It’s Not About Running From-It’s About Running To

This week I have felt like running away, similar to how my now 12-year-old felt when he was just 4! He was mad about something and for the life of me I cannot remember why he was so angry. I do however remember he was intent on getting out of Dodge. I said to him, “I am so sorry you want to run away. We will miss you desperately if you go”. He turned around with those big hazel eyes, head full of curls and pouty lips and said, “I’m running away no matter what”. He quickly disappeared and made his way upstairs to gather his necessities for the journey. Carefully, he chose his Batman duffle bag he used frequently for play dates and trips to grandparents and filled it to the brim. Curious about what he had stuffed in his small bag, I opened it to find it was full of pajamas, underwear, and his stuffed animal he slept with, affectionally called “Night Night”! Somehow even at 4, my child knew to pack his bag with the things that brought him comfort.  With his bag in tow, he slowly opened the front door and slightly turned his head to look at me. It was as if he wanted me to say…”Please don’t go…we need you…you belong here…I know you are upset…let me comfort you…it will get better….you are loved”.

Honestly, I have 100 percent felt like the four-year-old version of him for the past few weeks. I have wanted to pack my bags with all things comforting and get the hell out! It is hard sometimes! And the feelings that come with hard are so damn uncomfortable! Sometimes it feels like you just want to jump out of your skin!

Before I had all the responsibilities I now have, I did not understand how parents could bail on their children or their families…how in the world could they leave a note that says something to this effect “Dear Family, I really do love you, but I am leaving.” I better understand that feeling and have much compassion for those who are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and at their max! For my readers, don’t worry, I am not going to run away and abandon my family (in the end, neither did my child). I do, however, want to be transparent and own that I have fleeting moments where I think to myself how nice it would be.

The truth is that running away just to get away from hard, uncomfortable, and messy doesn’t solve anything. In fact, those same feelings will show up in another town, state, country, or continent. They are universal and a part of the human condition. What if instead of running away, we focused on running to something that is greater for ourselves. Indeed, this could be in another continent, and it could also be in your current backyard.

Here are 3 things to run to when you feel like running away:

  1. Nature. Nature is a gift that is at our fingertips. It offers us great wisdom if we can be still, be aware, and listen. Find a time this week to be still in nature and observe. Consider journaling about your observations and what nature is teaching you.
  2. Friends/Family who lift you up: If you don’t have friends or family who are life giving, bring out the best in you, cheer you on, find some! This is a time to be with these folks! Try scheduling time this week with those who give you life.
  3. Laughter. This could be the same group of friends or family that bring you life. It could be a different group. Watch a funny movie. Reminisce about a funny memory. Whatever you do this week, make time for belly laughing. Run to the laughter and join in!

If you are struggling with running away, I get it! I know the feeling. You are not alone! The good news is that there are many things to run to…get busy running to the things you desire in life!

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