Sunday, May 18, 2014

Retreat or Dance

I can sometimes act as if I'm a turtle. I crawl into my shell where it's comfortable and safe and no one can hurt me and I stay there. There in my shell no one expects anything of me and I don't expect anything of anyone else. I don't have to take any unnecessary risks there. I don't have to take a chance of reaching out to someone who doesn't respond, or trust in someone who lets me down.

I just want to be a hard shelled turtle, alone, with no sense of community.

When I lived up north near the lakes, we had a lot of snapping turtles. They would retreat into their shell due to fear of a predator but as soon as the danger was over they would pop their heads back out and begin to move. Sometimes we would find one miles away from the lake, just slowly walking along the side of the road looking for a new adventure.

After a hurt the easiest thing to do is to retreat to our shells, but we have to pop our heads back out and move. It can be slowly at first like the snapping turtle, but sooner or later we have to move.

People are not perfect. Sometimes they disappoint us, sometimes they hurt us on purpose, sometimes they hurt us without even knowing it. And sometimes we hurt other people.

I have loved and lost. Pancreatic cancer ripped my husband from me. I lose my mother a little bit every day to Alzheimer's disease. My friends have disappointed me. My support system has failed me, and those I have supported have turned against me.

Life is hard. I can retreat into my shell where it's safe and no one will hurt me again,

OR, I can MOVE. 

It's a decision. All I have to do is take one step.. and then another step..

Who knows, I just may learn to dance!