I literally flutter inside. This thing stirs me more than anything... dancing to Zumba music.
We turn, spin, jump, wave arms, to the left, to the right, machete, slow down to two-step cumbia, march to a meringue, slide to a salsa, moving with the instructor and with each other, but not exactly the same, because we're each unique. We're made different, so we dance different. But we're dancing together.
Even my brain gets the work out of a lifetime. The rhythmic moves rearrange the complicated pattern of my thoughts from left to right, from negative to positive, from lies to truths.
When you think lies loud in your head, that you're not worth much, that you're a failure, you're too weak, too fat, too skinny, too dumb, too boring, too slow...
too worldly, too religious, too unimportant, too disorganized, too unhealthy, too sensitive, too insensitive, too loud, too quiet...
You can't move. Lies don't flutter, they sit and fester. Believing you can't do anything worth a lick weighs you down like an elephant sitting on you... like that girl in the sixth grade, Jean, who bullied me into tying her shoes.
She was loud. Her buddies huddled around.
"Do it!" she sneered.
"Do what?" I sneered back.
"Tie my shoe!" she yelled. "You better do it now!" she threatened empty.
Her voice was crashing thunder pressing down all over my 11-year-old self till next thing I knew I was in squatting position. The thundering voice on my head might as well have been her shoe, but I was tying it.
For 30 some years after that I didn't move. I couldn't get out from under the cruel piercing voices - the mean teachers, the kid bullies, my mother, my uncle. When it's loud, it's hard to hear anything else, so you finally just believe it. Something good might have been said to me during those raucous days, but if so, I can't remember.
So I stayed under that shoe for a long time, long enough to believe it's where I belong.
It's these random incidents from past that have been popping up lately like a freaky Jack-in-the-box that make me want to find a hideaway and stay there till everyone forgets about me. I want to tell everyone to go away. I want to disappear under my thick gray blanket on the gray couch in the dark quiet family room.
But because God knows it all, He never fails to show me just the words I need to hear from caring friends, prayer, Bible reading, social media posts or just the right song. I think He doesn't want me to go away though I do.
They play the Latin-flavored music loud. Walking in the classroom, it's already on, and I will it to drown out all the day's bad thoughts and stresses. It obeys me.
I turn in my little shell like I spin on a Zumba floor to spirited tunes. The music is kinetic, explosive, powerful enough to shake the soul fibers. I shake to the music and shake out all the lies that bully my thoughts. I shake that sixth-grade girl's shoe off my head. Now I'm moving.
When we dance-exercise, we work hard to sweat out physical and mental toxins. The loud music drowns out the rest of the world to help do that. So we dance loud, and the lies shut up. Instead of me, they do the hiding away while I dance.
While I move and heal.
pc: Dan Bangert
pc: Dan Bangert