Run, Ria, Run..........
Updated: Sep 12, 2022
There's an epic moment in Forest Gump where he's being bullied by three boys on bikes. Jenny yells, "Run, Forest, Runnnnnnn....." Forest takes off; albeit, he's held back by the braces on his legs. Then, something incredible happens. The braces fall off and his pace becomes faster and faster. From that day forward, Forest became a runner.
That scene taught me that running isn't always literal. In the case of Forest, his mind may have had to outrun the limitations the doctors and his mom put on him. When I think about it, changing the subject when anyone brings up a touchy subject could be perceived as running. Running could be turning to a drink or joint to lift your spirits and escape reality. Traveling every weekend, concentrating on others vs. yourself, procrastination, etc can all be signs of running.
I remember the first time I ran. I begin running away from problems, people and life because it all became too much to handle. Stress and anxiety overwhelmed me. My basic response was to keep myself safe from harm, criticism, attacks, etc. Most of the time, I was afraid of going through what it would take to solve the problem. More often, I didn't have solutions (like really, what am I supposed to do when my mom's drug use exacerbates her mental illness). Fear of some kind kept me from dealing with or resolving the problem(s) I was facing.
It took decades of reading every self-help book known to man to realize that running a.k.a. avoidance was self-sabotage. Then, it took more decades to realize that it was all bullshit.
There is nothing wrong with running. In fact, I do three miles around the airport while I'm waiting for my flight every chance I get. There is nothing wrong with a respite!
We’re constantly faced with a social pressure to ‘face up’ to problems. We’re told to work through our pasts, our experiences, and our feelings to ensure we find a sense of closure. Only then can we move onwards and upwards. Good advice, in the main, but is too much of a one-size-fits-all approach!
Thank God I'm not one-dimensional. Running away can be just what we need, sometimes. Whether it’s an impromptu momcation or up and moving to a new city, it’s the feeling of freedom that’s breathed new life into my soul.
I believe some of the psych mumbo-jumbo---you know 'dealing with problems makes you a stronger version of yourself,' 'avoidance isn't a solution, It delays resolve,' 'make sure you're driven by your dreams, not pushed by your problems,' ..so on and so forth.
I'm still running....
running from remaining loyal to old patterns that no longer align with my growth; assuming caretaking responsibilities that are not mine to carry; defending poor choices; tip toeing around the truth; pretending others are healthy when they are not; walking on egg shells; lying about who I am to keep the peace.
Running away from your problems is a race you will never win; notwithstanding, a rest and reset (like the couple of seconds boxers get between rounds) can give you a second wind to go at it again.
Boy....the climb is exhausting, but the view is beautiful! Hang in there kiddos :-)