Saturday, August 17, 2013

wrestling

“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.”
Rumi 


We have been wrestling for days. The trouble is…I want to dance. You pushed me and I pushed back. I invited my will into the ring, letting it coach me, letting it whisper advice into my ear. I didn’t want to admit that I was in a struggle after all, and that I hungered to win. But each push gave me more and more clarity, until the moment came when I could no longer deny the reality: we were wrestling, and I was losing.

Why is it that the acknowledgment of our failure and weakness brings about victory? Why is it that we often make the mistake of placing our will above all, thinking strength is found in getting our way and having total control? We confuse arrogance for success and choose instead to look down upon anyone that hesitates, admits they were wrong, allows themselves to be vulnerable. We've forgotten that it's when we relent, as daunting and uncomfortable as it feels, that we realize we’ve really been the ones giving ourselves blow after blow in the wrestling ring. The bruising, scraping and sweating have been the result of great effort—one that often hurts more than it heals.

I’ve talked about surrender, but only now do I actually hold up my white flag. My prize is no gold trophy, just the relief of letting go--and knowing that I'll still be okay. And that I'm not alone. There's a freedom in admitting you don't have it all under control. There's a strength in that too. 

So now, with a black eye, fat lip and torn dress, I get up, take off my gloves, hold out my hand, and rather sheepishly ask, “may I have this dance?”