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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Gillis, LMHC

What are you running from?

"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.

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