From the moment I started dancing, I began to meet many forgotten parts of myself. Tango has awakened dormant shadows from their deep slumber. I am never dancing only with my partner, I am also dancing with my inner-most self. I’ve looked into the mirror of the dance and witnessed some very surprising, abandoned parts of my being. In order to keep dancing, I’ve had to allow these parts to express and be re-embraced by me. I am in a continuous dance play that reveals the hidden and the unknown. I dance with my infinite light as well as my submerged darkness. I dance with my joy and bliss. And I dance with my deepest, darkest shadows.
I like to think of these shadows as the lost aspects of my life experience that have been ignored and long forgotten. They are the rejected parts of my mind-body-spirit left to the basement of unresolved memories. They are like rejected children that never received the love and attention they needed. So they collapsed inward upon themselves and became the left over products of old pain. But these shadows are also blessings. They are priceless treasures of beauty buried by old judgements. And these shadows are archetypes in disguise concealing both glorious goddesses and wretched demons. All of them have been waiting for some small chance to make their presence known. No shadow form is the polar opposite of the other. They are all just bits and pieces of a whole that have been judged to be “wrong” and stuffed away for another time when they can be either released, or empowered.
No one can hide a demon in the bedroom closet for very long. When the lights turn on in a darkened basement, all the imagined shadows disperse. Every shadow embraced and held to the light reveals that the demon is nothing more than an Angel wearing the mask of human pain. Beneath the face of misery lies a thousand smiling Buddhas. And as I dance, these masks are pulled away. Nothing is easy about removing a mask that I’ve fooled myself into thinking serves me. And yet, nothing is powerful about defending a facade. But stripping it away is empowering because the rediscovered authenticity leads to more personal freedom.
Part of the beauty of this journey of discovery lies in the element of surprise. It’s impossible to remember everything lost until it’s been found again. Most of us simply adapt, thinking that a compromised state of functioning is normal. But this is a lie, because if any part of the authentic self has been suppressed, then we are actually dis-empowered. The lost and buried treasure of our submerged self is a place where our deepest power lies. And to uncover the treasure again is to reclaim our natural inborn spiritual power.
For myself, finding the lost treasure trove has involved reconnecting with the Feminine Lover-Goddess. The Goddess has many forms. But it is particularly the Lover-Goddess that often falls by the wayside. She is by far the most culturally misrepresented and suppressed. And she is the hardest to re-embrace due to social conditioning. She is the pure, non-polarized, sexual expression of the Divine Feminine in full magnitude. Yet she is portrayed through cultural filters of distortion, or told that her unique expression is wrong. So women in turn, tell themselves they are wrong. I have told myself I am wrong. And that’s how personal truth gets buried away in the hidden graveyard of the mind.
My Tango dancing journey has been stripping away defensive masks that no longer serve me. These are masks that conceal the inner Lover-Goddess. She is rising to the surface and coming into new and fuller life. On the dance floor, this new life is nothing more than pure energetic expression. (In the bedroom is another story!). But even in the “tame” context of the dance floor, I have found that she can sometimes be very frightening to both men and women alike. It’s nothing the Lover-Goddess “does” or “says.” It’s just her mere presence. And the more her presence shows up, the more others become uncomfortable. I have silently witnessed in fascination as the Lover-Goddess presence has plunged my male dance partners into their submerged shame. And I’ve also witnessed this same presence unleash female onlookers into negativity. In witnessing other people’s shame and jealousy, I discover how to hold space for my own deep shame and jealously. I am practicing how to look at these shadows more clearly and perceive them without rejection. I am learning how to hold them with love and compassion and allow them to express themselves like the children they are. I am setting them free by allowing them to have a long-awaited voice. And in doing so, I am peeling back my own layers of untruth and attempting to be delivered into my most outrageously beautiful truth! And I no longer care who doesn’t understand it……………..