DANCE in the RAIN!
When is the last time you (literally or not) took time to dance in the rain? Have you ever? What joy, if you have!
I was born on a Wednesday.
“Monday’s child is fair of face…”
By Mother Goose
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
According to this rhyme which was very familiar to members in my household of origin, I was a child “full of woe”. Considering the abuse and trauma I incurred as a child, woe would be appropriate. Labels sometimes stick though and for too long. As a child, I learned to hide my happiness from others, especially my mother. She said laughing turned to crying and punishment often did follow my show of happiness. Yet, I have memories of fun playing with friends in the neighborhood as well as good times such as playing cards with family members. I learned to dance in the rain!
As an adult survivor of repeated trauma, I repressed the bad. I focused on the good times that I remembered. My mind did not let the abuse aspects into the picture until I was ready. This is common for many survivors.
Life for all of us, survivors or not, brings challenges, losses, and good times. Many people work in jobs they dislike. Families experience discord. The illness or aging of a parent or friend saddens us. Loneliness occurs. Life is hard.
There are seasons in one’s life that contain difficulties that may not be easily or quickly solved. One can add to one’s suffering by dwelling on one’s desire for life to be better or perfect. One can add to one’s suffering by not accepting life as it is at this moment. It does not mean one approves or likes what is occurring. Accepting life on life’s terms means just that. “You don’t have to like it.”, my pastoral counselor would comment. How true. Life is the way it is at times and you don’t have to like it!
Too often in the past, I added to my own suffering by complaining and sitting in self-pity. Slowly, over the years, I have learned not to behave in that manner (or not as often or as long)! Life is too short.
There are periods in our lives when pain is unavoidable. There are times we even need to walk through the pain to grow and to heal. Anyone who goes to therapy with a true determination to heal eventually understands that walking through the PAIN is part of the process. During bleak periods as well as segments of dissatisfaction, it can be helpful to dance in the rain.
When Megan, my daughter, and I were dealing with the courts in Germany as well as hiding in the United States (as I was a protective mother), we experienced fun along with the uncertainties of life. In some ways, knowing our time together could be limited and might end at any moment (which it did in November, 2007), Megan and I became adept at being present. This allowed us to enjoy each other’s’ company on a deeper level. We danced in the rain.
Even to this day, my time with Megan is extremely precious. It may not be perfect on the surface. Life is what it is sometimes. I love my daughter. I love our time spent together in person or via the phone. We still dance in the rain.
Today I have experienced happiness. I am happy at this moment. Oh, there is much uncertainty in my life. In some ways, I am still in the midst of a storm (but not a thunderstorm). Admitting happiness is still not easy for me. I am happy though … right now … in this present moment … and I am filled with gratitude.
I’ll end this post with a traditional Buddhist prayer.
“May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering
May all beings never be parted from freedom’s true joy
May all beings dwell in equanimity free from attachment and aversion.”