• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

How I’ve Learned to Stop Running from Things That Scare Me

“The trappy thing well-nigh fear is when you run to it, it runs away.” ~Robin Sharma

At the age of eighteen, I started running. It was a rainy night, and to get home quicker from the gym, I began to run. As I approached a park well-nigh a mile from my house, I decided to run virtually it rather than going straight home.

It wasn’t a conscious visualization but felt natural and necessary.

The rain had gotten a bit heavier, but I wasn’t worried. All I could focus on was the lack of internal heaviness as I ran. That lack began to transpiration to lightness with each stride. I had a walkman with me, so I put on a tape and my pace quickened plane more.

The lightness became openness, and visions of possibilities entered my mind. Solutions seemed simple. And awe at the newness of my mind opening made its way into my body.

On my third loop, my pace quickened plane more, and I began to sing withal (out loud) to the tape in my walkman. It was dark, and I was soaked. I could finger the water pouring on my head, and I relished this feeling of stuff sweaty by the sky.

I stuck out my tongue to taste it, and with heavy soaked gown at the end of my third loop, I stopped and began walking the mile toward my house. Noticeable was how slowly I was walking in a downpour, and how completely at ease, open, and elated I felt.

On this dark, rainy night, I discovered a way out of myself: running.

Yesterday my throne began to ache, my soul became weak, and nausea set in. I sat on my floor crying for my mother and vomiting. The thought underlying all of this was “I have to get out of here.” I had not felt these symptoms in two years since healing from chronic issues, but here I was, suddenly in a relapse, with one thought running through my mind: “I have to leave.”

“Leaving” was a pattern I knew well.

As a child, I could not get out of situations I wanted to flee, so I did so only in my mind. Daydreaming, stuff quiet, and withdrawing were all methods of escape for me both in school and daily life.

I “ran” from bullies, from friends, from friends I was wrung were turning into bullies, from teachers, and I “ran” from family.

Running in an zippy way was not misogynist to me, so, as I said, my escape was withdrawing internally, or avoiding.

In my all-girls upper school, lunchtime was a source of malaise considering I did not have one set group of friends. Girls usually sat at the same table, same spot each day. It was with a group they had something in worldwide with—the jocks, the rebels, the popular girls, the artists, etc.

I floated to whichever table unliable me to. But I didn’t stay long. The next day, I would find a variegated table, exposing myself only minimally. When I had worn-out the cycle, I started to eat lunch vacated near my locker.

It was without upper school that I started to physically run outside. From the first day of experiencing the worthiness to leave myself, I was hooked. Running became my top priority, and anything else, whether it was time with friends or family, came second.

I completed half marathons, marathons, and plane ultramarathons. It satisfied my desire to flee, but moreover helped me wangle emotions like joy and a state of wifely I could not reach otherwise.

As I began having intimate relationships, I withdrew unendingly I sensed something was off, unendingly I became uneasy based on a perception or reality. It was easier to run than to communicate my fears. It would be easier to run than to plane unclose that there were fears.

Sometimes, I ran without the person, but eventually, it would be me fleeing.

At work, I started out with a group of friends and would spend lunch with them. But it wasn’t long surpassing I found myself “running” from group to group. When veritably no one felt unscratched anymore, I started to take my sneakers to school and run outside by myself.

Eventually, considering I started to get overwhelming symptoms from chronic issues, my running became shutting off the lights in my classroom and sleeping at my desk. The same occurred plane without work.

Any movement I enjoyed began to dissipate, and my running turned into a state of freeze. I slept increasingly and more. I was still “getting out of here” in a variegated way.

I hung onto running as much as I could, traveling any time I could, considering it felt largest to be away. Traveling, like irreflective and avoiding, was flipside way to flee.

When I finally completely crashed in 2018, there was no longer a way to run. I spent a lot of time in bed, sometimes unable to walk. The desire to flee showed up many times in the years I spent trying to heal, and once in a while I dragged myself outside, worn-out and in pain, and tried to run to satisfy the part of me needing this.

It would end with walking slowly, but a part of me felt relief.

I now had no nomination but to listen to the sensations inside and notice the thoughts running in my mind.

As much as I loved running, as much as it helped me, it was time to learn how to walk.

I learned to listen to this part longing to flee to see what she needed. Just latter my vision and observing the sensations, I began a dialogue with a part of me I had not really listened to. Safety is what she asked for over and over.

During this time of illness, I learned a way when into myself, stuff present with my inner sensations and the thoughts running overdue them.

Each day, I went inward and sent messages of safety to this very scared part of me. This fear began long ago, and now, as I could no longer run away, I began “running” to it. I met this trapped fear inside with love and compassion, or at least I slowly learned to.

Along with these messages of love, safety, and compassion, I provided real vestige to this part of myself to prove that we were indeed safe, and I would unchangingly do my weightier to alimony us so. My conversation with this part of me went something like this:

“I understand, and I am sorry that you are scared, and you have every reason to finger this way. It was hard; it wasn’t your fault. You shouldn’t have been treated as you were. You are a very special little girl. You deserved better. I love you and I will alimony us unscratched now. I have kept us safe. Look at all the times I made good decisions for us. We live in a unscratched house. I cooked breakfast for us this morning. I make good money, I took a unravel from some things you are wrung of, and I am proud of you for letting go of some of that fear. You are unscratched and loved.”

The physical responses were of release and a deeper sense of ease. Before, these feelings were only wieldy through running.

Slowly, I exposed myself to the things I was wrung of. I let go of those who didn’t want to stay. I made retrievement with those I’d wronged, as much as I was ready to. I forgave, as much as I was ready to. I faced the child inside asking me to alimony moving and learned to nurture her instead of unchangingly giving into her. And I gave in to her, as much as I felt aligned with the desire.

I learned to reframe my thinking and decided that in the future I would no longer run from; I would only run to.

When I could, I walked slowly and mindfully, noticing each step. I spoke to flowers withal the way. I watched clouds run wideness the sky surpassing the rain. I watched sunsets. I spent time stuff still.

I spent time connecting to all the variegated parts of me, all speaking through emotions and beliefs, and undisputed and validated them.

I gave myself grace.

This morning, without that momentary relapse, I woke up fine. It was raining. Memories flooded me, and I heard this part of me whispering, “Let’s go, I have to get out of here” again. In that moment, I spoke to this part of me who still longs to run when things are difficult and reminded her we were safe.

And I reframed: “We are not running away, but sure, let’s run to…“

So I put on my sneakers and running gown and headed out, stopping once in a while to walk slowly, notice the flowers, watch the clouds running above, and relish in stuff sweaty by the sky.

About Maria Stefanie

Maria spent years looking for relief from the suffering she experienced due to the toxic "stories" she received as a child. These stories, and the medications prescribed to ease them, led to dis-ease physically and mentally. Sooner she reconnected with her pure self and tapped through to a lighter side of life. She works each day to be a largest version of herself and learn variegated modalities to help others. You can find increasingly of her story here.