Getting Comfortable With Discomfort
How do we grow in life? How do we move beyond ourselves into more conscious, aware people? Sometimes, realization just dawns. It sneaks up on us in the night and by morning we’re just more aware of something. But most of the time, we grow because something begins to bubble up within us that makes us uncomfortable. Most often, we’re unaware of what this is at first. We just know that we’re squirming.
Lately, I’ve been feeling rather uncomfortable. It’s almost been like I’ve had a stranger walking two steps behind me, darting in and out of alleys when I turn around to look, making me feel uneasy. I’ve had moments where I’ve been inexplicably upset and then burning mad. I’ve had some moments recently where I’ve felt unsure about my ability as a parent, a wife, a friend. Essentially, I’ve been questioning all of my ‘roles.’ I’ve had to remind myself that these are, indeed, ‘roles’ that I am playing and that underneath it all I’m much, much more.
But mostly, I’ve had to remind myself to stay present to this discomfort. While every molecule in my body has been screaming to RUN! as fast as I can in the opposite direction of this discomfort, I’ve been staying present with it. My years of guiding other people to stay present with their uncertainties and discomforts just won’t allow me to run away.
It’s easy for us to distract ourselves from ourselves. In fact, most of us do that regardless of whether we’re uncomfortable or not. We watch television, smoke cigarettes, take drugs, shop, do more business, eat, etc….You name it, we’re doing it. All in the name of distraction.
Here’s the thing about distracting ourselves from the discomfort at hand. It remains. It doesn’t go anywhere. In fact, the longer we carry around something that we’re not willing to face or deal with, the bigger it gets. The reason this happens is because it takes more and more energy to house this discomfort in our minds and bodies. We know it’s there and so we have to work harder and harder at compartmentalizing it. And over time, this compartment takes up more space within us.
Consciousness or awareness is always drawing more of itself to itself. In other words, we’re magnetized towards awareness. We’re made to be conscious. We were not designed to walk around in the dark about ourselves. That’s why something like guilt is so insidious. Guilt will follow you to your grave if you don’t deal with it. It’s yearning to be dealt with.
So how have I been dealing with this pulsing discomfort? I’ve quite literally been sitting with it. When I feel it bubble up, I allow it and just watch; observe. I stopped analyzing myself a long time ago once I figured out that it only keeps us in our heads. Analyzing is great when you’ve never done it. But once you’ve done it for a few decades it no longer serves a purpose. It just keeps ego-spinning different stories around why you might be so f***ed up.
This morning I woke up and the discomfort was there. Sitting on my chest as I lay in my bed. Which is good. It means it’s now so prevalent that it’s close to being illuminated. And of course once something – anything – is illuminated, it’s healed.
I lay with this discomfort on my chest and felt it. And then I asked for Awareness, itself, to bring it into the light for me. And I remembered to be easy on myself. The business of being human is not a walk in the park. I reminded myself that I have a beautiful, healthy daughter. I have a wonderful, loving and supportive husband. I have a wonderful family and friends who, if I ever needed them, would be there for me in a second. I got some perspective.
The discomfort is still there but it’s slowly revealing itself because I’m not running. In fact, I’m beckoning. I’m calling it forth so I can meet it in the eye and then assimilate it back into my awareness. Discomfort, to my knowledge, has never killed anyone. Our response to discomfort has.
So change your response. Meet it as you would a small child who is upset. In many ways, this is exactly what these parts of ourselves are. They are the little, unconscious aspects of us that we just haven’t paid enough attention to. Meet them. Greet them. And the discomfort vanishes. And we’re left a little wiser. A little more aware. A little more complete.
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