We Can Run, Or We Can Learn

“You are more than you have become.”

“I know what I have to do…but going back means facing my past, and I’ve been running from it for so long…” 

– The Lion King

. . . . .

Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt you owe yourself more? Have you run from your past only to realize it will catch up to you eventually? As Rafiki tells Simba (after hitting him on the head to prove a lesson): “The past hurts…but we can learn from it.”

We have to face our past, our demons, if we want to be mentally healthy moving forward. Often when we run, we become worse because we are so focused on avoiding our problems. We think avoiding the problems will make them go away. We resort to other things to numb the pain we–inevitably–feel. Because we know, deep down, that avoidance doesn’t make the problem disappear. It enhances it, makes it worse, prolongs it. The sooner we deal with it–whatever “dealing with it” looks like–the sooner we will be on the path to recovery. Recovery, in turn, takes its own shape based on the issues that need to be faced and the wounds that need to be healed.

I know what it’s like to run. When I graduated from my master’s program, I felt like my life had come to a screeching halt. I had been in school my entire life, and every time one school season ended, I knew another was approaching three months later. But with my tassel moving to the other side of my cap, I realized my life was also transitioning. And I had no idea what to do. I felt I had lost my purpose. And it affected everything else in my life–my passions, my relationships, my marriage.

It took me a long time to realize God is the only one who can fill that void, heal that pain, start that recovery, and deliver my purpose. Because He does not judge us like humans do–He looks at our heart. He sees and feels our pain, He hears our cries, and He wants to help us. We only need to cry out.

If you’re running, stop. It doesn’t matter where you are, just stop. And begin moving forward. Try prayer. Try reading the Bible. What’s the worst that could happen?