In the final dance you will read about my journey as a disheartened, burnt out social worker after ten years of working with child abuse and witnessing the dark side of humanity. I had lost my belief in people and my zest for life. I was merely surviving, living for the weekends and numbing myself out with alcohol to dull the images of violence that I had been exposed to throughout the week. I longed to meet prince charming to rescue me from my sad life. Starting in 1998, I experienced a series of events that made me take a good hard look at the way I was living my life. As a result of these events my life began to change for the better.
My experiences with my patients became guide posts on how to fully engage in life. With each patient I encountered there was a gift, a lesson. And as I began to apply the lessons learned from my patients to my own life, I began to reconnect with my passion for living. The courage my patients often modeled in the face of their impending deaths gave me courage to take risks, speak from my heart, and allow myself to be seen by being vulnerable and authentic.
It was from this work that I was able to reconnect with my joy and love for people, I learned new ways of being in the world, joyfully connected and loving. I also learned these things as I faced the possibility of my own death and as I companioned others through their transition. Working with the dying put into perspective what was important, I was no longer content with letting life pass me by.
May The Final Dance be a beacon of light as you find your way out of the darkness to the joy and authenticity, and full self-expression.