This “Why” series is a way to bring me closer to you—by revealing my inner-most thoughts and being 100% vulnerable with you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking my words and embracing them with love and kindness.
The first time I was completely vulnerable with a man, it changed my being. Bringing it back now, I feel exactly the same as I did in that moment. My breath is ragged and my chest is warm. I have a sense of exhilaration that it happened, but also sadness that my moment with him has passed. The most important part of it, though, was that I felt liberated.
Whenever I go back and read the poems I wrote for my college thesis, I am so impressed at how much raw emotion I allowed to spill onto the pages. I wasn’t scared of making someone uncomfortable with my words or that they would judge me. I didn’t fear my teacher would read the lines and immediately fail me because I wasn’t Sylvia Plath at 22. I just wrote anything and everything that was inside of me, and it was good stuff!
I hear a song, 25 years later, and it reminds me of the times I danced in the summer darkness among the lightning bugs, and how I felt in the very heart of it. I remember the feeling of being absolutely free, absolutely me, without a care in the world. Granted, I was 10 years old at the time and wasn’t concerned with having a 401k or what I would be when I grew up, but so often, even as children, we burden ourselves with too many thoughts. You know that blonde chick that everyone makes fun of because she’s empty-headed? Sometimes, I envy her. Sometimes it is essential to let go of our thoughts and just feel.
One thing my belly dance teacher always reminds me to do is to let my emotion out while I’m dancing. Claudia says that a dancer can have the most technically precise moves and the most beautiful costume, but without tarab, there can be no complete dance. Tarab has no exact English definition, but the closest I can come up with is “a shared experience of musical ecstasy.” Or “When reaching the epic moment of a feeling derived from hearing music, whether it instrumental or voice or both together expressing either joy, pain sorrow or any other intense emotion.” (Written by Mohamed Shahin and Hanna St. John) This, to me, is exactly what it means to show one’s inner truth.
I have a friend who comments that his son lives fully in the moment, every minute of every day. His face lights up when he talks about how happy it makes him to see his child in this way. Wouldn’t it be great if we all lived in the moment like that?
These days it’s much rarer for me to let go. Is it because I’m older, set in my ways? It still happens occasionally if I’m dancing, if I am feeling particularly brave, or if I’m in a foreign place and just don’t care what anyone thinks. The most interesting times are when I’m wearing a costume or a wig; I’ve noticed it gives me a mental get-out-of-jail-free card. I wish I could let down this wall I have built with more regularity—I have the potential to free myself at any time. Why don’t I? Why don’t any of us?
I read a piece by Wayne Dyer before Christmas about making peace with relatives during the holidays. It struck me that, regardless of the focus on relatives, it turned out to be entirely fitting for this post.
The conflict seems too often to be a choice between being authentic, which means no peace with certain relatives, or having peace at the price of being inauthentic. Being peaceful and authentic can define your relationship with your relatives. First, though, you may have to assess your relationship with the closest relative of all—you.
Can I be extra real with you guys for a minute? Extra-extra real? It seems like, in the past, when I’ve taken those chances and displayed my authentically weird-silly-petrified-confident-lost-found-Quakerific-dancing fool-giggly-imperfect self, I haven’t gotten the results that I’ve wanted. And it crushed me. So I sit, and I reflect on Dr. Dyer’s words, and I wonder, can I be brave again? Is it worth it? I think we all know that the answer is, unequivocally, YES. In our minds we know it, in our hearts we hold it. The answer will always be yes.
In the light of the coming New Year, let’s carry on the tradition of challenging ourselves to be better, to improve something about our lives and to make peace with our authentic selves—whoever that turns out to be. You could make a list, like I did last year, or just hold the intention in your heart. Either way, I dare you to love and express the true YOU in 2015! If you’d like, please share one thing you intend on doing in the New Year that will create a more genuine you.

23 responses to “WHY: Part II—Precious Fragments”

  1. isisdreaming Avatar

    Thank you for this post. I love that part about Tarab.
    I don’t have a ‘thing I’ll do in the New Year’ to share, but I just wanted to say that your ‘extra-extra-real’ moment really resonated with me.

    1. beckydancer Avatar

      I figured the tarab part would resonate with the dancers. 🙂 Thank you for your comment!

  2. charnellpeters Avatar

    Great post! And great thoughts. Though it can be difficult and we can’t control other people’s reactions, it is always worth it to express our true selves!

