If Shoes Could Tell a Story…

It would be one where the battle against fear was at the center, and every pair of shoes was responsible for the fight. Fear. Fear reared its ugly head and won. Fear had been so deeply rooted into my soul, that I knew no other way out. So instead, I locked it up…as tight as I could. I built fortress of protection and buried it deep within. In time, I became the person everyone else expected or wanted me to be and I played the part, too afraid to be myself, with the fear that I would be rejected, abandoned, left behind…cropped-cropped-img_9594.png

The young teenager, in the center of the dance floor, cradling her heart and soul in her hands. It was her greatest defense against fear. She danced to stay strong. She danced to survive. Her soul became every moment, every beat, every rhythm. It was her safe haven; her place to go when everything around her was unraveling faster than she could twirl across the dance floor. Here, her spirit was free. She felt no pain. She heard no yelling. She didn’t have to be perfect.  She knew who she was when she danced.

Her teacher was an angel, guiding her movements and revealing the light within.  It was dance that held her sanity. The young teenager, who had it all locked up, was slowly dying on this inside. When everything around her was falling apart, dance gave her wings to fly.  Dance saved her. Period.

This was me.  And this…was my very first experience with courage. There was the voice inside that would whisper to me, “there is greatness in you..”  In me? Greatness? Doubtful…yet the voice continued to whisper softly time and time again..There is greatness in you. Don’t give up. Be fearless. Have you felt it too? At some point in your life…that little tugging at your heart, saying “this is it…do you feel it?” It was a small voice, but no matter how small it was, I heard it. And it was monumental…a breakthrough. A ba’al perazim…a breakthrough from God. I would feel this “ba’al perazim” at 3 other points in my journey as well. I felt it in the depths of my soul.

Because of dance, for the first time in my life, I felt what it feels like to be free. Every time, I stepped out on that dance floor, I was free. Free from the pain.. Free from the struggle.  Free from the confusion and heartache.  Free from Fear.  My heart and soul danced for freedom….a freedom of spirit. My soul yearned for more healing….more freedom. Dance was my soul…and despite the vicious lies Fear spoke through me, I thought I had what it took to conquer the world. Dance.

Fast forward 20 years…and I found myself in the same exact place. Yearning for healing and freedom. A late 30-something year old woman, at the end of her second marriage, a single mother of 3 beautiful children, and no one to blame but herself. Somewhere in the last 20 years I lost the girl on that stage, who knew who she was. The girl with all the potential to achieve her purpose. The girl who knew courage and began the fight against Fear.   Somewhere along her journey, she made some wrong turns, some that lead her into the darkness, and some that gave birth to beauty. The times of beauty are the ones of gratitude, thankfulness and light. My 3 beautiful children who became the essence of my being. A successful career as an educator. But forgiveness of oneself is tricky business. It seems simple. In theory. But the mind often battles the heart and usually wins. Here is where the next pair of shoes enters the story….

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