Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ballet and Repentance

Hey, World!

It's nice to come up for air after a month and a half of burying myself in school, church, and other activities!  I've had some Gospel parallels bouncing around my head, and I need to splatter them out on a page before I forget!  Don't worry, I can still pull Gospel analogies out of just about anything.  Three months isn't enough to put out the cheesy RM flames, yet!

Since my freshman year, dance has become a surprisingly big part of my life, especially considering the fact that I was never really interested in dance in any way before.  But on finding the International Folk Dance team,

(Shameless plug: come see the Folk Dance team's performance "Christmas Around the World!"  Use promo code "CAW2014" for $2 off each ticket, and make sure to drop the name "Katie Jacobson" when you do! ;)  End plug.)

I've found a great way to develop skills I never knew I had and work towards goals that literally and figuratively stretch me.  To work towards those big goals, and because it's just dang fun, I've taken a bunch of other dance classes, including intermediate ballet this semester.  I thought the class was just going to be a breezy, fun class.  Ha.

A few little notes about ballet: it's hard, and it's painful.  You cannot half-do anything, and you cannot do all the cool jumps and turns the imaginary ballerina in your head does whenever "ballet" comes to mind until you master the basics of posture, muscle control, turnout, muscle control, and so much more.

One day in class, after a particularly intense session of my teacher lovingly cranking my legs, pulling my hips, and poking my butt back into place (she does it because she cares, I swear!), I thought a bit about how I couldn't expect anymore to actually progress as a dancer if I just stay in my comfort zone--where my legs don't quiver and my heinee doesn't burn for days after class.  Though it might burn, the constant repositioning and tweaking and straining and stretching is what makes a good ballerina.

Now repentance.  You cannot half-do anything.  You cannot expect to have an unshakable, sea-parting testimony without mastering the basics of prayer, scripture study, exercising faith, attending church meetings, and so much more.  Staying in the comfort zone is not what repentance is about--"good enough" is not good enough.  Repentance is constant repositioning and tweaking and straining and stretching until you are a different person.  When you undergo true repentance, your very desires and the core of who you are are different.  And just like ballet, improvement never ends!  There is always something to work on, even when you think you're squeezing your seat tightly enough.  (Hypothetically speaking, of course...)

And just like ballet, we have a loving Teacher who cranks, twists, pulls, and pokes at us to help us reach the potential He sees in us.  He does it because He cares, I swear!  He helps us feel that "If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma 5:26).

It's not enough to avoid the bad.  We must constantly be seeking to fill our lives with good, and better, and better.  When we're comfortable, something is wrong.  (And usually there's a finger coming to poke your hindquarters back into place right soon to come.)  That's the fun of life!

This week, focus on overcoming any spiritual complacency or comfort.  Stretch yourself!  Throw more of yourself into improving than you did yesterday, and become a better person at the end of the day than you are now.  I promise, happiness comes from sore spiritual muscles.

I love you all!

P.s. My computer isn't letting me put pictures on this one... you'll just have to use your imaginations.