“And if you get the choice to sit it out or dance…I hope you dance…”
A bestie of mine signs off all her emails with that quote from Lee Ann Womack.
Apart from breaking into a smile every time I read it, I am urged to live courageously and fully in every single moment. I barely need a reminder though as I have always lived with a sense of my own mortality. Call it a side effect of losing my parents as a child.
Each time I celebrate my birthday, as I did this past Sunday, I am acutely aware of how many years I have outlived them both and I think of how they left this earth so young. My father drowned at the beach in his early twenties. Compromised in childhood, my mother’s heart gave way before she turned thirty.
My reflections on mortality are not with a sense of foreboding, or sadness, or mourning; they are accompanied by an indescribable joy. The fact that I am still here, that I am alive and that I am surrounded by love is cause enough for celebration on my part.
How can I talk about celebrating at a time like this when we are grieving over lives and livelihoods lost in this lingering pandemic?
Honestly, I’d be the last person to tell you that life isn’t often gritty. You won’t find me donning rose-colored glasses or burying my head in the sand. No, I’ve been in the trenches, hung out in valleys, felt hot tears of despair on my cheeks.
But I also know there is always light in the darkness, even if it’s just a glimmer as we stumble through long tunnels purely by faith.
I recognize that living life fully means that there are times when we will be disappointed. Sometimes things do not go the way we want them to. There may be heartbreak and loss. Or a devastating failure. But each time we gather the strength to find our feet or get a trusted guide to help us rise again.
I think of it like dancing, one of my favorite things to do – at times our steps may falter until we catch the rhythm and hit our stride. Gradually we improve our technique, gain confidence, and continue mastering new routines.
Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote, “When you dance your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.”
What I have decided is that whether the music is fast or slow I’ll just move to the beat, song after song. No matter what, as long as I have breath, I plan on dancing.
Today, if you are sitting it out, why not find your space on the floor? Life is too short to not get up and dance.
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© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.