Was I ostracized and teased because I was the new kid who was dressed differently, or because I was an easy target who never talked nor fought back? I’m still not certain.
In 7th grade, I had to be chaperoned to and from school and “watched” during recess. This was to protect me from being beat up by classmates.
P.E. was challenging because I was always (yes, always), regardless of the game for which captains were choosing teammates, the last selected.
Academically, no one wanted to work or share space with me. I sat alone during recess, and I don’t remember lunch. It’s likely I wasted that hour with a teacher getting “extra help”.
There was no school subject in which I excelled or enjoyed. Oh, wait, art. I was good in art.
Today, I reap the benefits of my early challenges: I have learned sensitivity.
I’m sensitive to the dancer in the back row, the student who struggles academically, the parent fighting for custody, the underpaid teacher, the hourly worker who feels stuck, and the sick or shut-in.
Sensitivity is liberating, because it opens the door to acceptance–acceptance of self and of others.
Self acceptance allows one to move forward, to accept what is so that you can stand out and be yourself.
Oh, you’re popular and well liked? Goody goody gumdrops.
If you’re awkward, insecure, or doubtful, consider daydreaming.
Dream about telling your story the way you want it to be with a little less focus on what’s not working.
Use your quiet, downtime to grow into your strengths and to imagine what’s possible for your life.
Imagination, visualization, daydreaming…
Call it what you like. It worked for me.
What about you? Do you agree that difficult experiences can teach us something valuable? Tell me in the comment section below. Thanks.
Yours in love and dance,