Almost every day, I talk with someone about life. Yeah, I know, that’s a really enormous topic but those conversations aren’t usually about tackling “the big picture”; just little clips of it. I realize that what I write about is often insignificant in the grand scheme of our planet (and I never want to lose sight of the much larger, global picture) but that doesn’t make those conversations unimportant because it’s the accumulation of all the small things that create the big picture of how we move through life now.
So…..unlike a few, easy dance steps, “The Shut Up and Deal Dance” isn’t taught in one lesson. It’s learned over time. It takes others to “teach it”. You have to keep going back to that well—being told (verbally or non-verbally) that, “you don’t matter”, before you learn the steps by heart; before you can replay them in your sleep. The dance may have begun long ago when you were a child who was hurt, ignored or unloved. Or, the dance may have slowly become part of the fiber of you as an adult when your opinions/feelings/needs were never acknowledged— where your voice was silenced.
If you’re unheard long enough, that becomes your reality. And—regardless of how you got there—if you’re in relationships where you’re not validated, it’s likely that you’ll end up doing that dance, deciding, for reasons that make sense to you, that it’s more important to remain with that person than to have a voice. You choose to “shut up and deal”.
Once you stop expressing your thoughts long enough, you begin to believe that’s the way you’re “supposed to be”. Sometimes, when your spirit’s been pushed down for so long, it bursts out and pleads, “I NEED TO BE HEARD”. Then, when you honor that and choose to speak your truth—when that torrent of words starts rushing out of your mouth, accompanied by tears or anger—you realize, “I’m still talking to myself even though there’s someone else in the room” and you swear you’re never going to do it again, but you do.
Eventually, you’re broken. You acquiesce your power, not to God, but to another human being. You walk through life, unheard, in the dance of silence. The transformation often happens slowly—like a wallpaper seam that’s come unglued. At first, it’s so glaring and you want to fix it; to make it right. Then you’re only aware of it once in a while, and eventually, you don’t notice it at all. You don’t see yourself becoming “unglued”.
If you live with someone or are only around others who never ask, “how do you feel?”, or “what do you think?”, chances are you may already be existing in the world of “The Shut Up and Deal Dance”. (Those “dance partners” may have a lot of friends, be physically beautiful or incredibly generous. They may be people no one in the outside world would think of as controlling or manipulative.)
In “The Shut Up and Deal Dance”, another person opens the door and welcomes your self-doubt. He or she not only encourages your insecurity but holds a flashlight—like an usher at a play directing you to the best seat in the house—where you watch it grow. Soon, you’re on the stage; play-acting and doing the dance that you’ve practiced so many times that you no longer think about the moves. Expressing opinions, or having feelings are not allowed. You’ve never taken the lead and become an actor who’s voiceless and small.
But, you are worth more than that. God knows you are worth more than that.
Please honor your voice.
Please know your value.
And, please dance in tune with your spirit, recognizing the precious, valuable and worthwhile person you truly are. ❤︎
You are worth that,
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Warning….this content may make you think differently about life.
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