running away

by: Tori Foster

yoga gypsy

Most people view me as a gypsy of spontaneity. They see me as the girl who gladly invites a change in plans. They see me as a barefoot risk taker. They see me as the girl who is secure with herself and her surroundings. They see me as the girl who trusts in the unfolding. Am I this girl? I am on my way, but there’s something you should know…

I am really, really good at running away. I’ve run away from relationships, friendships, and opportunities ever since I can remember... I ran away all because I’ve had this deep fear of an end result being a puddle of heartbreak, exposure, and vulnerability. Basically, I never have loved myself enough to see my abilities or worth. I’ve never loved myself enough to love another. Sometimes I don’t even mean to run away, I just end up sabotaging a situation without even realizing it; that is, until it’s too late, or until I decide to isolate myself the moment things become “too close” for comfort. I am a freaking pro at solitude and hiding. The people who have gotten the closest to me know. And to those people I sincerely apologize.

But there is quite an occurrence happening in my lovely little universe these days. And it began the moment I decided to buy a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. You better believe the ugly voice in the back of my head doubted my abilities to follow my dreams. That voice was gawking at the probability of failure. But as I purchased that ticket something shifted in me. SO WHAT if I - dare I say it - FAIL?! Will my world come to a screeching end?

The answer quite simply is no. In fact, I try to stray far from the word fail because when we “fail” we are directed to a lesson for growth. Now, do we always listen to that lesson? Nope! I’ve dismissed countless, but they always find a way back to me until I actually decide to deal with them. So all it took was that first initial leap to lead me to the continual risks I have taken since then. That being said, it’s still been a bumpy road hashing out old patterns and allowing the love to flow in freely, without any fear of being broken; ultimately, by seeing that being broken is often a blessing.

I started out my travels alone, just the way I like it. No one to answer to. No one to have a chance of being hurt by. No one to have the chance of being abandoned by. Just me. I’ve loved being a wanderess at times, wavering in and out of circles and scenes. But then my best friend joined me. My best friend meaning the greatest friend anyone could ask for. So why then did I feel like I wanted to run from day one? I wanted to push away. I felt a deep need to be disconnected and to not become vulnerable or seen in any way. Being numb to others has been a specialty of mine. When I thought about it, it made no sense. This person loves me no matter what, has been phenomenal to me, has stood by my side through all of my outrageous and unnecessary behavior, and yet I still felt this deep urge in the pit of my stomach to retreat.

And then it hit me like nothing else ever has. I could jump off 50-foot cliffs into below freezing water. I could spark up a conversation with a stranger. I could travel the world alone. But I couldn’t make these connections or take these chances because they required that chance of heartbreak, failure etc.

So, what hit me? 2 things.

1. Those two things (heartbreak and failure) are the two things that have molded all of the most beautiful pieces of my being.
2. I am worth the leap of faith just like we all are. If I miss the clearing I can always start over. And when I start over, I will be a better person.

So that’s just it. This past month I’ve been trying on taking chances in trusting people. I’ve tried on self-love, and have even let someone back in my life that hurt me. Will he hurt me again? He might. But if he does it’ll give me yet another chance to grow and to learn that just because this person doesn’t want to be a part of my life, it doesn’t mean that everyone will leave. It doesn’t mean I deserve it. This is just unheard of for me until now. When someone has hurt me in any way, shape, or form, they were shut out immediately and forever. It’s all too easy to put up walls. Tearing them down is where it gets tricky. I am really good at shutting people out of my life along with every thought or feeling I had ever felt during our time together. Numbing has been another skill of mine.

This is me. Finally exposed and seen. I’m of my imperfect being. I have chaos stirring beneath the surface and battles that no one knows about. We all do. And that is what makes us such immaculate, gorgeous creatures. There is much beauty at the core of the breakdown. I appreciate both those who have betrayed me and those who have lifted me higher. All of it is a blessed life.

I urge you. Live without disguise. If you love someone, tell them. If they don’t love you, cry on the shoulder of someone that does. Give your whole heart. Live with abandon and remember that if you reach the end of the day and you feel alone, it’s ok. We all feel that way some days, even though we never are. Rejection is redirection. Pain is a gain in perspective and sometimes you just have to look a little closer, open your heart a little more, and cultivate gratitude for this beautiful mess of a life.

Tori Foster is a yoga instructor and wanderess hailing from Colorado, who currently finds herself working at AmaTierra Retreat & Wellness Center in Turubarres, Costa Rica. Read Tori's blog and follow her at: @torilynn_gypsysoul.