Someone close to me recently had decided to move away and begin a new life and then suddenly 3 days later changed their mind and went back to their old life. In their explanation they said that they felt that they couldn’t run away from their problems and they realized that running away from them wasn’t the right thing to do.
Which prompted me to feel hurt and admonished because basically that is what I did a little over 8 years ago. I ran away from my life when it fell apart and I had no idea what to do next. For a brief moment I felt ashamed of myself and the fact that I ran away.
So the question arises is running away always the wrong thing to do or can it sometimes be exactly the right choice?
I agree that running away doesn’t solve your problems. You carry with you any problems that are inside you. And some problems and situations follow you wherever you go. If you are just running away to hide or ignore problems rather than face and deal with them then maybe you do need to face them directly. If you are running towards something like a new career or lifestyle then isn’t that a good thing? Even if you are leaving a situation that is full of issues and problems?
Isn’t moving to a new place and creating a new different life a great way to change your life and resolve some issues and problems you have been having? If nothing else moving away even briefly can help see your life and yourself from a different perspective. You can even discover new solutions and opportunities that you had no idea existed or that didn’t exist in your current environment.
I didn’t run away to create a new life. I did run away from the life I was being left with and the choices that were in front of me. I didn’t like the options and choices I was being presented with. I had no idea what I could do or what I wanted. I just felt like I had to get away.
My first year away I didn’t make any attempt to create a new life. I just lived in the present moment. I focused on what was there happening where I was. In reality I was hiding out. I was far away from family and friends at a retreat center. Not having a clue what to do next I took an opportunity to volunteer at a retreat center just so I could get away from the life around me and from the life I was expected to live and the choices I thought I was expected to make. At the time I wasn’t running towards anything. I really was just running away from my situation and the problems that existed.
After much time just being and living day to day I did begin to ponder and explore ideas of what I wanted in life, what kind of life was important to me and to consider beginning to create that life. Running away from my life and the problems around the life I was living and the problems within myself was exactly what I needed. It turned out to be the blessing I needed.
I could have chosen to return to the life I was left with and rebuild my life from all the broken pieces. I didn’t choose that. I chose instead to move to a new place and begin over again. Not only create a new life for myself but to reinvent myself too. This has been the best decision I have ever made.
It could have fallen apart or been a disaster or not worked. At any time I could have changed my mind and returned home. The truth is that home didn’t exist anymore in the place I had grown up or lived. It isn’t even really in this particular town and community that I live in now. It is home because I am here and I am here.
Home is not always a particular place. It is a place within myself. For me home is where my heart is, where I am at peace, content and happy.
The ocean is my home. That is where I am content and at peace. Enjoying a meal and a glass of wine with people who I enjoy their company with is home. Traveling to new places is home. Meeting new people is home. Sailing on the ocean is home. Visiting with my children is home. Visiting and traveling with my sister is home.
In a way you could say I am always running away. I love to go somewhere new. I know that I could pack up and begin over again in another place. I may someday. In fact the idea intrigues me. So I may just run away again someday.
I believe that running away isn’t always the wrong thing to do. I don’t believe it is a bad choice. Starting over can be the best choice. It all depends on what is in your heart and what is the best choice for you.
So what do you think? Is running away a good choice or a bad choice? Is someone wrong for choosing to walk away and begin again? Is the only way to solve problems by facing them head on directly where they were created? Or can a change of environment change perspective, open new opportunities and resolve issues and problems in a different way?