I used to be a runner, both literally and figuratively. I ran from emotions and uncomfortable situations. I ran from people and friends when they were getting too close, so they wouldn’t get to know the real me. I ran from relationships that were never right for me, straight into the next wrong relationship.
I also ran long runs to control my weight. I ran when I was tired. I ran when I was hurt. I ran when I was sick.
I am grateful my running shoes don’t get much action these days. I am grateful these days, I am learning to stay.
My spirit BFF Pema Chodron says staying is the cause of lasting happiness, the path to enlightenment. To me that means the business of staying is worth a shot. She also says escapism is the cause of suffering, and this -I know from personal experience- is the absolute truth.
Looking back, a lot of the times I ran it actually made sense. I want to see it as self preservation. I was getting out of things that were not good for me. It wasn’t intentional running though, it was a painful reaction to the life I was living. Learning to stay has a lot to do with building a GOOD life. A life worth staying for. It also has everything to do with learning to know and love myself.
Staying is a workout. It takes practice. It takes discipline and commitment. It is also imperfect. That is why we practice. I am learning to keep coming back, and learning to stay longer.
Today I am grateful for intentional running when it is necessary, and running for health. More importantly, I am also grateful I am not fighting the urge to escape. I am grateful today I actually do enjoy staying.