I think my heart is closed down.
I just came back from a dance class at the college, which felt glorious and fun. Doing fun dance steps, swaying to the beats of the music, brought me back to the olden days when dancing was nurturing for me. I practically grew up in a dance studio from the time I was four or five. My second home, is what my Mom would call it. The poor woman had to play taximom to my sister and I back and forth to the studio. I grew up with the owner’s daughter, Haley, and I have fond memories of playing with Dawn dolls and dollhouses in her room at the back of the studio.
There are some bad memories too, when I got older in high school, still dancing, but then battling body image, a tough teacher now saying curves were not good, and as a result, the beginning of an eating disorder. Some of those memories are coming back as my older body has entered the dance class among the young ones, but I don’t want those memories to override my joy.
The coincidences are overpowering right now in regards to this class. My one dance teacher was Russian and called me affectionately “Runny.” This teacher at the college is also Russian. When I heard her call my name the same way, mixed feelings swept through me.
Old loves and lost joy are the themes coming up for me now. I used to adore writing and took every class at the college I could. My first writing class I met one of my best friends and felt a delicious belonging I hadn’t felt for some time. I am now taking a class in play and screenwriting, which brings me back to my acting days, more times of belonging and happiness.
I haven’t lost drawing, which I am grateful for. Through the years, however hard they may have been, I kept at it. Paper and pen flowing.
Ironically, I taught my Fairy Joy class this summer for the first time. I needed the class most of all. You see, I had lost my joy and closed my heart. I know this now. We are raising a very sweet and charming kid, who has lots and lots of issues from having a very tough beginning. That beginning colored her world and made it a place of hard survival and trauma. The problem is, she doesn’t differentiate between then and now. She has the same tactics: manipulation to get what she needs, lying, false accusations, splitting, triangulation, creating drama, etc. It’s way above even the normal teenage stuff. But what she shows others is a perfect young girl, so we look like the bad guys. As you can imagine, it’s been very, very hard for us to give while not feeling anger.
So, I am exhausted. I’m spent. My husband and I meet with several therapists a week to learn how to parent her and try to undo the exhaustion, the lack of joy, and the misunderstood & uneducated comments from the outside world.
Which brings me back to my joy and the classes. What I wrote first here is the most telling. Dance was nurturing. Through trips to the studio I spent time with my Mom, who has since crossed over too early. Mom was nurturance growing up. Writing is from my soul–a gift from me to you. Drawing connects me to that little girl unaffected by the losses and pains of the world. In the process of trying to heal our little girl, we got caught up and began to live in the rollercoaster of her world–a very dark, hurting place. And much worse, those who were meant to be helpful, hurt us much more, by not witnessing us or honoring our needs. From this dark place, we forgot how to nurture ourselves. We may even have felt we didn’t deserve to be nurtured. The message we repeatedly got: Parents only give selflessly and have no needs of their own. I’ve seen this dynamic lately mirrored in my outside world by not getting what I need–the very basics. But I had forgotten the food for my soul, the very basics for my inner world’s needs–the art, the words, the movement, the mothering!
God, the Universe, my spirit helpers, brought me to these classes and gave me the coincidences. This has led me to the understanding that we can not give from an empty place. As parents we have a right to our own needs too. As healers, artists and teachers, also. We need to open our hearts again and we can only truly do that when we are fed.
(If you are needing your joy back, consider the Fairy Joy class to rediscover what feeds you. Sign-ups are happening right now.)