Compromise

“Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.” Thomas S. Monson

I was recently asked what 180 degree turn has occurred in my life. What was a change in my views, reversed decision or an action not otherwise expected from me.

I thought-are you serious? That list is long. Let’s see..

I was in church, am now out of church.

I was a faithful Bible teacher, am now unsure what is truth.

I once was positive that the Bible was the only inspired, infallible Word of God, now see it as a ‘sacred writing’ along with others.

I once was a part of a community who taught women couldn’t be ordained, teach men or preach. I now view that as ridiculous.

I once was a part of a community who taught it was wrong to drink or dance. I now enjoy wine with dinner and dancing to almost any melody.

So, how would I narrow that down? All the above are tiny, individual activities that were largely sponsored by a group of people who taught there is no compromise. There is ONLY BLACK and WHITE- GOOD and EVIL.

That is the greatest change. I now see gray. I see the need to compromise. Before, we were taught to ‘die on the sword of truth-be a martyr!’. Now, I;m not so willing to take that sacrificial tone.

I see beauty in discussion. I see wisdom in exploration. I see value in looking at two sides of a situation and coming to a consensus on the way to proceed. My mother always said, “there is good and bad in everything.” and I think she had it figured out. It is how we approach, use, and impose our actions that can make them good or bad. And oft times the same action can evoke both responses from others.

War may be an example. Think of the millions killed out of ‘courage’ to stand for what that group believed was right. Maybe they were. Maybe they weren’t. Would we have become a nation had we not rebelled over what we believed was right? I personally do not like war. I do not like hurting other people.

Have we lost the ability to communicate and see both sides of an issue or activity? I hope not. That is my change. I no longer take the ‘provided response.’ I search for myself, and in many cases find wonderful opportunities to compromise and bring peace to many people.

“I simply do not think that yelling, swearing, threatening or belittling will get you to the place you want to be faster than kindness, understanding, patience and a little willingness to compromise.” Rachel Nichols

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/180-degrees/

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Dancing Shoes

Odd that such a forbidden object would now be connected to me. When I call my friend, she hears, “Dancing Queen” swaying from her cell phone. How was I kept from dancing for so long?

My church forbid it. If you danced, you were sinful. You had to make a choice of dancing at your daughter’s wedding, or continuing to serve as a deacon in your church.

I was a dancing closet queen. I felt an inner thrill as I watched the dancers in old musicals. Their dresses swirling and their partners leading them across the floor. Alone in my room I would move to the music. In fact, I found it impossible to hold still. One day, I woke up, and I realized that I had been told a lie. Dancing was not sinful. Dancing was a part of life.

Children seem to have natural rhythm. Who takes that away?  What a terrible shame. I found dancing to be meditative. When I hear music and start to move in harmony with it’s melody, I forget my troubles. I forget the frustrations of the day. Hours can go by and I am still on the dance floor.

My regret is that I learned to dance so late. My body can only dance so long. Fortunately, my soul does not tire. Dancing is how I get through life.

Barbera de Angeles said, “The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/object-lesson/

 

A Baby is Born

What does it mean when a baby is born? To some it means ecstatic celebration. The family planned and prepared and looked forward to the day the baby could be held and brought into their home. To some it means despair as the family is uncertain how they will care for one more family member. To some it means confusion, as nothing went as planned.

What does it mean when a baby is born? To me, it involved all three of the emotions mentioned above. I was ecstatic to have a second child. We loved our first child and longed to bring our second into our happy home. Everyone wanted to see the baby and to hold her. But that didn’t work out-at least not for a while. Our baby had to go to intensive care. She was there for a month and had two surgeries during her stay. So we felt some despair. We had little means to pay for such intensive, and surgical care. We had to meet with hospital finance to work out payment plans-which would continue for the next 10 years. And I was also overwhelmed with confusion. My baby was born with a crippling disability. I had not planned for that. I didn’t know anyone with a disability. I worried about how I could help her.

What does it mean when a baby is born? It means a soul has come to earth for a purpose. My baby had a purpose as she came to us. We had a purpose when we came. We all have our own unique purpose as we live out our lives.

The trick is to enjoy the purpose. I get in a hurry to ‘reach’ a certain point in my journey. Sometimes I slip into a desire that I was on someone else’s journey. I have to take a moment and embrace my own purpose.

“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.” Wayne Dyer

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/from-the-top/

 

Water

“The water doesn’t know how old you are” Dara Torres

Nor does it know if you are disabled. My daughter has a disability-spina bifida-and utilizes a wheel chair for mobility. Unless she is swimming. When she is swimming, she is mobile just like the rest of us. As she moves along in the water, her head and shoulders above the water, she is moving just like those she is swimming with. I wonder how freeing that must make her feel.

She has always loved to swim. As a child her legs carried little weight so I had to put little ankle weights on her ankles to keep them under the water, they kept wanting to float up and capsize her! So, once we got the balance straight, she could swim like a fish. And she can out float an otter!

I know I feel free in the water. My arms and legs move so fluidly. I like to feel the movement of the water on my skin.

Some people jump in the water, splash, and swim laps. I might do those occasionally, but mostly I find I just want to float quietly. I lie back and the water cradles my head. But I don’t usually just lie there. I find I want to swirl in the water, side to side; head one way and legs the other with my arms flowing up and down . I am not sure how I look, but I feel great when I do that. Perhaps it is because I can feel so much of the water flowing past and along me. Perhaps it is because it feels so carefree.

Swimming, in this case, reminds me of freedom and strength. This is a time when someone who faces the daily challenges of a crippling disability  has the same mobility that I do. Getting into and out of the pool, she is certainly reminded of her disability, but in the water there is no need for leg support. She can swim, or float, or bob along in the water as we all talk and laugh-nothing between us but the same water.

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you, but water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” Margaret Atwood

The Dance

“The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place” Barbara de Angelis

I have two regrets in my life.

1. If I ever made anyone feel bad for how they believed (there is a risk that could have occurred having come from such a conservative fundamental religious background)

2. that I didn’t dance sooner. (that same religious group believed it was wrong to dance–unfortunately I followed their teaching for many years)

When I let myself dance, I found that it was almost like meditation for me. I have three sisters who were very supportive to me while I was going through the separation and divorce from my husband of 31 years. They had always danced and encouraged me to go with them. I had no idea how much fun it was to dance!

When I moved with the music, all I had in  my mind was the flow of the music and the response of my body. All other stressors went away. Dance was exercise, de-stressing and fun! why or why did I wait so long to experience that?

There are many quotes about dance. Here is another,

“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.” Wayne Dyer

And that is my philosophy. Life is the dance, it moves with rhythm, changes in timing, crescendos and refrains, occasionally it is cacophonic…. but it is always moving. I am trying to learn to listen to the music around me and in me. I love what Barbara says, “and who you are now becoming”. Everyday we are becoming someone. We change. We grow. We react and we proceed. We move, we might as well dance!