We are all taught as children that you shouldn’t run away from your problems. That you must show courage and strength, stand up for yourself, confront your demons. We are raised that backing down is weakness, or it somehow “proves” that we were wrong, that the other person has won.
Is this principle what has turned our society into an argumentative, violent place? That our anger overflows at the smallest of things, that car cutting us of, we must rage against that person, or they have won, what about my rights, do they not know the road rules? That we believe we have the right to tell others how to live, to dispense unsolicited parenting advice to a poor mother trying to make it through other day with no sleep. That we clearly know better and must let others know that they are wrong to ensure the future of humanity.
There are definitely times in our history and still today that NOT running away from problems is of utmost importance. Those amazing individuals in history that have stood up for human rights. Those who have and those who continue to free people from slavery and injustice, helped to change the course of a war and so many others that I know we all understand the importance of. Equally in a more primitive time, running away from problems was not uncommon, when confronted by a lion…. you run. But I am talking less big world picture and more day to day.
To most people I have run away from my problems. I have moved with my whole family only an hour and a half away from the house we had built into a home. After my daughter Audrey died unexpectedly due to what the Coroner calls, hospital system failures (please!), I could no longer go near that hospital that let down my daughter. I couldn’t go to the big shopping plaza right next door. If I did have to drive by, I would need to look straight ahead, I would turn away from the signs indicating hospital. Daily I would fear that my son would get ill and an ambulance would take him to our closest hospital, that hospital. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of my many diagnoses. This fear is so real to me. I have tried to work through them with my Psychiatrist, it’s not like I haven’t tried. But when the opportunity presented itself for us to move away, I knew it was time.
So we left. We ran away from our problems. I still can’t go near that hospital, but I now have one less thing to fear. I have reduced my anxiety, anger and hatred by running away from a problem. It doesn’t mean that the hospital has won. Because there are no winners here. It just means that I can start to focus on the happy parts of my life and not be constantly triggered of the darkest time in my life.
I hope you can see that running away from your problems, or perhaps even just letting go of a problem, is sometimes much better for your mental health then fighting for a problem of insignificance. You can be happier, you can be stronger, you can be wiser by letting go of things that don’t need to be.
Pick your battles not only with others, but with yourself too.