How Following My Joy Led Me To Finding My Love


How Following My Joy Led Me To Finding My Love
Sometimes in life, you really do have to “Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Sometimes in life, you really do have to, as Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Take me, for example. For over two decades I struggled with symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a teenager, I survived a rare, life-threatening illness and then, got stuck in a mindset that just couldn’t let go of trauma. Eventually, nightmares, insomnia, emotional numbing, avoidance, fear and anxiety took their toll on my health. Twenty-five years later, after years sitting in therapy waiting for my psychologist to heal me, I realized the truth: I would only heal when I decided to take responsibility for my recovery process. I had to actually do something.

I decided I needed to figure out what would make me feel better. My thinking went like this: I feel depressed and full of despair every day. What would I rather feel? The answer: ‘joy’. I wanted to feel joy so desperately that I would have done just about anything, including going out of my comfort zone to find it.

More from YourTango: Conquering The Past To Improve The Present

Once I decided the feeling I wanted to have, I set about finding it. Looking back over my life I realized that whenever I danced I felt an enormous, incredible feeling of freedom, transcendence and joy. So, I decided to dance, a lot. The only problem was, I only knew how to freestyle, which is what I’d grown up doing in nightclubs. In the small beach town in which I now live, however, clubbing every night of the week isn’t an option. I decided to learn to partner dance at a local ballroom studio. 

More from YourTango: Self-Care and Joy: How You Can Use What You Love to Love Yourself

Not having any formal dance background – and never having danced with a partner before – I walked into my first Argentine tango class not knowing what to expect and only knowing I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I took a deep breath, summoned all my courage, and stepped onto the dance floor. John, a man about my age, was the assistant teacher in the class. Since I was new, he was assigned to work with me privately during the class to bring me up to speed.

With brown hair hanging into cheerful brown eyes with lashes so long they curl up at the end, John’s eyes are set in a broad, round face with a perfectly straight nose. He has the sort of flat cheekbones that hint at some small degree of Native American heritage and skin that is smooth and tan. John’s about four inches taller than I; he leaned his head down until our faces were level and separated by only an inch. His eyes were so intense and impish and merry and full of happy life, I was completely distracted looking into them. I pitched my head a little toward him and returned his smile. When we settled into the tango embrace, John led me into the basic pattern. We danced holding each other’s gaze.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Recent Expert Posts
Dating Tips: 10 Signs Your Guy Has Fallen For You

10 Signs Your Guy Is Falling In Love With You

Does that new hunky guy you've been dating see you in his future? Here are 10 ways he'll show you.

Relationship Advice For Women: 5 Things That Turn Men Off

How To Lose A Guy In Ten Minutes: 5 Major Turn-Offs

If you want to impress a new guy, avoid these major turn-offs.

Sex Education: How Sex Ed Will Lower Birth Rates

Sex Education In South Carolina: How It Changed Their City

It's important that you're honest with your children.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>