When I was younger I went on a camping trip with friends. We were walking aimlessly around the campgrounds when out of nowhere a huge dog appeared. Sunlight that had warmed our faces felt cold in that second and the trees faded away as I stared into eyes intent on harming us. I started to turn to run when my friend’s father placed his hand on my shoulder and told me..
“Running is the worst thing you can do.”
Shaking like a leaf I stood my ground with the others. The dog growled a few times and then sauntered away.
Recently I forgot that lesson.
I’ve never been one for confrontation, but running is indeed the worst thing you can do.
In the course of my divorce (Yes, that rhymed….and even though serious…I giggled) I have been running. Running from being hurt. Running from confrontation.
There were days I felt so overwhelmed that pacing the house wasn’t good enough. I would pack up the kids in the van and drive. I knew I was running, but I couldn’t escape the wild instinct that running would get me somewhere. In my running I also withdrew. I pushed family and friends away. I refused to share what was going on (mainly cause I didn’t even know what the heck was going on) I pushed my writing away because I was afraid of what would come out. My camera bag began to attract a layer of dust. I withdrew from conferences. Denied speaking engagements. Dropped sponsors.
I felt that dog behind me, but still I ran.
Then came another dog.
My newest family member, Tucker has forced me to stop running from “the dogs” and instead get down and play.
It’s impossible to withdraw when there is someone drooling on your favorite book, bringing you a ball to play fetch with or a leash for a walk. He’s helped my kids and I to reconnect over a slobbered bone and a fur-ball wrestle session. As we throw the ball down the hardwood hallway; we collapse in fits of laughter as he slips and slides into door frames. When we go to the park for walks, he forces me to reconnect with people as everyone has to stop and scratch behind his ears. On a day that I was steaming with anger, he cooled me off by letting me go for a mild swim with him at the duck pond (by the way…be careful when you take a lab to a lake with ducks and always make sure you can let go of a leash quickly if needed) Nights that I am feeling alone and rejected, he has placed his big block head on the side of the bed and reassured me with blowing the nastiest doggy breath ever on my face that I am far from alone. (Thankfully, he will chew on an offered peppermint)
Above all, he doesn’t run.
When faced with something he doesn’t understand or might be scared of. He stands tall and firm. His tail might shiver and he may look to me for encouragement, but he doesn’t run.
I’m not running anymore. I will no longer shrink from confrontation or things that scare me. I may shiver a little or look to my friends and family for encouragement, but I will stand tall and firm.
In the online world this means rejoining Twitter, working on a forum for divorced women, getting back to real writing/blogging and reconnecting with those who supported me for so long.
I know many of you that are reading my blog have a “dog” staring at you.
Running is the worst thing you can do..
*Image credit for picture #1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuant63/2255781557/
Categories: depression, divorce, emotional, family, lessons in life
I am so proud of you! As you know, I have my own dog. I have been thru my time of running as well. It seems easiest, but all of us are sitting over here drooling. We want you to throw us a bone and let us remind you that you are not alone…just like you have done for so many of us. Praying for you & the kids always.
Thank you dear friend! I am very happy to lean on you for a while and catch my breath from running. Glad you stopped by today.
I absolutely love that you are not running anymore. The “dog” that all of us have in our lives are not really as scary as we make them. I hope you know that you’re not alone with all of us and I know I can count on you for that too. xo
You can always count on me and you have proven time and time that you are there for me. Guess we are kinda stuck with each other.
Beautifully written and well said. We are a lab family and tuck is gorgeous. I hope he offers u all u are needing and more.
Thank you Betsy for visiting today! I didn’t know I liked the breed until I met him…certainly a perfect family dog.
It sounds to me like you are on the verge of beginning something new and exciting. I don’t mean that as a simple platitude either.
You have never struck me as the type to deliver a simple platitude, so for that I thank you for your comment. I look forward to getting around to reading again! Thank you for visiting today.
What a great post.
This is my first time here and this post really spoke to me. I felt the same way when I was going through my divorce. When I stopped running I allowed myself to follow my heart to my now husband which has given me my two beautiful children and the family I wanted. I
Well I really appreciate your visit with me. I am glad that this post spoke to you and even happier to hear that you stopped running! Hope to see you again soon.
I know it’s got to be hard to start over. I think it’s our survival instinct to turn and run from harm. It takes courage to turn back around and stand out ground. It’s not easy, but then life never is. I’m proud of you and so glad your back where you belong. We will give you strength and support when you need it. ((hugs))