The other day I saw a hitchhiker with the sign “Anywhere but Here!” I couldn’t help but thinking, “What or who are they running away from?”
To want to be “Anywhere but Here” has certainly crossed my mind during this season of suffering and recovery! It’s like the person who decides, “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” But is it? Or is the grass greener where it’s watered or fertilized or where the variety of grass is simply greener than the one you are using? Just maybe the grass on your side of the fence withstands heat and drought better than your neighbor’s grass but you’ve forgotten that fact.
What is it about human nature that makes us want to be “anywhere but here” and want to run from where we are to somewhere else we perceive to be better?
- (what would you add?)
Where do we begin in order to move from an “anywhere but here” mindset to an experience of being “fully present here”?
- Begin by embracing the experience you are currently in
- Get in touch with the full range of emotions you are feeling
- Turn up the awareness radar and notice what’s going on around you (without judgment or an attempt to fix or change what you see)
- Journal your thoughts and feelings
- Ask God (if you are a person of faith) to travel with you and lead you through this experience
You and I are most alive when we allow ourselves to be fully present with life as it presents itself “right now.” It may be pleasant or painful but it is the only way to get to a place where moving forward is possible.
The more we try to cover up or run from those parts of our lives that are difficult, the more they will control us and keep us from moving forward. A coaching term to describe the experience is “taking people to where they are.” When you are fully present with “where you are” you will eventually find healing, hope and traction so you can go to where you need to be.
This lesson has been hitting home daily for me. I’m in my 15th month of accident recovery with an open ended recovery date looming over my head. A five inch piece of femur cut out eight months ago is now growing back at an alarming rate of 1 mm per day and brings with it growing pains and the temptation to say “Anywhere but here!”
What I’m choosing to say however is not “anywhere but here” but “What do we have here?” Sometimes the here brings tears, sometimes joy, sometimes loneliness, sometimes gratitude but each time life!
In the words of Dr. Seuss: You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
What in your life is causing you to say “Anywhere but here!” What action can you take help to embrace your “here” and find life?