When the reflex to run kicks in, it is a real challenge to be honest with ourselves. Are we about to leave because we don´t want to deal with what is in front of us or is it because we are about to take a great opportunity in our life. One reason, why this is difficult to tell is that we often don´t know if what we are walking towards is going to pan out, if it is a true opportunity, or just wishful thinking. So how can we make the best choice about when to run (because we are on fire for something) or when to stay put (in order to once and for all deal with something)...
Monday, June 17, 2013
Running Away From or Towards Something?
Three years after we bought our house, I began to get restless. It was the rhythm at which I would move in the past. I loved moving and realized I had to deal with this "wanderlust" now, since moving was not an option. Thinking about this subject, I had to admit that it was nice to stop moving on and that I could put that energy into my marriage and my business. In that respect, staying put was a blessing. But what about all the things I loved about moving? I learned to incorporate those characteristics in a different way into a more grounded life. I started to go through our home room by room and collected items for a garage sale. When moving, it would always come natural to leave things behind, to de-clutter. I also decided to investigate different neighborhoods in the city, just like I used to do when I would move to a new neighborhood. The thrill and fun were the same, plus I did not have to go home to a house full of boxes, wondering where my favorite book was that I wanted to re-read, or I improvising making dinner because all my kitchen utensils were in place and ready to be used.
This experience taught me that being on the go is not always necessary. It also does take a toll on my energy level. But an even deeper insight was that my relationships were able to develop further, even with casual acquaintances, like neighbors, the dentist, grocery store staff and such. I found that part very satisfying and also somewhat scary, because it was new.
Now, whenever faced with a decision whether to take a leap for something new, the question comes up that I got out of my experience about moving. "Am I running towards something great, or am I running away from something I just don´t want to deal with?" Because when moving every so often, I did not have to deal with certain things, knowing I was not going to be there for long. It is of highest benefit to find the answer to that question, before doing either. Whereas we want to grow in our life´s aspirations and goals, it is also important to free ourselves from patterns that keep catching up with us.
One thing I learned throughout my several moves is that anything I hoped to leave behind, eventually showed up again in a new version. The challenge with a partying and up all night room mate from college reappeared as the noisy neighbors or the thundering omnipresent sounds from the close-by highway. Real freedom comes from figuring out how to take care of ourselves in such situations, like when noise is bothersome to us. There are tricks and processes to get to a happy place with it. Clearly, the goal cannot be to have zero noise from the environment.
Honesty is the best approach when answering the question about running away or toward something. Also, pause is a powerful approach. When we sit still and ask ourselves what the running will get us, the answer will appear. The important aspect of that is that we are not looking for the ONE right answer. That would never be satisfying and a hopeless quest. We need to search for the answer that is the right one for US. We need to have strategies that we are backing up 100 per cent. Otherwise it is not the right thing to do. We will end up sabotaging ourselves, finding many excuses and only putting our energy in haphazardly, proofing our doubts and our reservations right.
To summarize and answer the question am I running away or towards something:
Honesty - pause - our very OWN right answer - GO! Whatever direction that is, is the right one for you. May you always run excitedly towards something great or swiftly from something harmful.