First, I know that there are angels hiding in the motions, actions, thoughts, and love of humans. Especially the humans that love us the most. To quote one of my favorite songs, "There are angels hiding in the bones of humans...helping all these miracles along."
I received one most beautiful and touching gifts ever given yesterday by my dear angel friend and sister, Emily Dance Fish. She choreographed a dance that tells the story of my illness and pain. She and her amazing angel dancers kept it a secret from me until the performance last night! When I found out I began to cry. My heart was bursting. When the dance started, it was like I had entered a dream. It was so surreal and beautiful. I wept tears of healing and hope. Dance is a very special part of my heart and who I am. It has been a grieving process for me as I have felt my body weaken and to feel pain when I am moving and dancing, doing something that I love most in this world. When I watched that dance it was as if my spirit was dancing with them. It didn't matter that I was in pain, because I felt free. There are moments and movements in this dance that tap into my spirit and heart so deeply that it takes my breath away. This dance is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I feel like that if someone hooked up a projector to my heart, the movement from this dance is what I would see. It also is to a song that is so special to me, I have no words to describe the inspiration it gives. The song is "Fix You" by Coldplay.
Sometimes I feel like there are certain songs or lyrics that have been pulled straight out of my heart and played from it's strings. This song is one of those songs. These lyrics are perfect for all who struggle with chronic illness. They are perfect for anyone who has struggle. That's all of us.
There are two versions, one from another competition they performed it at and the performance last night. I wanted to show both, because one shows off the choreography better and one shows the lighting better. Click here for one that shows a better quality of the choreography. :)
Emily later explained to me that the two dancers in red represent the illness. They are not portrayed as evil or bad. Rather an aching, but necessary part of my journey and who I am. My illness causes pain, not only in my hands, legs, back, stomach and arms, but also in my heart. They dance and move with me, but they are not who I really am. That is true for all of us. I want to make that clear. Our trials and pain, whatever forms or shapes or hardness they come in do not have to be evil, nor do they have to overwhelm our entire life. They can be tools for us to grow. As much grief as my illness has caused me, it also has been one of the greatest means for me to see the true beauties in life, and see what is truly important. In that sense, I am grateful for my illness. That can be true for all of us. There can be a balance of working through the challenge, yet still being truly happy, laughing and loving and experiencing true joy and peace. Yes, there are days when the burdens can be so heavy that they drag and push us down, but we have the strength within us to stand up again. They can reach us to our deepest parts and shake us to our very core, but we have angels and help to protect us and guide us through. We have angels around us to help heal us and stand up again. We have angels to help us when we are weak and feel we can't take one more step. They can lift us up and help us focus our gaze towards hope, light and heaven.
We may be marked in some way by the challenges we deal with. The red sash in the dance represents that. But, in the end, we can carry on while carrying the very things that hurt us. Our challenges can be the very thing that make us the best we can be. I believe and know that the hurt and problems we deal with will not last forever because of the reality and hope of Jesus Christ and because no matter what challenges we face, we can be happy and dance after our dreams. I must remember that.
Sometimes it may feel like we are constantly being pushed and pulled, tossed, turned and too bruised and broken to be fixed anymore. I know that we are made out of much deeper stuff than illness, and the struggles that come our way. Yet, it is our struggles that pull that deep stuff out of us for us to see and learn and grow from. It is an amazing process. I have so much to learn, and I am so grateful for the little and big experiences that give me some healing and help me try again tomorrow.
Awhile ago someone asked me what it was like to have to give up on my dreams of dancing and singing because of my illness. I told her that I had not given them up and that there was no way I was ever going to give up on those dreams. I feel so weak and worthless sometimes, and this dance has renewed my hope and fight to keep chasing after my dreams, goals and the quality of life that I want to live. I hope that it does the same for you.
There are lights to guide us home. There are those around us who yearn to fix us, and we yearn to fix them. I think that is one of the main reasons for challenges in our lives, so that we can learn how to help fix one another and be lights to each other. As the song sings, "Tears stream, down your face, when you lose something you cannot replace. Tears stream, down your face, and I will try to fix you."
I hope that we all can take the time to thank the "angels" in our lives that help us and lift us up beyond our struggles.
Thank you to these dancing angels. Emily, Shaunie, Brighton, Aisha, Aimee, Janessa, Magaly and Dulcee, you have given me a priceless gift. I want you to know that I will always, always treasure you and this dance. When I am hurting, I will remember this, and it will help me keep going. I hope that it does the same for you. What a bright and beautiful light you have brought into my life. There are no words to express. Keep dancing and inspiring. Each of you are amazing, graceful, and beyond sweet. You are all exquisite. Thank you for touching my heart. Know that I am thanking God for you in my prayers I know that He will bless you. I love you all with all my heart!
Ems, you have given me a most precious and beautiful gift. Your work and heart are amazing. You are my angel. From the beginning, you have brought joy, love, hope and peace into my life. Thank you for carrying me, and for always helping me see myself past my illness. I just don't have the words to express just how much this means to me. I love you forever.
Thank you to all my family, friends and angels who continuously love and carry me. I weep tears of gratitude as I write this for you. Thank you for being my lights and for helping me experience true joy and love on our journeys together. You all continue to amaze and inspire me.
I am filled to the brim and overflowing still. Sending you all my love.