Dancing with the Devil

mental fitness Mar 07, 2023

I remember when I couldn't say his name.
Uttering the word just seemed odd
made it weird
and unreal
Like he was just some made up monster talked about by evangelical preachers screaming about fire and brimstone and snakes
Then I heard the word Enemy 

so many times,
I thought, 

Ain’t that BS.
The word Enemy just didn't seem strong enough 

for the war waging in my head
it was.
Seems like a battle worthy name after all
He is hard
And stubborn
And loud and incessant
Like A big ole bully twice failed from the fifth grade that doesn't ever let up on you even after you've ratted him out to both teachers and the principal, your Mom, your Dad and everyone in the lunch line that would listen to you complain
So, I eventually got used to saying the word out loud.
First to myself
and then to others
It was weird until it wasn't
Now I don't care

I’ll say 

The devil this
The devil that

To anyone 

I care more about beating him down every single day
Than what someone else thinks of me as the two syllables rolling off my tongue and into the very air he's trying to take from my lungs
He comes in the craziest
tiniest moments
He comes in big bad waves washing out my whole day
He comes at night in tears
staining my pillowcase and
In loneliness keeping me awake
He comes in pain on both sides of my hips
Down my legs and up my spine
Begging for sleep and
Denying me relief 

from my pain that pulsates through me endlessly
He even comes before my feet hit the ground in the morning
trying to rush me from praise and prayer for the blessing of new breath and a new day
He comes in rejection
when people tell me no
abandon me
Leave me
let me down
And walk away
He comes in yes when I want another day to procrastinate
Slow down my success and shrink myself into a lesser then version of my best
He comes in the shower when I'm vulnerable and bare
breaking down that I can't go on another day
He comes to fight dirty
and he comes to fight mean
Low blows
Hard hooks
Lots of gut and
sneaky sucker punches
He has no remorse
And an intolerance to please
and no thanks
He's rude
And knows exactly where to radiate all the pain points 
But just as he taunts me enough to rattle my patience
Just as he shakes me to the edge of losing it
Of believing him
And leaning into his name
For false comforts
lies and deceit
I remember who I am
And I start stepping into him
With him
And Besides him
In every tune
and on every beat
It's a dance all over my heart
And inside my mind
For Fighting him takes too much energy like a child's tantrum
Wearing me out way too fast 
To withstand his heat
But dancing
I can do

I’ve been doing it my whole life 

Dancing with death 

And regret 

And pain 

Dancing with risk 

And disaster 

And sometimes complete defeat 

Dancing with memories of where I was

what I’ve lost 

where I’ve come from 

and all the in betweens

Dancing with fear 

And dancing with a bravery 

That only old battle wounds can feel the beat 

Dancing gives me a chance
to catch my breath
And slowly slide out from under his dark powerful wings

Fighting just steals the oxygen 

My heart works so hard to keep feeding me 
Dancing lets me lead him on
and make him falsely believe
I have succumbed to his shallow seeds

Fighting gives him a chance to block my punches

Anticipate my next move 

Bob and weave and get out from under my feet
Fighting makes me feel crazy
Like what's wrong with me
He's getting to me 

and this is not what I need

But dancing gives me peace 

Time to step forward
as he steps back
seconds to slip side to side
Rocking righteously
for the kingdom I know holds a place for me
If I fight him 

He corners me in his worries and lies
He can king Fear a battle leader
and charge me down the wrong way of life
But As long as I keep dancing 
He can't win
As long as I keep moving
He can't get a grip
As long as I keep
Dancing in my own rhythm
I have a peaceful pace my soul can seep 

into all the secret places 

Where the devil can’t see
Dancing with the devil
looks like 
Saying his name

Out loud
and awkwardly

And surrendering to the release 

Dancing with the devil looks like
Feeling his pain
And seeing his schemes

But in the uttering his name
He loses his pace

And I win the chance to keep pursuing 

My race

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