Running Away

“I was barefoot, and running as fast as I could. The sun beat down relentlessly, threatening to sear my skin off through the layers of clothing that clung to my body, soaked in sweat. I was breathing hard, and yet my legs would not give up. I could hear my heart beat with the rhythm of my feet pounding on the blazing hot, hard ground below. The desert stretched endlessly for miles. Nowhere to hide. 

I felt myself slow down as realization caught light and began to burn, like the embers of coal beneath my feet. I felt his eyes on my back, and something sparked within me. I found myself shedding off all my layers, one by one, until finally I stopped running and turned to face him, buck naked. I stand before you, my beauty and blemishes laid bare for your eyes. I am not running any more. 

I have let him see me for the way I truly am. No layers or cover-ups, just me. And now I hold my breath and wait for his response.”

I open my eyes and realize I’m holding my breath. I let it out in a huff. I’m still not sure if it was a dream or my unusually vivid imagination taking flight through my sleepless night. But the raw truth behind the scene forces me to sit up and look hard.

What am I running away from? Intimacy? Pain? Heartbreak? No.

I run with the fear of some one peeking into my mind and soul, and not liking what they see. I fear that his heart, so white and pure, may not comprehend the shadows over mine. A fear that he may not be able to understand the pain and darkness that entice me, and my penchant for recklessness, rebelliousness, and immoral wrong-doings.  The fear that he may not be able to love me with my dark side.

And so I run, into my abyss of loneliness, the desert of emptiness. My escape from unraveling, and my retreat into myself.

He has my love, but he craves intimacy. What is intimacy if I do not let him know me? What is love if I cannot be completely myself with him?

I’ll never know… until I stop running and let him see me for who I am.

I close my eyes, and conjure up another half-dream. I feel him take my hand and lead me out of my desert of emptiness. My fear has not yet dissipated, but I’m not running away any more.

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18 thoughts on “Running Away”

  1. whoa.. this was such a great read. love the detail and the imagery here, and how its used to convey something bigger.
    even though it’s difficult to be open and vulnerable, for fear of rejection from others, when we are open and vulnerable, it opens the door for other possibilities. like trust. friendship. and maybe, unconditional love.
    well written. thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Well said, being open and vulnerable lets in the good things like trust, too along with the possibility of rejection.
      Thanks a lot for your wonderful comment, Soapie.

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  2. This whole thing was lovely! This line in particular, “I stand before you, my beauty and blemishes laid bare for your eyes. I am not running any more.” So vivid and REAL.

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  3. Oh, this struck a chord! Beautifully written, Madhura. Sometimes it is hard to find ourselves amidst expectations. There are many fabulous phrases in this passage, my absolute favorite being – “I close my eyes, and conjure up another half-dream. I feel him take my hand and lead me out of my desert of emptiness. My fear has not yet dissipated, but I’m not running away any more.” it closes in not just on a positive note but complete acceptance. That is key to happiness.

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    1. Your comment made me smile! I’m glad it struck a chord… Yes, I wanted to show that I’ve stopped running, and that there’s a long way to go till the fear vanishes. But for now, I start with facing the fear… Thank you so much, TIZ!

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  4. This feels so familiar. I am always fearful of the shadows on my heart and it does impact my ability to be open and intimate. You are so brave.

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  5. I am always afraid people will leave me when they get to know the real me, so I related a lot with this. And I liked the imagery you used to describe this feeling.

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