    1. beckydancer Avatar

      Absolutely! No matter how many times we may “fall.” Thanks for your comment.

  3. Linda and Michael Avatar
    Linda and Michael

    You inspire me! Michael and I truly admire your honesty and transparency! You are definitely one the most authentic people we know. Loving you….

    1. beckydancer Avatar

      You and Michael are beautiful constants in my life. I am so blessed to have you as my family. Love you too!

  4. Marlynn Jayme Schotland Avatar

    Wonderful post. I believe in the power of authenticity and vulnerability as the key to peace. The last quote you included about courage is one of my favorites.

    1. beckydancer Avatar

      Thank you very much!

  5. Bill Volckening Avatar

    Writing is such a great way to sort through these thoughts. Happy Holidays and have a great New Year!

    1. beckydancer Avatar

      Thank you! I hope your 2015 is going wonderfully!

  6. pechluck (@pechluck) Avatar

    What a thoughtful, authentic 🙂 post! You bring up the fear I think everyone has about being authentic- whether anyone out there will appreciate the real you if you share it because the rejection is that much more painful if they see the real you and choose to turn away. It reminds me of this amazing Stephen King quote:
    “The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller. When they were in your head they were limitless; but when they come out they seem to be no bigger than normal things. But that’s not all. The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried; they are clues that could guide your enemies to a prize they would love to steal. It’s hard and painful for you to talk about these things … and then people just look at you strangely. They haven’t understood what you’ve said at all, or why you almost cried while you were saying it.”

    1. beckydancer Avatar

      I love this quote! Thank you for sharing. It reminds me of something I read in “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. He says the the hardest, most scariest things to do are always the most important (he expresses it much more eloquently). Same sentiment!

  7. Jill Avatar

    Love this post SO MUCH – the writing and the message moved me.
    Keep reminding us of this all year, k? 🙂

    1. beckydancer Avatar

      Absolutely!! Thank you for commenting!

  8. […] love and kindness. This is the third and final installation of this series. Read parts one and two […]

  9. Suzy Hazelwood Avatar

    Really enjoyed reading this Becky, your writing flows quite beautifully, and absolutely agree with you on letting go and just feeling – I think I need some of that right now! I find every so many years I need to do this kind of thing, a new me seems to emerge. I think it’s healthy to do that. I feel people who never embrace letting go, becoming a new version of themselves, seem to age prematurely, which is horrible to observe. But they just don’t see why they need to. Very inspiring article!!
    I edit an online literary magazine (The Writing Garden) and was wondering if you would be interested in your article being published in the next issue? It would be a perfect subject for the January, and one I think readers would relate to very well.
    It currently has twelve issues (one new one every two months). There are no printed copies or any payment involved for myself or the writers – it’s a free magazine for anyone to read. The aim is to help promote writers on websites and blogs from all over the internet.
    Copyright remains with the writer and I always include a link back to where the work was originally published and also any other links or social media links you may wish to include (please let me know which ones – if you have any).
    If you would be interested in allowing me to publish your work please check out the magazine and let me know. But if you’d rather not, don’t hesitate to say no, I really won’t mind.
    Suzy 🙂

    1. beckydancer Avatar

      Thank you for your comment, Suzy! I’m writing you back at the gmail address that is attached to your profile.

      1. Suzy Hazelwood Avatar

        Thank you for your email Becky, no worries about taking time in getting back to me, there’s plenty of time! Very pleased to hear you’ll be happy for this article to be included in the January/February issue of The Writing Garden! It’s an inspiring message, so more than happy to publish it! 🙂
        The next issue should be published around 16th January. Would you like to include any social media pages in your links?

    2. beckydancer Avatar

      Yes I would love for my Twitter and Instagram to be included. They are in the sidebar above, but if you need me to send you the handles directly, I can do that. Also, LinkedIn would be great:
      Thanks Suzy!

      1. Suzy Hazelwood Avatar

        I’ve added your links – I’ll get back to you here when it’s published in January. Thanks very much Becky!! 🙂

        1. beckydancer Avatar

          Thank you so much, Suzy!

  10. Suzy Hazelwood Avatar

    Just wanted to say a really big thank you for allowing me to publish your inspirational writing in The Writing Garden Becky. It really was a pleasure to publish such a good article! 🙂

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