping at a pub on the way.
We have a great time with people who know nothing of our problems and offer nothing but friendship.

We escape.

We don't talk about work, our problems or anything that gets us down. We talk about the motor and the laughs we have with the rest of the guys.

It's been our saviour, we both admit it. It's a chance to recharge, even though we know what we're going back to. For one day a month we escape.
And we both say that we give our problems very little thought when we're out having fun.

Initially he felt selfish and guilty for doing it, but we must be selfish - we'd go down if we weren't. Not selfish at other peoples expence, but just occasionally saying "to hell with it, today is mine"

Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#12080 - 10/13/02 04:32 PM Re: what to do? Stop dancing.
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
yeah. more irony. I have a lot of trouble dancing in public. or initiating anything physical. Always been that way - before my SA. My parents devoured my self-esteem with ridicule, dismissal and abandonment from day one. And yet I've been dancing solo like a maniac my whole life. Used to tap dance as a kid. was good. It's a one-man gig, makes a lot of noise. Remember friends' parents making me do a routine for their drunk buddies. I was nine, ten, eleven maybe. I did it. Felt like an ass. but did it. dance on and on. And yes, I've been dancing to my own tune for a while now. Probably the better part of the last ten years. That dance involved escaping to a job overseas where I could jig in peace with all kinds of great partners like booze and porn and my favorite, all-consuming self-loathing. enough.
Oh yeah. And my parents were dancers. both of them. I guess they kind of spoiled my love for the idea a little. Fuck em both. And yeah that both let me know I wasn't a good dancer. I understand the parallels.
But yes, I want to dance. To dance with my wife, with my kid, with my work, with my self in a free and loving way. And I do sometimes. With my kid especially things are good. My wife? Same problem I had at nine. Petrified of dancing. I suck, remember? And dancers who suck are hurt and abandoned. And there's wolves in them thar woods...
Yes I want to dance Don. But I am fucking tired. So I spew self-pitying bullshit here and rest for a while. Sorry.

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

Top
#12081 - 10/13/02 08:01 PM Re: what to do? Stop dancing.
ARW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/29/02
Posts: 161
Loc: LA
and come home, full circle to see this thread. Thanks for being here everyone. Again. What a help to put this stuff down, ride the wave rather than swallow it and act out. Funny to look at that last post. I felt it, it was most certainly 100% me, but so much of my inner critic's spew. Helps to look at it from a distance. This day has been a trip. I don't think I could handle much of them. Llyody, some 4X4ing would definitely have helped. Used to ride motorcycles and that helped.
But this was a helpful day. And I got some dancing to do at work tomorrow.
And on...I really appreciate the words. especially Don. That was one to print out.

-Al

_________________________
In every cry of every man,
In every Infant's cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear.
-William Blake

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