Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stop Running - Start Living

We all at one time will run away from something – a situation, a person, a past, friendship, success, love, an opportunity, making mistakes, etc. We run out of fear, out of a previous negative experience. We run from the unknown to something safe and comfortable. We will run because of the past and the marks that have been left upon us – put up walls, avoid getting hurt at all costs, avoid getting taken advantage of or used. Survival and instinct will tell us to run, and again - run we will. Eventually it will dawn on us that we will continue to have the same merry go round existence by repeatedly running away from what we fear.

But what if someone told you that you would not fail and no reason to fear – that you have no reason to run because you will succeed – you will not get hurt, used, abused, taken advantage of; the opportunity will allow you to grow and become a better person, the past can be dealt with. How many of us are running at any given point from something. Think of what you could accomplish by staying put and facing the situation head on. How much you would learn, how much you would grow, how you would be a happier and more satisfied person by dealing with what you are running away from.

Running does not make anything go away – staying put to face what you are running from head on and getting to the root of the problem will. Easy, right? Not at all - It takes a strong person to face their demons and to fight the urge to run. But we are all capable of staying and seeing what transpires by facing the inevitable. Uncomfortable – yes, unknown and scary – yes; but that’s life. Of course we have to deal with unpleasant situations, of course things don't turn out exactly as expected. But, we must persevere and do what we can to make things better. Life is about constant struggle and the lessons learned during these struggles. Too many of us see ourselves as long suffering victims instead of the strong, fearless person we are capable of being.

No matter how sad our stories, we all have a choice – run or stay. There is no getting around this. Most people in the world, could only dream of having the opportunities we have. Next time you are feeling sorry for yourself and running, think about how lucky you really are. Buck up. Work through the difficulties. It's part of growing up. Life is meant to be lived, and living means moving forward – in a metaphorical sense; continually growing, learning, becoming a better person.

One day you will be 80 – will you look back and think:

‘I sure am glad I didn’t take that opportunity – that would have been way to much work’
‘It was a good thing I turned blind eye to my own mistakes - avoiding rather than handling them straight on.’
‘I’m happy I never confronted the person who hurt me – I enjoyed carrying this baggage around because of it’
‘I didn’t deserve to be loved – good thing I never allowed anyone to get too close for comfort’

Or will you have no regrets, no what if’s and instead be thinking:

I am so fulfilled and satisfied, I have lived my life by facing situations head on; I have grown, I have taught and been a mentor, I have loved and been loved, and I have taken every opportunity to create my own successes. I made many mistakes along the way. Things that I have done "right" have helped me move my life forward. Things that I have done "wrong" have provided me with valuable lessons to help me move my life forward. I have learned too much to have any regrets.’

Personally, I think the choice of which any of us would rather have is easy.

Stop running and start living.

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