Have you ever wanted to chuck it all and buy a one-way ticket to Alaska? Bali? Costa Rica?
Sometimes people simply bolt when the going gets tough. There is the young mother who realizes her life isn’t quite what she’d dreamed of as a child – one day she’s folding a pile of laundry and the next day she’s gone without a word, running off with her personal trainer to who-knows-where leaving her bewildered husband scrambling to find emergency childcare for three small kids. (True story – I had a full-time job as a teenaged nanny that summer)
People run for all sorts of reasons. There’s financial pressure, or fear of being broke. Career pressure, or fear of failure. Parental pressure, fear of punishment. Relationship pressure, fear of commitment. Family pressure, fear of conflict. Social pressure, fear of being forced to conform.
Then there’s the running that happens when a person feels that they’ve done something so bad, so wrong, or so shameful that they just don’t feel like they can face the consequences. So they run from the scene of the drama, fleeing drug charges, another DUI, an affair, the fallout from the sex video that a colleague just discovered on the internet or whatever.
When an old, familiar pattern of running is present, this is a good indication that there is a disowned aspect that is in charge of this behavior. I’ve known dozens of people who’ve had a part I call the Runner, including family members and one of my closest friends, Sheri Zampelli.
Sheri ran away from an abusive home as a teenager and kept on running for many years, reinventing herself several times along the way. Eventually, she caught onto herself when she discovered that she couldn’t escape herself no matter how fast she ran. After determining that bailing every time the going got rough wasn’t turning out very well, she decided to stay put for awhile and see what happened.
The pattern of running doesn’t necessarily entail moving to a new city or state, although it certainly can. It can also manifest as running from job to job, relationship to relationship or even as creating a new identity every few months or getting a new set of friends. The identifying feeling related to this pattern is the overwhelming urge to flee when faced with a difficult situation.
The fight or flight urge is a normal, natural, biological imperative that is inherent in each of us when an adrenaline rush is present, predating the caveman who fled from the saber-toothed tiger. The urge to bolt when fear is present, from the perspective of our DNA’s most basic programming, is perceived by our body as nothing short of a life-saving measure. Instinct kicks in and says, ‘Quick! Run for your life! Head for the hills!’
If you are dealing with this patterning, it is important to begin to cultivate an inner sense of safety. The more evolved part of yourself may get that you are not in any real mortal danger – the conflict is psychological, not physical – but it is the basic brain that needs to hear it. This means that a shift in your belief system is necessary at the cellular level in order for your body to begin to feel safe under pressure. I encourage you to apply compassion liberally as you forgive yourself for buying into any irrational beliefs related to your particular pattern of running, letting go of the idea that conflict is dangerous or that you might die if you stay.
From your soul’s perspective you absolutely do have whatever it takes to stick it out, face whatever is happening and deal with it. The safety is in the Loving, knowing that on the soul level, you are just learning and evolving, and that you are indeed capable of handling any life lessons that come your way. In fact, just by deciding to believe that you are safe and capable, you can even choose to face whatever you fear most with grace and ease.
Is there a part of you that runs when things become difficult? Be willing to be honest with yourself.
Today, my friend Sheri is a strong and powerful woman – a well-respected professor at a local college, DJ, author, speaker and visionary leader – who’s story of overcoming adversity and addiction is an inspiration to everyone she touches. She is now filled with courage, tenacity and the ability to stick despite whatever fears may arise. In a recent speech, Sheri shared that instead of running away, she now runs toward her life – her goals, her visions, her healing – directing 100% of her energies into creating the life of her dreams.
If Sheri can do it, so can you. Decide that you are capable to handle your life lessons with grace and ease. Decide that you are safe, that it is safe for you to stick when challenges arise. Say, “I now decide to stick when the going gets tough.”
Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom
Action Step ~ Spend some time today identifying the irrational beliefs that have been fueling your old pattern of running. Apply compassion and create new, more empowering beliefs that support you to thrive. Declaration: “I now decide to stick when faced with a personal challenge. My safety is in my connection to my source of Loving. I have all of the internal resources to deal with my life lessons. I am now completing my spiritual curriculum with grace and ease.”
Additional Resources: Check out my friend, Sheri ‘Galvanized’ Zampelli, for more inspiration at www.Iamgalvanized.com