How can I run from myself
The truth about people who keep running away
It's romantic in a way to run away from your problems.
It is one of our favorite language images: The hero's heart is broken or their dreams are stolen and so they set off. You reinvent yourself.
You start over.We like this stereotype because it's one that focuses on empowerment.
We like to believe that every fight we face can be won by simply choosing to leave. By changing our environment, changing the way we think, and preparing to start over.
We like to think that courage is enough to step out of our comfort zones and that it is all we need to reinvent ourselves.
And to a certain extent, this is the real truth. There are times in life when we need to detach ourselves. To step out of our normal environment. To give us the chance to change everything.
But this strategy has its limits.
The problem is that if you run away from things long enough, you inevitably realize that you're only really comfortable when you're always on the move.
For the people who mostly run away, leaving will always be more convenient than staying. Running away will always be easier than staying.
Packing up your life and placing it in a state of eternal chaos is your way of staying comfortable rather than struggling with inconvenience.
Because as long as you are always the one to leave, you are always in control.
You are the one in charge. You are the one who chooses this mess. When your heart breaks every single step of the way, then you are the one to break it. And you feel good there. You know how to deal with these self-inflicted wounds.
Leaving is not a real risk for you.
It is frightening to think that you actually stay. It's scary to invest something of yourself. The scary thing is to open yourself and your life to a situation or person or circumstance that is not completely in your control with no guarantee that it will work in your favor.
It's scary to build a life that you can't escape when something goes wrong and every nerve in your body flips into high alert telling you to get out there and protect yourself at all costs.
It's scary to be personally or financially or emotionally invested in something that you have a little less than complete autonomy over. That's what's out of your comfort zone. This is what is deeply and unmistakably terrifying.
The truth about people who run away from anything else is that they are no braver or braver than anyone else. They just feel good when they are in control.
They are comfortable with problems that can be resolved by buying a plane ticket, packing a bag, or moving on with whatever it is that is pulling on them.
They are comfortable with changes that they make themselves, but not with externally imposed changes. They feel comfortable in their physically agile bubble of emotional security.
And ironically, once you know that you are one of those people, the only cure is to follow the advice that started the whole cycle. The answer lies in stepping out of your comfort zone. It lies in staying when your impulses tell you to go.
It's about staying focused and focusing on what's important, even if it's unsettling and frightening you
Because at the end of the day, the entire art of living lies in this careful balance between staying and leaving.
It's about understanding when to run away and when to assert yourself. When to give in and when to stay strong. When to give up everything and start over and when to stay and fight for what you have.
At the end of the day we are all influenced by the original fear that we will not be enough - not enough if we stay, not enough if we go, not enough if we are hopelessly stuck between the two and never one way or the other hit.
And the only way to fight that fear is to challenge it - accept it, face it, and stare at it. Refusing to run away when it matters.
Because you know when it's important.
And it's what you do in those moments that ultimately makes the difference.
J.K. Rowling once said: "Numbing the pain for a while just means it's worse when you finally feel it", and I think that is largely not true.
Pain can be almost completely avoided, but the sadness that comes with avoiding it cannot.
If you are the person who runs away from everything, you have nowhere to be fully present. You know you won't stay so you look around. You look at everything that makes you the most alive.
When you run away from all your problems, you eventually run from yourself. You forget the person you could be if you stayed in one place, working through your falls, accepting your shortcomings, and then conquering them.
You forget that there is a version of you that is reliable, passionate, and strong. You lose the sense of pride you used to have when you show perseverance.
Because if you run away from all your problems, you will encounter infinitely more. You create a world within yourself that has to be traversed on tiptoe and is knocked over with ease. You are a landmine of unfinished wounds that bleed again at the slightest scratch.
You catch yourself constantly having to run farther, harder, faster to escape what you have inside of you. The further you run from your problems, the further you run from yourself. And the harder it is to find your way home.
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