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This evening I returned from teaching a Scottish highland dance class at my studio down south. I love being a teacher and, in my somewhat chaotic life at the moment, it was a breath of fresh air to walk into the studio, set up, and then fall into the rhythm of teaching.

It’s a way to regain an old love, you might say.

A few years ago I busted my knees. I’m not sure how. Perhaps it was just the usual wear and tear of actively, and daily, taking on a very rigorous sport. It happened after I was taking a Pilates class at college, so that might have had something to do with it too. I don’t know. Why now? I was barely twenty when it happened.

I can’t even begin to describe how much it knocked me over. I’d been dancing and competing since age eleven, and next to writing, it was the love of my life. I’ve yelled at Jesus so many times about it. Asked Him why. Begged Him to heal me. But He didn’t. I don’t know why, and perhaps I never will. Perhaps it’s just one of those happenstances of Life. But I still have my dance teaching, and I’m happily caught up in preparing my four beginners for competition. I don’t want to live through my dancers, but I’m finding another joy in being able to teach and coach them in the dancing world I’ve been in love with for so long.

Dancing (and teaching) is my element, you might say. I have other ones: Backpacking up in the mountains (more posts on that later. Such ecstasy!), Scottish country dancing (a group type of dancing, similar to Contra dance, that’s not so hard on the knees), kayaking out on Puget Sound, and camping with family and friends. All of these bring me joy, and I find myself lifted out of the dark, dank cloud of depression when I am living in them. They make me happy–something that is good and right. It is good to be happy, as it is good to have joy. There’s nothing wrong with happiness, despite what some Christian authors seem to be saying. If you struggle with depression as I do, I would encourage you to find things that make you happy. Is it getting a new job? Changing your lifestyle? Going to a movie with friends? Reading a good book? Watching that favorite romance movie? Taking up an activity like dance, martial arts, music, voice lessons, or the like? Find your element, enjoy it, and pull yourself up out of your depression. You have the power and control to make changes in your life. It’s possible to keep yourself on the up and up.

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