Running Away

Anything but turn kindly towards ourselves and embrace ourselves with compassion as we would a friend or a small scared child we love. It’s often the very last thing that occurs. To me anyway. And only after all the different running away techniques fail and desperation kicks in.

We seem to specialise in methods of escaping this most basic of wholesome states – including ourselves in the love and compassion we feel for others.

All these techniques of running do all have love at their base motivation, just in a diluted form. So here are a few of my favourites:

Shopping! How we love that one. Not my first personal choice though have dipped into its pleasures and distractions. A symbol of being generous with ourselves. Really just filling a hole where real love could be.

Getting intoxicated with any substance, alcohol, to pills to hash to whatever. All temporary and all create more problems than they solve. I’ve dug into and leaned more on this one, gladly only left with an addiction to nicotine.

Being involved in another’s troubled life. A favourite of mine. What better way to feel better about yourself than to be around those more fucked up and more suffering. And not only that, you can try and fix them and get to feel virtuous. Well the latter can work a bit as a friend or partner. A bit as in, you play your part, and then let go and maybe they love themselves a teeny bit more. Or it occurs that is a possibility. Or not especially if their behaviour turned awful in reaction to a love that they didn’t feel they deserved. That’s just my experience.

Then there’s ‘self improvement’. Lot of mileage in that, and a firm favourite. I’ve got 30 years of running away from accepting myself using that. it’s another virtuous one too. It does clearly come from a valiant motive of wanting to be a better person. And in the end we get to realise that we are exactly as we are, the person that we were looking for and hoping to become. Great.

Then comparing ourselves to others. Big favourite of almost everyone, including the wildly successful. People with more money, more support and loving relationships around them and better looking.

I get twinges of this one, envy….wishing my life was more like this or that, and THEN I’d be super happy.

And yet they keep killing themselves, these wildly rich, popular, beautiful successful people doing jobs they love.

Okay well I’m glad to say I realised this one early on in life, money and outer success isn’t ‘it’. I saw my parents sacrifice their time with careers they didn’t like much to have security, holidays abroad and a beautiful old house. And they gave it to us too, thanks. I’d probably rather have had happy parents. But still, thanks.

So here we are. It’s no longer feeling like a dress rehearsal or a grand wild experiment. Time to face the essentials distilled from all this seeking.

I’m okay. You’re okay. Even when we don’t think we are or our feelings suggest otherwise, we are actually okay. It’s in there all the time, that okay bit. Constant, steady and stable no matter what is going on.

The thoughts and feelings rioting all over the place are like wild frightened little children flitting this way and that, and they just need a big accepting hug. Seldom any discussion required. Just an act of embrace.

And. We all love each other. And that includes ourselves.

And. We are not alone and never have been. We are in this together and there is no separation.

Let’s allow some peace and love to be acknowledged today….it’s there all the time waiting for us.

For this moment I choose to relax and rest with it all.


    1. They do seem to create compulsive patterns usually originating from some ‘rule for living’ we have been given or adopted as a response to early experiences. Wish my old ‘rule for living’ a rejection and repulsion even of material success would bug right off! These rules for living originate from a core belief of I’m unlovable or I’m inadequate…given to us. I don’t know if we are stuck with it. I asked the CBT course director and he said yes. I want to find evidence that we can overcome it….I want to believe we can.

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      1. While my ‘I’m unlovable’ creates a sense of not being deserving….I have found some evidence that the pattern can be altered. As soon as I set about learning to be kind to myself and like myself I found that I automatically struggled less materially, and have earned a consistently good living ever since. However one year my income almost doubled. And I found myself unconsciously sabotaging the next years earnings. Easy to see on hindsight!

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      2. Right now I’m reading Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving, which is amazing but according to the author it does seem that to a certain degree we’re stuck with some of those mental patterns that feed that sense of worthlessness.
        My partner got his from being sent to boarding school as a young boy and his brain interpreted that as not being wanted at home. I wasn’t sent to boarding school, but was mostly abandoned to the care of a nanny and that set my brain off on a path to identify everything that was wrong with me which would explain why I’d be abandoned to the care of a nanny. And of course, in that game one can only lose because every characteristic becomes a plausible culprit. Things that are average or even good in other people, you see as possibly terrible in yourself.

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      3. Thank you for sharing that. We all seem to be left with this idea that there’s something ‘wrong’ with us or about us intrinsically. It is damage. I think we can learn reparent ourselves with loving kindness and I think a good therapist can help too. The boarding school issues have come up for friends and family members (uncle sent at 3! What the ****) and I notice there is now a defined boarding school syndrome and books on it. I’ve been reflecting on some of our political leaders and how it may have effected some of them and influenced their decision making. It’s given me more compassion and less condemnation. So the whole topic of ‘attachment styles’ keeps coming up. I’m glad you have each other and have been able to bond despite the crummy role models….

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      4. And there have been friends and partners who were adopted whose problems were difficult, too difficult for me as they resulted in behaviour I couldn’t cope with, especially the ongoing lack of trust which was agony. Then again I know someone who was adopted and went to boarding school and thrived and is thriving….so many variables that can account for different responses.

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      5. That truck going downhill comment on your blog has stuck with me, it rang a loud bell. No matter what is actually happening there’s a sense of danger lurking. I love your blog. Wish you would write every day! And I have to remind myself – right now I am safe

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      6. Interestingly just a couple of days ago the book touched on that danger: (Criticism or rejection) are so injurious that it changes the structure of the child’s brain.
        Repeated messages of disdain are internalized and adopted by the child who eventually repeats them over and over to himself. Incessant repetitions result in the construction of thick neural pathways of self-hate and self disgust.
        Over time a self-hate response attaches to more and more of the child’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Eventually, any inclination toward authentic or vulnerable self-expression activates internal neural networks of self-loathing. The child is forced to exist in a crippling state of self-attack, which eventually becomes the equivalent of full-fledged self-abandonment. The ability to support himself or take his own side in any way is decimated.”

        So in a sense we feel under attack because we are, and were, and there was no one there to defend us.
        I’m preparing myself to write more again. It’s necessary as I retell my history to myself 🙂

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