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The Urge to Run

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Every October I used to get this urge to run far away. Some people in New England call it Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m not big into labeling. I like to go deeper than that. So what’s wrong with wanting to run away every so often? It’s not like I actually DO run away every October, but maybe my heart does. People do Spring Cleaning in April and May. Maybe October is my Wall Building month. Maybe that’s when I question every relationship I have in my life at the time. Maybe that’s when I question my heart’s safety; when I question my choices and whether they have been healthy for me or not. I have to admit, I have lived most of my life making more than my fair share of unhealthy choices. So sometimes I need to check in with myself to make sure I am not falling into those patterns again.

I am not sure when it started but I remember the first October I didn't get the urge to run. I was in an honest, open and loving relationship. I made him jump through hoops to break down my walls. And he jumped. And he loved me. And I trusted him and all was right with the world. Until it wasn't. And before I knew it, October arrived again and I was ready to run. I was questioning everything again. But this time, I gave myself the time to sit with my questions. I honored the answers I found while digging deep into the darkest parts of myself. And I remembered one of the first Octobers that made me want to run away...

I will never forget the words: “You are the craziest person I have ever met!” I was young. I had no direction. And yes, I felt a bit crazy and I loved it. But when those words hit my ears, I began to question my actions. And more than that, I began to question my spirit. Right before he said it, I felt free and happy. And then BAM! I took the statement as an insult and started building a wall. I am sure he didn’t mean it that way. And even if he did, would that have been a good enough reason for me to reject a part of myself: so that another person doesn’t think I’m crazy? I was young. I didn’t know any better. I wasn’t grounded in myself and I most certainly was not rooted in love (either for myself or for another). For a good long while, I heard those words whenever I would go against the grain, whenever I would open my free spirit to fly, whenever I would go in the direction of my dreams that may be misunderstood by those around me, whenever I would speak my mind and get looked at as if I am the only person in the world who ever thought the thought that I let roll off my tongue. And 25 years ago, after those words were spoken to me, I put up a wall. It was one of the first layers of the wall that I built around my heart. And now, as my wall is coming down slowly, I see that I have finally reached it’s foundation. I can see one of the first bricks that was ever laid and I can hold it in my hands and lift it gently away from my heart and let it crumble.

Fast forward 25 years:

My words spoken as a disclaimer to a dear friend: “Warning: I’m a little bit crazy at times.”

Response: “You’re not crazy. You have a free spirit.”

I know this today. I know that we need to be true to ourselves in order to be true to others. I know that whenever I ignore a part of myself, I die a little. Whenever I throw insults at myself, I am pushing away a dear friend (me!). I know that whenever I make excuses to someone else for words or actions that I hold true for myself that I am denying them an opportunity to get to know me. I don’t need to explain myself to anyone. I just need to be me, rooted in love. I am on a constant journey back to the person I was before the wall was built. And sometimes I get triggered to the past and I think “Now may be a good time to run away or build a wall.” (say, every October). And then Love reminds me that walls are built to keep things separate and love is not meant to be isolated.

This October I am doing something I have feared. I am giving my everything to my dreams. I am making my dreams become a reality no matter what it takes. I am not giving up and I am certainly not running away. Should I feel that urge to run far away, I will take some time to myself and re-root in love. And then maybe I will turn to someone I love and welcome the removal of one more brick. And maybe I will run through a field of wildflowers before this seasonal affective disorder covers them with snow.


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