One of my favorite movies is “Runaway Bride” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
In the movie, Maggie (Roberts) has a history of running away from each fiancee moments before she’s supposed to walk down the aisle to get married. Eventually after much introspection and self exploring, Maggie discovers that she runs away because she never truly revealed her actual nature, instead being a version of herself that each man wanted her to be. She ran away to avoid them discovering that she was being a watered down, fraudulent version of herself.
By finding a person who saw right through her in Ike (Gere), Maggie had to take time to seek and discover just what she had been running from. She ends up finding that the person she actually is happens to be totally lovable.
And they live happily ever after. *awwww*
Oh if only real life worked that way. I totally can relate.
The truth is, after years of being a chameleon and pretending to be what I think the world wants me to be, it’s not easy or simple to change into a place of acceptance of self.
It’s a lot of work undoing years of stomped down self worth and images falsely presented to others around me. While the acknowledgement that something needs to change is like this immediate “ah ha!” moment, the actual change takes time.
How much time depends on the individual. My journey is still ongoing, although I’m more at peace in the truth of who I am now than I’ve been at any point in my life.
I run away when I can’t maintain an image that others hold me to. To be fair, that image is one I’ve let them have of me or even offered up as a version of me. I run away before a person gets to know me fully because I’m afraid they won’t like the real me. I run away when I lie and I’m afraid to get busted. I run away when I’m scared. I run away when I feel unaccepted. I run away when I can’t hold on anymore.
I’ve run away when the situation warrants it, and held on to things I’ve shouldn’t. Mistakes made, lessons learned the hard way.
Lately I’ve been learning to stay, to face the mistakes I’ve made and fix them if I can, and learning to accept when there just has been too much damage done to go back and repair it. I’m learning that staying is not such a bad thing, and people should get to know me… because I’m actually quite awesome.
All I can do is live for now the best way I can, and that’s to end my cycle of running away from every gosh darn thing out of fear.
The journey has been about learning to love myself, accept myself, and understanding that the real me is good enough, no matter the circumstances. I dig the person I’m getting to know inside… and she actually happens to be totally lovable.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is this: When faced with adversity, we can do one of two things. Fight or flight. You would think flight would be easier, but no. It’s equally as hard, if not harder than fighting. At least with fighting, there’s a chance of winning with timely evidence and discussion. Fleeing, while a temporary and sometimes necessary escape, just prolongs the inevitable backlash for which time and pain has taken away the ability to be heard and the validity of argument. Sometimes flight is essential. Sometimes flight is best.
But I’ve found a history of running away to be a most difficult journey.