A story is told of a young girl named Alice, with severe physical disabilities, who really wanted to dance. Dancing fascinated her; the moves, the steps, the way bodies swayed to the tune of whatever music played. She would ask her mother to take her to every ballet show in town, so long as her health permitted it. Her disabilities prevented her from dancing but it did not stop her from loving the art.

One day,  Alice told her parents she wanted to learn how to dance. At first, her parents thought it an odd request from a young girl battling to come to terms with her disabilities. Her persistence, however, finally made them give in. Dance school after dance school turned her down; she was asking for the impossible, they said. Alice never gave up and eventually, she found a radical personal tutor who took up the challenge. It took years of physical therapy; Alice and her personal trainer never gave up, and finally, after years of training and practice, Alice danced for the first time in her twenty-six years. It was on her wedding day.

We are all like Alice, battling one form of crippling disability or another. For some, it could be that we have been victims of abuse and are still haunted by our past-prisoners in our own bodies; tortured by memories that just won’t go away. For others, our disability is a fear of failure. We are so afraid to fail that we do not even bother to try. So many others want to overcome their challenges, they even know what to do, but are not willing to take that first step that will set them on the path to personal victories. Whatever category you fall in, know that you will never experience that truly liberating feeling; you will never know exhilaration till you dare to dance. This is not a guarantee that it will be easy; remember Alice? But it will be an experience truly worth it.

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The first step is to look your ‘disability’ in the eye and know that it doesn’t define you. No matter what you have gone through or are currently facing, dear woman, always know that you are so much more than your challenges. So yes, you have a morbid past that you are too afraid to share, or you are afraid to try something new because you fear you will not be good at it; do not be defined by your past or your fears. They are feelings, events or in Alice’s story, birth defects, but they do not embody the entirety of who you are; your dreams, talents and purpose in life. So, look that thing in the eye and say, “I am not defined by you”.

Also important is that you need to really want to dance. The desire to ‘dance’ must come from you. Nobody said that it’s going to be an easy ride, but if you want freedom from fears, freedom from memories of the past or from what other things may have crippled you, preventing you from moving forward in life, then know that you’ve got to fight to lay hold on your prize. Be determined, be resolute, you will dance.

The final key is to never lose sight of the end goal. A pursuit is so-named, not because of the challenges and obstacles you will face along the way, butbecause you have a goal, an end in mind; a picture of how you want the end to be. Having the end in mind is what gives you the required fortitude to face whatever challenge is thrown your way. Be focused; have one goal and one goal only-and that is to see yourself at the top.

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Do you have a dream that you have nursed for years but never thought would see the light of day? It’s time to look whatever is holding you back in the eye and say, “I’m ready to dance!”

Life is beautiful!

Omatseye Oti



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