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“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain.”

My son and I were playing outside when a storm blew in and he started to dance in the rain. No words could capture the peace and joy that exuded from my son as he danced. The harder the rain and the louder the thunder, the freer he became. His exuberance was so contagious that it lured me from my self-conscious, over-concerned lull to dance. Yet a twinge of guilt and negativity jolted through me like lightning. You see even in this moment of extreme happiness, there were loved ones gripped by fear, and possibly perceiving our actions as defiant and careless. Yet many are oblivious to the fact that I am well aware of the havoc violent storms can bring. I have lived through emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive ones. I know the extremes of dying babies. I know firsthand the feeling of being trapped in a pit so deep that death appears as a friend. I also know how precious this moment is for my son as he inherited my hyper-sensitivity to stormy thoughts. It doesn’t take much to trigger us to despair and panic. I have suffered too long under the guise of fears, anxiety, and depression. I have thoroughly assessed the risks and I realized that by letting go of attachment to outcomes, to fear less, and love more, I open my life up to peace and joy. Dancing in the rain are some of my happiest childhood memories and I wrap those moments around me like a security blanket and blessed to share with my son. I make the conscious choice to dance in the rain.

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I had moments of dysregulation and anxiety over giving a presentation. My son nonchalantly says, “Mom don’t worry. Everyone loves you. God Loves you.”…

His words helped me  instantly feel blessed, relieved and positively focused.

Yet later, on the way to the presentation, my brain kept getting triggered to self-doubt, worry, “am I good enough” jargon. I caught my negative self-talk and remembered my son’s words. An internal dialogue began…

I tend to be my worst enemy and critique. I work so hard to give unconditional love, compassion, and kindness to all, yet I am still the hardest on myself and fall into judgmental thinking. Then I was reminded of one of the aspects of organized religion that traumatized me the most…religious people going around calling people sinners and condemning them to hell; one cannot get more judgmental than that. According to the faith I was raised up in, I was going to hell before I turned 15. People wonder why I battled depression and anxiety…what’s the point to keep living when it seems you only fail and let others down?… My mind wanders to a statement I heard that constantly worrying what other’s are thinking of you is living in hell. That definitely describes much of my life, a self fulfilling prophecy as such. I begin to feel angry. I am sick of paying for other’s transgressions: the peers who harassed me, the neighbor who molested me, the friends who slapped and back stabbed me, the boys who used me, the adults who looked the other way or drank and abused too much…

I stopped at a red light and my eyes begin to well. I become cognizant that I am close to my office building and what would people think of red eyes. I chose to redirect my thoughts to my son’s words, “Mom don’t worry. Everyone loves you. God Loves you.”…Then I picture my partner who whenever he hears my children share a brilliant reflection, he smiles at me at says, “That is you.”  You see, my partner and my children have taught me more about faith that no religion could touch and surpasses what any holy book could depict. It is in you, in me and everywhere in between. A wisdom and love that runs so deep that my ancestors and future generations dance and weep as one.

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