Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Great expectations or how I discovered “here” (published in Gancho, April 2014)

We, as human beings, have a tendency to get used to the good things in our lives and then take it for granted, or even stop appreciating it. We get “cocky” about the things we do well and forget what they mean to us. And what’s most dangerous is that we forget that actually everything is about learning more…

I had an interesting tango experience recently somewhere other than my country. An experience about expectations and humbleness, one that made me look closely to what I have home and appreciate it a hell of a lot more than I did lately.

So, after coming back, while dancing tango, I got surprised by one small detail: there was something different in my embrace, in the way I felt I was giving myself in the embrace and also in its form. It was something I wished to achieve before, but couldn’t, neither physically, nor… metaphysically. The change was involuntary, somehow natural, but it caught my attention so I took note of the moment and observed the details.

All this led to my realizing – in a different, more profound way than before – that everything is a forever ongoing process. That every step, every move, every feeling or embrace is a process. That the moment I said “There! I have this one figured out! I’ve learned this lesson, let’s move on to the next!” that was the moment that everything had changed. And I had to start all over again with the learning and absorbing the new way with my mind and body. And sometimes it was frustrating…

But what I discovered now is that nothing is final! Neither the steps, nor the understanding of the movements – even if they seem the same, nor the feelings, nor the essence of the embrace. I will never reach that ultimate “There! I’ve learned this!” and I find a great joy and relief in this discovery. Why? Because this way I can allow myself to make mistakes and then be compassionate about it with me. I can allow myself to get mad and then get over it. I can accept having faults, being happy and moving forward. Because everything is a process, I can allow myself to always learn more and from a lot more people present in my life.

And - maybe the most important thing - every time I find myself repeating any lesson in tango I realize that it’s not the lesson that has changed, not the steps, nor the movements… but me. Therefore I see and feel and integrate them differently. The things I wanted to change but couldn’t become suddenly available and flexible and they fit me. Not because I’ve somehow changed them, but because I am different in a way that I can understand and accept them.

This is a good life lesson, too. And now the prayer “'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdome to know the difference” has a lot of new meanings for me : ) This form of acceptance doesn’t include giving up, but it represents knowing that there will come a moment when I match those „unchangeable” things. It all depends on how I follow my path, how I do the work, how I lead my life. And also on the patience with which I allow life to happen, with everything in it: tango, people, love... me...

 And going back to the idea of appreciating what I have, I just want to say this: tango in Romania is of high quality, people here are welcoming and joyfull and good hearted, we have excellent teachers and a very nice community and... there’s more to say. But what I’ve really learned is not to compare any of this with another place, other people or  their quality of dance. I’ll just compare the way it was HERE yesterday with the way it is HERE today and I know I’ll be pleased with the progress.

I’m doing the same with my own... existance and evolution... and I’m happy about the tango in my life and the life in my tango! And the people! And the changes! And the experiences! And... 


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