No pain, no gain?

First, this is my blog and these are my opinions, informed by my experiences.

People say that tough times build character, that you learn something about yourself, your abilities, and areas of growth when facing adversity. Some say God never gives you more than what you can handle, that you don’t know your limits until you destroy them and reach new heights. People are given warrior and survivor status, named ambassadors and role models, lauded for their courage and inspiring narratives.

What I can say is that you absolutely learn something. About yourself, but more I think, about the world and the people in it, the people you have around you, the resilience and adaptability of community of any size and composition.

In dance, we create together and within ourselves. The idea of movement is translated in innumerable ways by each member of the group. “Move in a circle” is not limited to a walk on two feet, if all you choose to move are your eyes, that’s ok. If you want to internalize that circle, go for it. If you want to take off and do a few zoomies around the room by whatever method, you are free to do so. Your choices can influence the other dancers, you may borrow from them. The energy of the room changes. Do your own thing, or let the music pull you in. Beauty results.

I’ve been in situations where I’ve fallen to pieces. Been terrified and paralyzed. Where I have not been able to ‘handle it’. And I don’t know that I’ve come away with any revolutionary insights. It’s really hard, it really hurts. Knowledge, preparation can lessen the blow. You really don’t want to do that again, but will be smarter next time. You have learned something. But your ability to get through it, relies on the knowledge you already posses, the skills you currently practice, the people and resources that are a part of the environment in which you now find yourself. Your ability to learn. — And it’s really hard to do that when you’re experiencing extreme stress.

And I believe that though much can be learned from observing a person at breaking point, more can be learned watching that person in the absence of extreme or averse stress and stimuli. If everything was peachy, how would your behaviour change, how would it stay the same?