Do you ever feel like you’re running away from something? Something unfavorable that you’re too scared to address? Emotions, long to-do lists, being a better person, bad habits, etc?
Lately, 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. It's been years since I've run from things, or so I thought.
This kind of running is exhausting. Mentally and physically. My days are jam-packed with anything and everything I can think of. It’s my fault. I realized I live this lifestyle of filling voids with noise, workouts, social events, work, what-have-you, because I fear addressing what’s unpleasant, the truth- grieving hurts.
I went to church today. Yes, on a Monday. As I was sitting in mass it dawned on me. I'm running away from my own life. 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 getting up and running out of church as I so desperately wanted to do, I prayed 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 did my best to embrace it. In that moment I felt tears roll down my cheeks and thanked God for giving humans the ability to express emotion in such a way. I felt my fear – deep- my fear of loss, of love and being alone. And it hurt pretty badly, but afterwards, I was at a different level of emotion.
Recently, a friend told me I needed to feel and express 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 tugging at my heart. Avoiding the unpleasantness at all costs. “I’m strong, I’m OK, and I’m not broken.” And incessantly smiling and laughing in hopes that the unpleasant would just – 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… The parts that are dark and not filtered through social media. The parts that are real, raw and that make us human.
As one hand lay over my heart, I am aware it beats different now. It misses the rhythm, I wonder if it because the hole in my heart is now bigger. Being alone in my thoughts hurts, but I was able to feel all the emotions, raw as they may be. Bad things happen to all of us, bad feelings arise, but we have to keep moving forward. Face what you fear facing and leave it there. Then, with the strength you have left, move forward. Moving forward dose not mean forgetting, we will always carry those memories with us, we just lean how to live through the pain. I am blessed for the people who have prayed and supported me through this time.