I have a bad habit of shutting down.
Several things have to go wrong in rapid succession for that to happen, but sometimes and inevitably they do, and that’s when I run and hide. From everyone and everything.
I know I do it. I’m sometimes aware that I’m going to do it. I have done it my whole life.
I think it connects to my past somehow. As lovely as my parents were, and I miss them painfully, alcohol does terrible things to people and they become someone else. As a little boy, I definitely learned to run and hide.
I was never abused in any way. Far from it, I remember and am left with memories of a most happy childhood. But the yelling and unkindness I have witnessed has made me shut any semblance of arguing. For any reason. At anytime.
Something just happens to me. I completely freeze and turn numb. I look for the quickest way out. The only way out I see is to run and hide.
I am not a child anymore, but old habits die hard. Especially ones that comforted you at a time of distress.
I have become more patient over the years in an effort to avert it. I have become a much better negotiator to avoid its power. I have learned to let things go so they don’t escalate, in an attempt to prevent it from happening again. But still, I continue to run and hide.
At mid life, I’m not sure if ever I’ll win this battle, but I am certainly not giving up just yet. And the fight is certainly easier when there’s no people around. Perhaps that the answer. But I don’t think so. I can’t see myself living with my family in some isolated spot in the wilderness. It may be peaceful but I’m not sure I could handle the purity of the silence.
I love civilization too much. I love the differences and chaos that exists in people’s cultures. I crave the company of others, despite the fact that I’m most comfortable alone. Their lives and magnificent hangups simply fascinate me to no end.
I’m not sure what to do about shutting down.
One thing is for sure, I’m a lot better at recovering from it.
Figuring out that failure is an event and not a person has increased my happiness, and decreased many hours of hiding and brooding.
I’m just unable to let go when my mind is racing and when my feelings are spinning out of control. Thats when I run. But recently I seem to be in a period of tremendous hope. I finally learned and accepted that my actions and wrongs of yesterday don’t determine my attitude today.
This is the key I think.
Yesterday was yesterday. Today is today. Tomorrow will be whatever tomorrow will be.
Perhaps you are having a great day as you read this, and perhaps you never run and hide. Maybe you stay and fight. But if you do, if you itch to get moving, I want you to remember to just leave your mistakes and abandon them completely in the yesterday.
I’m not being flippant about it.
It’s not easy but it’s necessary.
With humility. With regret. But without guilt.
Abandon your mistakes and have hope for tomorrow.
Give yourself a chance today to fix what you couldn’t yesterday.
This is a great habit to cultivate.
Letting go of our baggage and guilt. Getting a good nights sleep. Starting again. Waking up to a new day. To a beautiful full moon, and the anticipation of a beautiful sunrise.