As I was running one day, consumed at the start with the uncertainties life had presented to me I began to imagine shedding my mental and emotional hindrances as though I were undressing, leaving a trail of clothing behind me.
So, I hung my doubts on the post of the split-rail fence and tossed my sadness and disappointments into the welcoming marsh. All of my fear, uncertainty and hopelessness I laid directly on the nearby railroad tracks and waited for the rush of the morning train to sweep them afar. The three startled deer carried away all of my unmet expectations and the spiders’ webs caught the deepest longings of my heart. Under the gnarly roots of the moss-covered trees I buried my brokenness. The less traveled, overgrown path is now paved with my haunting insecurities and the river it leads to now overflow the banks with every tearful heartache I endure. All of my worries, cares and encumbering concerns I imagined melting in the heat of this Florida summertime run and disappearing off my mind and heart like the salty sweat dripping from my skin. At the trails end, I envisioned the raw honesty of an emotionally unhindered, bare-naked heart and soul, now stripped of the wrappings of worry and once again fresh, pure and free to move along without encumbrance.
Each of us learns to cope with life’s challenges one way or another. But sometimes we use escape methods to ignore their reality. We delay their resolve by keeping busy. We deny their presence, resisting the need for change. We defer responsibility, hoping someone else will remedy them for us or we detach emotionally in order to painlessly survive. Sometimes, we dismiss our emotional burdens apathetically, as if we are powerless.
Or, as painful as it may be, we learn to take ownership of them. We decide to respond by allowing those challenges, feelings and uncertainties to surface, accepting their reality and reconciling them to our lives. Then, we may freely let go, shedding those hindrances, like a trail of discarded clothing, embracing the Divine renewal of a fresh start, returning to the natural, unashamed and free spirit our soul was meant to run. Oh, the freedom, the sweet relief and the cleansing power, of a naked run! -PS©2014