Jeannie Bruenning Author

Learning to Dance

It was one year ago today that I walked out of a Colorado Courthouse hand in hand with my new sidekick. We had prayed for that day and on that afternoon she was coming home with me for safe keeping.

It had been 16 years since we had a 16 year-old in our home. But how hard could it be? You take a kid from a troubled home with an abusive pass, whose every move has been in self-preservation, add love and whala – you turn it all around. 

Ha! It doesn’t work like that. Not in the least.

Tonight, our now 17 year-old young adult is embarking on the difficult journey of rehab. Drugs started out as her escape, then they took hold and now they are in control. 

As this week has unfolded, I’ve done a lot of thinking about this past year. I’ve learned so much. I have a new understanding of what families deal with when drugs enter their home. I know first hand the frustration of a broken system. I’ve felt the loneliness of hearing the words, “there’s nothing we can do to help.” 

But what I’ve really learned – is how to dance to the music that each day offers. Some days  we get to choose the tempo and style. Most days we have no control over any of it. 

The toughest days are when all you want to do is pass blame. When you wish someone would stand up and hold the world accountable, or at least the parent who abused or family member that turned a blind eye, or the social worker who was helpless.

Learning to dance isn’t easy, it requires learning to love – unconditionally. 

I read recently that our true self is simply love. Isn’t that beautiful. The core of who we are is love. When we offer the world our true self, we are offering them love.

It is then that our souls take over and we can dance our way through each day. Some days begin with hip-hop, turning to country and ending with jazz. Some days we get to do a soft shoe or the Charleston. Rarely does life play a waltz. 

Then there are the nights that a soft dirge fills the dark night and all you can do is keep loving.

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