Middle school dances. We know the scene. Boys and girls on opposite ends of the room, eyeing the others while trying to play it cool and laughing with their friends, but deep down each kid is really hoping they will get a chance to dance with someone special.
Ok, so it’s has been awhile since I was in middle school. Still, I can’t help but think of that middle school awkwardness and relate it to my adult dating life.
I like to think of myself as a fun, friendly, and outgoing person. It’s fairly easy for me to make friends and talk to guys in bars or on trains. Sure I have my bouts of awkwardness here and there, but generally speaking, I know how to converse with men. Except…when I actually like the guy. That’s when I freeze in fear.
When I start to notice someone, and my heart responds by drumming in excitement, that’s when I tell it to behave and to keep a steady beat. Why? Because if I give someone permission to make an impression on my heart, then it allows this person to get so close that they might make a dent, possibly even a scar. And that scares me.
Fear is defined as: “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” Well, what am I so afraid of?
I think fear can come from many different experiences from our past, but ultimately I think it comes from a lack of confidence in ourselves. We overanalyze every little detail of ourselves and then deem ourselves unworthy. It’s easier to quiet our desires and to not take any risks than it is to inch out of those straps harnessing our heart and to expose our hearts to the risk of love, the risk of asking someone to dance.
Just the other day I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and came across a friend’s status update. He posted that, after being woken from a dream of a nostalgic love, where he and this significant other from the past were happy together, he grabbed his phone to write her an email to confess how she has opened his heart and she continues to be an inspiration behind all his creativity. He was simply honest with his feelings. To quote, he finished by saying: “I knew I would regret it later so I did it quickly, because the feeling of love and inspiration that possessed me was more important to me than the repercussions of expressing it. It was simply true, nothing to be ashamed of.”
There was something so inspiring to me in reading his post. (And I wasn’t the only one impressed, for there were countless comments applauding him for his boldness.) He wasn’t afraid of the embarrassment that would follow after. He wasn’t afraid of being rejected or hurt. There was nothing to be ashamed of! His heart felt. It worked properly. So he expressed it. He was that courageous middle school boy who, after catching long glances with the girl across the room, made the daring trek across the dance floor and simply said “do you want to dance?”
It’s time for me, and all those who are afraid, to be daring when it comes to love. Yes, there is a chance that being vulnerable can lead to a harsh rejection, but think of that middle school boy, the first boy to cross the dance floor, how many onlookers wish they possessed that same valor? Take a risk. Simply, ask for the dance.
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