‘Never underestimate the inclination to bolt.’ – P. Chodron
I heard the above statement earlier today and scribbled it down, along with a few random thoughts, which I am now sharing with you. It’s rather messy but that is life, so I’ll simply throw out some ideas.
We are often told to withhold judgement, as it is impossible to know what storm someone is walking through. Showing empathy goes a long way in letting others know they are not alone. That connection is vital, which is why initiatives like ‘Movember’ are so important in raising awareness for men’s health, both physical and mental, because that community support is essential to help break the silence and shame and support one another.
We all wear masks, but behind the smile may be a broken heart and although nobody can see it, the pain is unbearable with every breath. Most of us have been through tough times, which requires incredible strength and courage, to enable us to get back up and keep moving forward. We joke about ‘running away’ but we know we have to sometimes face the same challenge, more than once, to win it.
‘The strongest hearts have the most scars.’
We often use various means (hobbies or substances, work or other distractions) to distance ourselves from the way things are, when they are not how we want them to be. Our culture makes us believe if we stay busy enough the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us. When we feel uncomfortable, we want to bolt and if we can’t do that, our ‘distraction’ gives us something to do besides having our heart shattered by the painful events. It drowns out the madness of life.
This is very prevalent in our world today and sometimes the only thing to do is to not live in reverse and dwell on the pain of the past but to stay where you are, with what you are feeling, let yourself be vulnerable, and be in the present moment. This has been happening to me a lot recently, crying a bucket of tears, simply letting myself feel deep emotion instead of containing it. It takes courage to go there, resist the temptation to bolt or squash your feelings and instead, let them out and embrace who you are, while letting go who you think you’re supposed to be.
‘The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.’ – Socrates
Remember to be kind to yourself through this process and know you are enough. Don’t let someone treat you badly just because you love them:
‘Your level of belonging can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance.’ – Brene Brown
I hope these thoughts above encourage you and help someone out there who needs to hear it. Being a runner, let me end with some quotes that parallel running and the journey through life:
‘Go as long as you can, and then take another step.’
‘Relish the bad training runs. Without them, it’s difficult to recognize, much less appreciate, the good ones.’
‘Running is so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel you can’t. But then you find your inner strength and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.’