Thursday, January 24, 2013

leaders and followers

So, remember when I announced that we're signing up for dance classes, even though the thought of it made me sweaty and nervous?

Well, we did it!

We're now in week 3 of a 4-week Intro to Ballroom class. And you know what? We're seriously thinking about doing the Intermediate class being offered next month. And maybe even the Intro to Latin Ballroom the month after that. Why not?!

We've started looking forward to Thursday nights because we get to dance in a room with strangers. I think I just saw a pig fly past my window.


We've learned how to do a box-step waltz, a foxtrot, a bit of swing and a tango. It's not always pretty (actually it's rarely pretty at this point), but we're getting there. Aside from some fun and awkward moves, I'm learning one other very important thing.

I'm a terrible follower.

There. I said it.

And it's not just about dancing. I am a terrible follower in life. I love to be in the driver seat and have for most of my adult life. Only now, I have a small, bossy woman in heels and a twirly dress lecturing me about it. Maybe I need her to be around more often.

So, in addition to The Year of Why Not? this will also have to be The Year of Letting Go of the Vice Grip I Have on The Plan. I'll keep working on that name. I'm going to be working on trusting my husband to lead me sometimes, even when I think my plan is better or I'm pretty sure he's about to waltz us into a brick wall. More importantly, I'm going to work on trusting that God's lead is far better than mine.

Last spring, I got a new tattoo that still makes me think and challenges me every time I look at it. It's two tiny words, but they're packed with meaning for me. It says 'Be still.' and is a reminder to me that I'm not in control. It's based on a verse I'm sure you've all heard a million times: Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God." It's so simple and direct. I love it when the Bible is simple and direct. To me, it is a reassurance that I don't have to twirl around in chaos trying to make my life make sense or be something it's not. I can just rest, be still, and know that God is not surprised by the things I don't see coming.


When you're dancing with a man (the one generally assigned the leader role), two things can happen: One, you allow your body to move when and where he leads you, and a beautiful thing happens - you dance; or Two, you try to take the lead, leave the frame of said man's arms, and the dance gets completely out of sync. It's not beautiful. Many of my dances both on Thursday nights and in my life in general end up this way. If I'd only be still and allow myself to be moved by the leader, it would be beautiful. Instead, I let fear, anxiety and lack of trust get into my hands and feet. I start moving on my own and out of the solid arms of the frame. When this happens, I think to myself, "Slow down, stop thinking so much and go back to his arms." I've been finding this advice quite useful, even outside the studio.

I'm learning to go back and back and back again to the arms of the leader. Because I want my dance to be beautiful.