“Surrender means not giving in to another, but giving in to love.”- Deepak Chopra
A loved one lost. Dreams withered away. Hope faded. The for-sure promotion suddenly evaporated into thin air.
You notice the scale advanced a bit to the right despite eating what you believed to be a reasonably balanced diet. You look in the mirror and notice that age and gravity have begun to co-habitate in a couple of personal spaces.
What is your typical response when stressful situations arise?
Are you more likely to stay and look trouble in the eye, or is your preferred response to bolt? …. Quickly escaping the situation and longing desperately to fall into the arms of comfort.
Routine checkups at the doctor tend to create a nerve-racking and humbling experience for me, especially when it involves the New Year weigh-in. Anyone with me? It’s important to know health is in order, but sometimes facing the reality that winter hibernation has caught up with you stings like frostbite. You think to yourself, “Do I really have to give up my favorite habits? I love those chocolate bars. They do not serve me, but I don’t think I can give them up. “
While these examples represent varying degrees of stress, the choice of responses in challenging situations remains the same: We have a choice to bolt or to stay.
In Geneen Roth’s bestselling book Women, Food, and God, she shares examples of bolting which she defines as:
” Any engagement in mind-altering and body-numbing activities. Shutting down and walking out the door when pain threatens to destroy me- which is any situation that involves another human being or whose outcome I can’t control. “
Paraphrasing key concepts, Geneen shares that our refusal to stay in the present moment robs us of the very things that can help sustain us.
Examples of Bolting.
- Walking out the door.
- Distracting yourself from pain by doing things.
- Thinking about something else.
- Getting into a fight.
- Comparing yourself to other people.
- Dreaming about life in the future.
- Recalling life in the past.
- Never getting deeply involved.
- Eating and/or drinking.
Obsessions with eating she says, “gives you something to do, besides having your heart shattered by heart-shattering events. Obsession is a way of organizing our lives so that we never have to deal with the hard part. The part that happens between 2 years of age and dying. Obsessions are ways we leave, before we are left because we believe the pain of staying would kill us.”
Sometimes our thoughts provoke us to run away and hide. This cleverly-masked escape (insert your escape of choice) feels like comfort and support, however the reality-if we are listening with our mind, body, and hearts-is that the escape actually uses us. It is an imposter, providing us not only with false senses of satisfaction, but also feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse. Hauntingly familiar, isn’t it?
We are faced daily with the choice to run away or to stay from difficult situations. It’s important to remember that we have a choice. We can check out, or we can stay and figure out solutions. We can trust ourselves to make changes, and we can allow ourselves to feel our feelings instead of running from them. We can pause and ask ourselves, what am I afraid of feeling? What am I seeking in the escape to which I am running? What do I think it will give to me? How will it make me feel?
I welcome your insights.
StandinLove is a place of connection and community. A place to learn from one another and to encourage each other on this lifelong journey in love. It is in sharing honestly that we practice the art of imperfection.