Stop Running From What You Fear

Do you ever feel like you’re running away from something? Something ominous that you’re too scared to address? Emotions, long to-do lists, being a better person, bad habits, etc.

I feel like that all the time. But, it wasn’t until recently (maybe even today) that I realized I’ve been living in a perpetual state of running. And, not the endorphin producing kind I’m obsessed with.

No, this kind of running is exhausting. Mentally and physically. My days are jam-packed with anything and everything I can think of and I’m constantly complaining about how “busy” I am. But, it’s my fault. And, I realized I live this lifestyle (see blog post: Why is it so Hard to say “No”?) of filling voids with noise, social events, work, what-have-you, because I fear addressing what’s unpleasant.

I went to church today. Yes, on a Monday. And, as I was sitting in mass it dawned on me. I’m tired of running. I’m tired of running away from what I’m scared of feeling, thinking, doing.

My anxiety was pretty high, but instead of walking out of church, as I so desperately wanted to do, I prayed and asked God to allow me to feel these feelings that I’ve been pushing aside for so long. I felt the tightness in my chest and I embraced it. I felt the tear roll down my cheek and thanked God for giving humans the ability to express emotion in such a public way. I felt my fear – my fear of being alone, of loss, of love. And it hurt pretty bad, but afterwards, I was at peace.

Recently, a friend told me to feel whatever emotions I was feeling, because if I push them aside, it’s only going to backfire down the road.

I halfheartedly listened to her. But, she was right. I had been spending my days “busy” to avoid feeling these feelings. Pushing forward without addressing what was biting at my heart. Avoiding the unpleasantness at all costs. “I’m strong.” “This doesn’t bother me.” “I’m not broken.” And incessantly smiling and laughing in hopes that the unpleasant would just “poof” – disappear.

It doesn’t work that way though, so I’ve come to find out.

There is beauty in addressing the parts of us that aren’t that pretty. That are dark and not filtered through Instagram. The parts that are real and that make us human.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said:

If you can’t fly, then run.

If you can’t run, then walk.

If you can’t walk, then crawl,

But, whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.

Bad things happen, bad feelings arise, but we have to keep moving forward. By holding onto feelings, events, people we hinder ourselves from being able to move forward. We keep ourselves chained to what we’re scared to address. Face what you fear facing and leave it there. Then, with the strength you have left, move forward.

P.S. – This was some pretty deep “stuff” that I was actually pretty scared to share.

P.P. S. – Boom. Already facing fears.

 

 

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I overcame an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression with the help of this wonderfully amazing thing called running. And that's why I'm here - to share my story and to help those who are going through what I've already gone through. On this blog you'll find running tips, mental health tips, and lots of joy. Join me as we piece life together one run at a time.

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