What Are You Running Away From, or Running Towards?

Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash

So many
random thoughts appear during the wee hours on sleepless night. I wish I could get my muse to speak to me midmorning instead as I sit at the computer with a cuppa in hand, but I guess the outside world makes too much noise then. I also have no idea what piece of gold my heart was trying to hand me when this phrase arose, standing on it's own, with no obvious attachments to guide me. It was simply a question offered...a trail of crumbs to follow.

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.  

There are times running away can be the right thing to do - an abusive relationship, a toxic environment, a dead end job, situations that bring a sense of hopelessness. There are other times running away holds us back from facing our fears and growing. We need to stand strong and shine a light into the dark corners, to evict unwelcome memories and old negative tapes. Only you can know whether it's time to leave or stay. 

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. 

Last is
running towards.  This brings such beautiful images to mind - running towards a beloved one who just arrived for a visit, running towards the ocean on a warm sunny day, running with joy towards a beautiful future.  Of the three, this is the one that calls us the most and seems to be one hundred percent positive.  I think most of the time it is, but there are times it isn't.  I have caught myself running towards unrealistic dreams that came from outside me, from the world,or my head rather than from my heart. I moved forward ignoring my intuition desperately trying to get my attention while screaming NO!

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.