I remember most of my dreams and have been keeping track of them. One of the themes I’ve noticed is that I’m often running from something. It’s not always clear in the dream what it is that’s chasing me, but there is an urgent feeling to run away or escape.
A few months ago, I had mentioned to a friend that I wished I was a runner. I’ve always had a desire to run and have admired runners for many reasons including their endurance, strength, and mental focus. In a society that teaches us to create and maintain an us vs. them mentality, I had created a division between people like them – runners, and people like me.
Genuinely, I didn’t think I could be like them. Or perhaps I was just lazier than I care to admit.
I’m gonna go with distracted… yeah that sounds better. I was very distracted, and as I prioritized the things in my life, physical health was often nowhere near the top of the list. Hell, I might not have even made the list myself. Many aspects of my life were so catered around pleasing other people. There were friendships, relationships, and jobs that didn’t value or add to my life, yet I would give them my all. All my attention, all my time, all my focus.
The way you treat yourself sets the standard and tone for how others will treat you. It’s literally a blueprint for “this is what I’ll accept”. If I talk down to myself, why wouldn’t others? If I don’t see the beauty, value, and worth in myself, how can I expect for others to see it? It was more important for me to have the acceptance of others in my life than for me to be happy and accept myself.
I know my strengths and my weaknesses. My mom has always referred to me as her “independent baby”. I’m the second of four and have always taken pride in one of my standout qualities being independence, especially in the eyes of my mother.
Above all else, I am loyal, dependable, and independent. Despite my independence, I still need to feel and know that I am able to depend on others the way that they’re able to depend on me.
Any type of relationship should be reciprocal in the energy that is being given. This wasn’t the case in many areas of my life, and the unreliable aspects had to be eliminated.
All of the friendships, relationships, and jobs that are no longer serving me are no longer in my life. When I say I feel so much lighter, I mean it! 60 lbs. to be exact.
So many positive things have happened since I’ve redirected my focus and energy on myself. I’ve discovered my passions, feel aligned with my purpose, and have realized that I can do, have, and be anything I want…
Including a runner!
I’ve been consistently running for a little over a month now, and by consistently, I mean 5-6 days a week for at least 2.5 miles each day. I’ve surprised myself and have been able to find mental clarity and focus, peace of mind, and have learned how much of a machine the body really is. I am the energy inside of this vessel, and I direct and propel it how I see fit. I’ve been pushing myself to new levels, increasing my strength and speed, and setting and achieving new goals each day.
It’s become somewhat of an addiction. My newest thing has been exploring the beautiful city of Richmond. From my downtown home, I run to Brown’s Island. I run to Hollywood Cemetery. I run anywhere I want! The streets, sights, and sounds of Richmond are truly beautiful.
There has been great power and control in being able to run toward something. My dreams have gotten better as well! Although still vivid and wild at times, they no longer bring a consistent feeling or need to run away.
My dreams now excite me. I’m inspired daily and have been making so much progress toward a number of my goals!
“Nothing changes if nothing changes”
This morning I woke up to run, and don’t know if I have it in me.
I know I won’t see the same beautiful Richmond that I’ve grown to know and love, even more so as a runner.
Then again, that Richmond needed and needs to change.
I am angry.
I am hurt.
I am tired.
I am done.
No Justice, No Peace.
The displays and expressions of emotions across the country are a mix between running from and running toward something. Man vs. the system. The thing is, we have nothing to be afraid of and nothing to run from.
What we need is a common and organized something to run toward! Black community leaders, we need you. Our people are fed up and grasping at straws. While we have the energy and momentum, we need leadership to direct it. In this time of need, the people and I need to know…
Who Can I Run To?
-by Lilith Rose