Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go.-Oprah Winfrey
Have you ever caught yourself comparing yourself to who you used to be or how a situation used to be?
In relationships and especially if you are just getting back into the dating scene, it’s so easy to give into thoughts like:
“Well, online dating NEVER works. I tried it before and it didn’t work out, so it’ll never work for me.”
“Men only want women who are thin and I used to be 20 lbs lighter than I am now. I just need to lose weight first and then I’ll feel more comfortable to get out there. I don’t want to be rejected!”
“I used to be/have _______(fill in the blank with some amazing quality or accomplishment. It’s just too late for that now. I’m too _______old/overweight/emotionallyunavailable/setinmyways fill in the blank flaw…etc)
Is it any wonder that forging a new path in love feels well, uncomfortable and scary, even if it’s what you know your heart really wants?
I was totally there on Saturday morning and I’d love to share a little story from my life about letting go of who you were so you can step into who you really are.
NOTE: While this is not a dating story, the 3 lessons I learned can be applied to your relationships and especially if you’re just getting started dating again!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
In a nutshell, before I did this intuitive relationship work, I was/am a classically trained professional dancer, was on pointe (dancing on my toes), was ready to join a company and following a turn of events, I left that world to pursue other things in my mid-twenties. I kept getting the nudge that it was time to get back into ballet class just for fun, but I’d kept putting it off until this past weekend.
“Honey, I’m so nervous…and excited!” I told my partner as I Googled the location to make sure I knew where to go.
“You’ll do awesome! Have fun!” he shouted from the bed, happy to send me off and get back to sleeping in late.
I shoved my old ballet shoes in my purse, put on yoga pants and a body slimming tank ( I wasn’t ready for a full-on leotard and tights just yet) and ran out the door. Why was my heart beating so fast?
When I got there, this security guard greeted me as he opened the doors into the Kansas City Ballet. I went to the front desk, ready for anything and the lady looks me over and asks, “Welcome ! So, did you want to inquire about a class for your daughter?” Shit. Really?
“Um…no actually it’s for me. I would like to take a studio class please. 11:45?”
Lesson #1: Stay with fear
When you are just on the brink of letting go of the ledge and doing something outside your comfort zone, it’s easy to want to flee. Don’t. Stay with it.
I felt the blood rushing to my face and I wanted to RUN. Run out to car, shove the shoes back in my purse and pretend nothing happened. And maybe eat a donut. But my feet felt like they were glued to the floor. It was like I became 12 years old all over again. Keep going, Diana. You came this far, a little voice said.
The next thing I know I’m climbing two staircases and on the way to my class, I pass the company class, the official Kansas City Ballet company rehearsing. They all had these amazing bodies, the ladies were on pointe and the men were doing their turns and leaps effortlessly. They were laughing and smiling. There was an old piano in the corner and I felt a wave of sadness, anger and embarrassment rush over me.
What was going on with me?
And I realized that I was comparing myself. Not to them, but to the dancer and performer I USED to be. And the Diana that was here going to ballet class for adults…well, she just didn’t measure up anymore. My body had changed. My feet had changed. My toes had had so many surgeries that getting into those shoes again was no longer an option for my health. I felt small. And it hurt me so deeply but I had about twenty minutes before the class started and I was all registered anyway, so I just sat there and took it all in.
I remembered being the ballet studio favorite, on her toes, auditioning to be on summer scholarship and working with the greats like Broadway Fosse star Ann Reinking, the King of Tap, Gregory Hines and Taxi TV star Marilu Henner. I was only 16 years old and I was invincible. And I gave it all up. I could feel the tears coming and I texted my sweetie, but he didn’t respond. Breathe, Diana, the little voice whispered.
“Yay! There you are!”
A door flung open and my reverie was interrupted by parents’ voices and a dozen of 5- year olds in pale pink leotards, their little feet tiptoeing out of their class and smiles on their adorable faces ready to conquer the world. Nothing like a pack of little ones to shift you away from yourself, if only momentarily.
Yes, that is me, third from the left.
Lesson #2: Master Your Thoughts.
The only thing you have complete control over is your thoughts. Choose your thoughts or they will choose YOU.
As I stepped into the class, I took my place at the barre and felt like I was going to throw up.
What if I was no good?
What if I couldn’t remember the steps?
What if I froze when we went across the floor and was humiliated for the rest of the class to laugh at?
The teacher was this tiny woman named Tess who smiled really big and had a soothing, patient energy about her. (it was the same teacher that taught the 5-year olds.)
Great. I thought.
I’m going to be taught by the 5-year olds teacher. She’ll probably do really easy basic stuff and I’ll get bored.
Why did I come? I should have just gone into the intermediate/advanced class. I wonder if they’ll let me switch.
Oh how quickly our Ego thoughts can run away with us if we let them!
But something really cool happened.
Once we started, all I had time to focus on was the piano, my body and counting in my head so I could remember the steps on time.
Every time a negative thought tried to pop into my head and take me off balance, I literally had to skip over it if I wanted to finish a particular combination. It was like two lines on a vinyl. You couldn’t keep stopping and scratching the thing if you were ever going to listen to the whole song. And the deeper I got into the class, it was clear that my body was becoming faster than my Fear mind. It was so awesome!
And once we got into the middle of the floor and started doing jumps, I was in heaven and I couldn’t stop grinning! And I finally got it:
Lesson #3: Let Go
True Joy comes from meeting yourself (and others) where they are HERE. NOW. Not where they/you were before.
You have to let go of who you were to step into who you are and who you will become.
I found such peace once I gave myself permission to truly let go of the dancer I was. So I could step into the joy of the dancer and woman I am today. The joy and passion I feel for dance has never left but I had suppressed and denied myself a real class for too long because I was afraid. Afraid that I wouldn’t quite measure up to the old me. Afraid of being judged. Afraid of feeling my body in that way again.
Can you relate?
It may not be the same exact scenario, but the truth is our passions (and the suppression of your passions affect our ability to bring in a new love and sustain our current relationships.
Not surprisingly, as I soon as I gave into my body’s true desire and gave up feeding the ghost of Dance past, I felt my heart expand even more. I felt like I had more to offer the world, and more to offer my relationships. And when I got home, my honey saw the huge smile on my face and his eyes got really big. “Wow! You look so beautiful honey. What did you do? Can you do it everyday?” And I just smiled back. “I’ll be back to dance next Saturday.”
Lesson #1: Stay with fear
Lesson #2: Master Your Thoughts.
Lesson #3: Let Go
Your TURN: Share your insights to any of the following in the comments section!
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