The Night I Danced in France

France had a way of beating me down. Not the whole country, but the sum of our experience there. We’d made friends who were leaving the country and decided to throw an enormous, lavish party.

I didn’t really want to go. I was in that place where I’d rather stay at home, safe inside the four walls of our tiny place, and be quiet and sad. But this was such a big celebration, I knew I couldn’t bow out.

So Patrick and I went. We ate. We talked. We interacted with new people.

And then the dancing began. At first I didn’t want to. I wanted to go to the bathroom and cry alone. But the beat of the music wooed me. Patrick and I danced. And danced some more. And the more my feet lifted off the floor, the lighter my mood became.

The wife of the couple came to me that night. She’d known I’d been battling depression there. She said something like, “See Mary, sometimes you just have to have fun, to let go.”

That dance came back to me today. How free I felt in the moment, even when the moment was surrounded by heartache, fear, and the deepest fatigue and loneliness I’d ever experienced. The dance was a light in that darkness.

Which leads me to ask: How can you step outside your pain RIGHT NOW and dance? What one thing can you do to break the cycle of sadness? How can you risk, step out of your comfort zone, and fly?

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