What Are You Running From?

I was constantly running, literally and figuratively

Running away from fear

Dodging vulnerability

Slipping past confrontation, with a sweet smile plastered on my face

I’d slide my Asics on and pound pavement for hours on my own

A part of me feels I chose longer races, because it gave me more time in my head

More time to run from feelings, sensations and my body

It distracted me

It gave me an identity

If I didn’t know who I was, then at least I could be the gym bunny, runner or the fit girl

The girl that ran marathons

It gave me a sense of significance and accomplishment

I was somebody

And I did something the majority of people didn’t

Yet, there was a hollowness

A continual seeking for more

I ran from intimacy, thinking when the right person came along I’d suddenly be who I desired to be

Open, expressive and vulnerable

When things started to spiral I wanted to run from life

To find an island I could rest on for a year

I learned on a visceral level that wherever you go, there you are

And when my body forced me to stop running literally, I was also forced to stop running from everything else

I resisted at first

I didn’t know how to be with it and so I’d put my running shoes back on and head out

Something had shifted though because I didn’t get the same reprieve 

I couldn’t run as far

I traded my Asics in for a yoga mat

Slowly but surely, I met myself

I met my pain, my fear, my shame and my inner child.

I met my inner critic, beliefs and identities that were running the show

I began to remove masks and reveal more of who I really was

I discovered truths, creativity and expression

I moved from girl to woman

I started to access my heart, as the shield dropped

I discovered the power and beauty within that pain

It softened me

It opened me

Unlike the suffering creating by running, which hardened and closed me

I tapped into depths of my vulnerability

Experienced more intimacy than I knew my soul desired

There are still moments when I want to run

In those moments I now have so much more awareness and can create the safety that part of myself needs

Now there are days I pull out the running shoes and instead of running, I spend time in nature feeling my heart beat

Feeling the burn in my lungs and legs as I climb a hill

I feel the cool morning air, the stillness of the forest

That stillness reminds me of all the subtleties that can be picked up in silence 

The unspokens and unexpressed 

The secrets and whispers

Stillness is something I crave now

Something I’ve developed a relationship with 

And something I learn so much from

What do you run from?

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