How To Stop Running Away From Yourself
Running Away From Myself
I spent several years running away from myself.
For a long time, I thought I’d find happiness in someone other than me.
I wasted precious years looking for “the one” who would save me from the big, bad world. I thought that once I found him, my every problem would be solved. I foolishly believed I’d never feel sad, depressed or hurt ever again. I imagined the rest of my life would flow perfectly because the “most important” thing (to me) – my prince charming – had finally arrived.
Boy was I ever wrong.
I would be completely lost without my guy. Life is sweeter with him in it, that’s for sure. My “one” has brought me more joy than I ever imagined possible. He has given me a daughter more beautiful than I dreamed. Every day, he makes me laugh and gives me his love.
Prince Charming Can’t Solve All of Your Problems
I still have many of the same “problems” I had before he came along, though. I have relationship issues with the people I love the most. I get hurt. Sometimes I wake up feeling depressed, and I don’t know why. Other times, I feel like I’m fighting and clawing at life because nothing is working the way it should.
When it boils down to it, I am still running from myself, looking for the thing or the person who will solve everything.
Do you ever feel this way?
Places and Things Aren’t the Answer to Your Issues, Either
For a long time, I thought I’d find my happiness in places other than within myself.
I’ve traveled both to my local mall and across the ocean looking for…
I don’t even know what I’ve been looking for in those places when I think about this now…
In my running away, I’ve had some amazing, rich experiences. I’ve met the coolest people in the weirdest places. I had all the “alone” time an introvert could ever want. Yes…I’ve bought myself some fancy purses and shoes…
In my quest for <I don’t know>, even in the most awesome places in the world, I found myself very lonely. When I saw (arguably) the most beautiful man in the world (sorry, honey), Michaelangelo…I wanted to turn to a best friend and say…”Will you getta load of the size of his….
But I had no one to talk to.
To me, the most beautiful place on the planet is a village in the south of France called Antibes. My favorite thing to do when I was there was go to the open air market, buy a slab of meat, a hunk of cheese, some olives and a pastry, then walk myself to the shore of the Mediterranean to have a picnic.
I felt like I was in heaven. I got lost in in the buzz of the chatter of the people all around me. I read for hours. I got burnt to a crisp. I loved it.
But…I also hated it. I still longed for <I don’t know>. All that running away from myself had me feeling more alone than ever before.
Do You Ever Feel Like a Failure Because You Can’t Get It Done?
Lots has been going on in my life lately. I feel like there’s not enough time in each day to do the things I need to do, much less the things I want to do. I get up at 4 a.m. so I can get it all done, but at the end of the day, I still feel like a failure. Usually, I’ve barely made a dent in my list of to-dos.
I’ve been worn out. Stressed out. And too tired to enjoy the people and the things I love the most.
This past weekend, we went to my cousin’s wedding in California. It was beautiful. And happy. And perfect.
The day we got back, there was no food in the house because I haven’t had time to go grocery shopping in a couple of weeks (of course). My hunger was reaching code red proportions and my husband (who usually does the cooking) was attending to a commitment of his own.
Because we were in a state of emergency, my daughter and I set off to make the long trek (across the street) on foot to AJ’s grocery store for rations. (AJ’s has the most expensive groceries on the planet…It’s right in line with Whole Foods…I love them both, but don’t usually shop at either.)
Pay Attention to the Gifts Right Under Your Nose…Every Day!
When we got there, Paloma told me she wanted to have a picnic.
A light bulb went off.
We went to the deli and had some meat and cheese cut. We bought olives from the olive bar. She picked some strawberry milk from the freezer for her and tea for me. We bought boxed dessert from the patisserie.
Paloma and I went outside to a table where the weather was perfect and the birds were chirping. We sat. We unwrapped everything. We ate. We talked.
We had the most amazing time.
It was better than a picnic on the beach in the South of France.
Lesson Learned. Enjoying Life is Easier than We Make It.
Everything you need is already in your back yard. The same sun that rises in France rises here, too. Get back to the easy things…the things that made you happy when you were a kid.
Now that I think about it, I’ve been doing a lot of these things lately. I’ve just been too distracted and worried to enjoy them. Today, I am going to stop running away from myself so I can do more of this…
Fly a kite in the springtime.
Make homemade cupcakes and lick the spoon.
Get 8 (or 10) hours of sleep.
Go to the park to swing.
Roll around in the grass like a kid.
Sleep in on a Saturday.
Watch cartoons after sleeping in.
Load the tub up with Mr. Bubble and spend an hour in it.
Look at pictures of me and my family from when I was a kid.
Put money in an actual piggy bank to buy something special.
Tell someone who needs me that I love them.
How to Stop Running Away From Yourself
My three year old daughter is my greatest teacher. She is teaching me to stop running away from myself and to be present in every moment. If I would only “be” with her fully, there is so much I could learn just from watching her.
You always know where you stand with Paloma, because she tells you.
Can you be honest about where you stand with others?
If she wants to cry, she does.
Do you have the courage to express your feelings when you need to let it all out?
There is never a doubt in her mind that she can do, be or have anything she wants.
Can you shift your mind and start thinking like a three year old?
For today, stop running away from yourself.
Know you are enough.
Remember your perfection.
Learn to believe in miracles again.
Because, my friend, YOU are the miracle. YOU and THIS MOMENT are all you need.
Stop. Running. Away.