Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Keep your eyes up

Often times as I run I find myself looking down, focused on the sidewalk or street right at my feet. It's not very purposeful and leaves me unmotivated a lot of the time... but yet I still find myself doing it! I am not sure if it's just habit or out of sheer exhaustion, but I can't keep my eyes up. One would think that looking up and seeing all the beautiful scenery and sites that surround me would make running easier, thus I would automatically want to keep my eyes pointing forward! I know that looking up, keeping your gaze forward, helps with breathing, allows you to see your path, focus on what's ahead and what's before you all at the same time... it's just all around better for you!!! Looking down doesn't give you the view you need to stay strong, the motivation to keep one foot in front of the other. It only allows you to see with blocked vision, with no hopes of moving forward with determination or with a stride that is strong and full of power. I am not, by any means a skilled runner!! I get by and do what I can with what I have.  I am all sorts of positive that there are many other things more skilled runners would find 'improper' with my form and my function when it comes to my attempts to be a runner!! But for some reason my gaze, where I look when I run always puzzles me. Every time I go out, no matter how good I did at keeping my eyes up, even the smallest glance down leaves me thinking and feeling defeated.
A lot can be said for where you look in life too. Where you point your gaze. Do you always look back? Are you always looking down, avoiding eye contact or shying away from opportunities lying in your wake? Have you found yourself looking over your shoulder too much? Do you often look toward someone else to lead your way? All of these things, harmless in the grand scheme of your form and your function within a day, but none should go without notice. When you don't have direction and you aren't looking ahead, toward the right motivation, your path can become windy and cumbersome. Keeping pace with life's struggles will become exhausting if you are constantly shifting your eyes, never finding a solid focal point to move toward. And how tiring does it sound to always be trying to move ahead, not able to see or really know what it is that keeps you going in the first place??

For me, I experienced a time in my life when my life's gaze was everywhere but where it should have been. I looked down a good portion of my life because I didn't think I had what it took to look up. I won't ever forget those times, and maybe that's why I struggle each time I run to keep my eyes forward, up, looking anywhere but down! Because I know that even forward momentum isn't purposeful momentum when your mind and heart's eye isn't in focus. If you don't look up, you will never see all the good that is waiting for you. How can you possibly stay focused with your sights set so low, with your eyes pointed down?? It wasn't until I looked up in life and forced myself to keep my gaze on the good that had been bestowed upon me, that I found my inner strength. I had purpose and drive in things I would have never thought I could attempt before! I found interests and tried new things, things that I would have shied away from in the past. I found faith within myself... I realized I didn't have to get it from someone or something else!!! 
I read a quote once that said, 
'Faith is in the gaze of the soul... faith is not a once-in-the-past action, but faith is always a way of seeing, a seeking for God in everything.' 
Even in the hardest of times, the weakest of moments, when you are exhausted and don't really know how you are putting one foot in front of another.... keep your eyes up, your gaze forward because it is that 'seeing', that constant every day 'looking' that will lead you to find the good in life. There isn't any other way to do it! You, yourself have to lift up your head and point your eyes forward. One step at a time, one day at a time... see the road that is paved for you and choose to keep your eye's set on it!

Always - Abbey

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