In the YouTube clip above you see a beginning dancer trying to learn the basic steps in West Coast Swing. It is called the "Sugar Push", at least that is one name for it. Take it from Monique and I, it looks very easy, but it takes practice. We are just now, after our third lesson, feeling like we are getting the hang of it.
The same is true in learning how to love well, communicate in loving ways with our spouses, family and friends. We inherit unhealthy patterns of relating from the family enviornment during our developmental years of life and those ways of responding and reacting stay with us for life, unless we learn new ways and we embrace the new. When you step into following Christ and put your faith in Him, you are birthed into a new family, the family of God.
As we mentioned in the previous blogpost, the way of living and relating in this new family should display the amazing love of God and His grace. I wish this would naturally flow from us, but it doesn't. We must take the first steps to learn a new way. One of the first steps involves exploring the "iceberg" that represents me. To do this we need to ask ourselves four questions and allow God to walk with us in this exploration. The questions are quite simple really and will tap into your interior world. 1) What am I sad about? 2) What am I mad about? 3) What am I glad about? What am I worried about?
If we can discover what is going on inside us, we can discover the unresolved issues that are causing the feelings which may be producing the unhealthy patterns of relatiing. This is the first step...so take the risk, step into this hard work and practice. You will find yourself come to life as you give yourself permission to feel.
Flash backs to middle school dance classes and dance classes in college were bouncing in my mind this past week. Monique and I are doing something we've talked about for the last couple of years; we are taking a dance class together. Specifically, we are learning Western Swing.
Each of us are experiencing the clunkiness of trying something new and entering into the realm of feeling awkward and clumsy. I'm probably feeling this more than she is, but we both commented to the awkwardness after our first class. The feelings run through the fiber of my body are feelings of frustration, impatience and inadequacy. Why is this taking me so long to learn these basic steps? This should come more naturally to me. Why do I have to think so much, and when I do think through the steps, the more mixed up my steps. Is this supposed to be fun?
So...we are doing as our instructor suggested, practice, practice and practice some more...5 to 10 minutes a night and the steps will flow into a basic pattern from which we will add new moves. What seems so unnatural right now will become natural in time with practice.
Funny how the analogy of learning a new dance and the basic steps, correlates beautifully with the hard work of learning to love others. Loving is unnatural just like the new dance. There are new steps we can take to learn how to love. It seems to me from reading the Scriptures and specifically 1 Corinthians 13, love is the main thing.
Are you ready to try some new steps with us, steps that will be clunky and awkward at first? The benefits will result in a dramatic transformation in receiving and giving love. Will we begin dancing in the weeks ahead.
Vic and Monique
We are all about helping your marriage thrive.