When I danced I forgot myself
“O try to exchange self-love for God-love. No longer think of yourself at all. How this would lighten you! And what a new entry into Me! For I am eternally new. I am the infinite one, and it is for the Infinite that you have been created.”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 2423-2425).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
There are moments when I can let go of my constant self-concern. It is then that I do actually feel a lightness of being that seems to be a free gift. It is like suddenly finding the heavy backpack that I was carrying without even knowing it, is suddenly, gently, lifted from me. It is a freedom that comes from deep within, but not something that I can manipulate. For when I try to do that, then I lose myself in my own inner world, which is often dark, compulsive, and chaotic.
The more negative aspect of my inner life can keep me from going deeper in if I give too much attention to that which only keeps me at a standstill. Prayer from the heart, which takes a certain level of ‘mindfulness’ is a good first step. To open up one's heart to God is the first rung towards true interior freedom. The call to be true to oneself cannot come from the loud noises that surround me every day, trying to get my attention. Yet, I often fall into the trap and find myself fretting over many things that I have no control over.
Being with others is often an experience of joy for me. When focusing on another, listening to them, and having them listen to me, seems to be a way of letting go of compulsive self-concern. It is not something that is planned, but happens. Yet, to truly listen, is still a skill I am working on.
What are we here for? When I was young I was told by adults what was important. Some of what they told me was right on. Other well-meaning advice was not helpful, and I am glad that I did not follow what was presented to me.
St. Augustine stated that the human heart will only find peace in God. I have found this to be true. Everything I try to fill my heart or to find a peace that is lasting simply does not happen when I seek something other than God to fill the deep inner void that seeks warmth, light, and yes, most importantly, love.
Perhaps that is one reason I loved dancing so much when young. When I danced I forgot myself, and the music filled me, my blood boiled, and I simply moved. I was weightless, I was flying! I lost self-consciousness, and at times I fell into ecstasy. I did not dance to reach that state, but simply because I loved to dance.
Prayer, which is simply being with God, no matter what form it will take can lead to that as well. However, I have many obstacles that I am not always able to overcome. I would suppose there are two aspects of my life that keep me from becoming more interiorly free.
The first is that ‘fatigue’ is a real burden in my life. I have always had it, it is a common issue in many lives I know. When young, even when in the best of shape, I suffered from this. I will often find ways to escape this tiredness that only make things worse. It is as if I am afraid of this deep feeling of being fatigued. Knowing that sleep does not always help makes sit worse. So I have learned over the years that I can pray while fatigued, yet I will often choose to find others ways to deal with it. When I do sit down, or walk and pray, I find that the fatigues will lift a bit, or even go away. So I continue my zig-zagging, yet also see that there is growth as well…..such is grace.
I find the rosary one of the best ways for me to pray, it seems to center me, allowing my energy to flow evenly, and it also helps the time to go by fast. I guess holding the beads, saying the prayers slowly, and allowing my heart to open up to God, will often bring me to a place of peace. Also, in prayer, it often leads to concern for others, which also helps in letting go of compulsive self-concern……though sometimes I forget where I am in prayer, and just laugh about that. That is age, I believe.
I do not worry that I still fail more than I succeed since I have grown in trust in God and the love that is there for me, as shown in Christ Jesus. For all, I have to give to the Lord, in the end, is my utter nothingness, perhaps the only real gift we can give to the Lord so that he can fill us with the life that makes us, or leads us, to become ‘who we really are’, but don’t know it.—BrMD