Projecting Shapes: What Dancing Taught Me About Judgement And Compassion

I went dancing recently. I love dancing. Though I most definitely didn't always.

My mum always used to talk about dancing when I was younger. Saying it was one of her favourite things. How she could just get lost in it. Go somewhere else. She'd always be first throwing shapes on the dance-floor.

David Bird Cognitive Hypnotherapy Leighton Buzzard

For a long time, this was something I never really understood. The idea of stepping onto a dance-floor - let alone an empty one - filled me with terror.

Even when I did muster some courage to join a busier space with a close group of friends, I still found myself alarmingly self-conscious. Always checking to see what the others were doing. Worried I might do something that looked a bit strange. Always taking their lead in a way.

I often see a number people - guys especially - stood at the edge of a dance-floor. Looking on to the fun and flow of movement that gives a busy floor its appeal.

I used to think the guys in particular - and quite judgementally - were probably just being voyeuristic. And actually, I think it's true. They are. But not in that same, judgemental way I used to presuppose.

I find it much easier to get on a dance-floor now. To move my body. Let go. And have fun with it. Do stupid, laughable stuff with those I'm getting wiggly with. Everything I felt too scared to do before. Through fear of humiliation. And hence rejection.

But this time, gazing at the onlookers, I saw them in a different light.

I saw them as me. The way I used to be. Watching. Not seedily stealing looks. But with a longing. Wishing to be part of the togetherness. To join the fun and connection before them. But not quite knowing how to get there. To give themselves permission. To just let go to it. And feel the way it looks like the others feel:

More free.

Maybe that's just my projection. But so was my previous judgement about their intent. And considering the difference in compassion and connection I felt this time around, if I have to choose one delusion, I choose the new one.

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