"Run, Run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man." The lyrics to this folktale lingers in my head as I think of all the times I attempted to outrun my past. There were times when I felt as though I was miles ahead of my past for it to catch back up with me. Running became second nature. Yes, I was good at running physically but I was even better with it emotionally. What I am saying is I ran from my problems. I am sure I am not alone in this. I ran from people who reminded me of my problems. Heck, I even ran from situations if it resembled my problem. If it made me feel uncomfortable or challenged me beyond my comfort zone. I ran from it. I avoided it. If it reminded me of a painful experience. I would change directions and run the other way. I think you get my point. Avoidance was my answer to anything that disrupted my easy going flow of life.
Until one day, it was a Monday to be exact, I decided that I didn’t’ want to run anymore. I realized that I had a choice. Not to mention, it had become mental exhausting. Running became a vicious cycle for me. A cycle where I could out run issue in my life that I wanted to ignore but then the same issue or another one would show up in another area. Yet, I still had to go back and deal with what I ignored. One day I stopped and then allowed the pain of my past to catch up with me. It greeted me with the most agonizing feelings I had ever felt. It brought along feelings of insecurity, doubt, rejection, and inadequacies just to name a few. These were a lot of the issues that I had outran, so I thought.
Yet, after the initial interaction with my pain and the help of my counselor, I realized facing this thing called discomfort yielded freedom and growth. I was growing beyond that which had control of me. The battles no longer had control of me. I realized that I wasn’t running from my pain, essentially my pain was chasing me hoping that I would address them. It wasn't the enemy. I became the enemy to myself by not facing what I was trying not to address. My pain could work for me if I allowed it. I could grow from the experience, if I allowed it.
It's designed help to reveal something inside of me that I didn’t know was there. Many great lessons were revealed through my interaction with my pain. I am glad that I decided to stop running, and face that which was only designed to build me, and grow me. I am now free from my past because I no longer allow it to chase me. I stopped running, will you?
A free woman.