|Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash|
As I embrace and repeat these words, I feel like there are really three possibilities instead of two. You can be running away from something, running towards something or caught immovable in the middle, torn as to which way to go. I have been in all three places at one time or another.
Running away from definitely came when I worked hard to graduate a year yearly from high school and left home. Living with my parents at this point was simply a daily challenge. We were good people, but mismatched in so many ways. The conflicts that arose weren't because we disliked each other, but because we saw the world differently. They as parents hoped to change me. I only hoped to be told I was great as I was.
This was an early example, but one I think many can easily relate to. You can run away from a relationship, a change the seems too scary, a job, a hard choice. We can run away by physically moving and creating distance, or by ghosting - cutting off all contact without explanation, excising something you find unbearable from your life completely.
Being caught in the middle unable to move forward or back is a tough place to be. It's like being placed on hold when calling a business and sitting there frustrated as the clock ticks away. As with all things, there is a positive and a negative to this state. The negative is when it is keeping you from embracing life to its fullest and becoming all you can be. It may feel safe in that in between place, but it is actually purgatory. There is no joy in staying stuck in the middle.
The positive comes when it is a holding place to launch your next step. Think of an airport departure gate. You are there to wait for the plane to be ready, the crew arrive, the tank to be filled, the suitcases loaded and a safety check done. Only then can you walk on the plane, take your seat and head off on your adventure. Patience is needed when you hit a moment of pause in your journey. Just know it is purposeful and it will pass at the perfect time.
If you find yourself making a decision to run towards something, pause for a moment and ask yourself if what you are running towards is worthy of your effort? It doesn't matter if it is a dream, a job, a relationship or a relocation. What does matter is if you are running in the right direction. Sometimes our intuition offers the answer swiftly, but there will also come moments it takes time and a lot of soul searching. If the answer is yes, the run with abandon. If no, then let to and move instead in another direction.
Take a few minutes at least once a week to check in by asking yourself, "What am I running away from, and what I am running towards?" Then ponder the images that arise.