The Perils of Comfort

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Yesterday, someone asked me, "In what area of your life would you like radical change?" and I instinctively shut down.  I refused to let myself think of anything.  It's as if this person suddenly became a vampire - I instinctively reached for my holy water and a cross to fight off this monster who had dared come near me with their 'radical change'.  "Leave me alone!" I thought, "I'm comfortable where I am, okay?"

Let's face it - we all like to be comfortable.  Who doesn't love a warm blanket, cup of tea, and raindrops falling against their window, lulling them to sleep?  Honestly, just thinking about it makes me want to walk away from this keyboard and get on the couch.  (Seriously, I'm so tempted.) But here's the thing about being comfortable....it does exactly what I mentioned before: it puts you to sleep.  You miss days, months, years, even decades of your life dreaming away, but going nowhere.  Yikes. 

Listen, I'm not saying these moments don't have their purpose.  Sometimes you're grateful for a rainy day, because it forces you into a day of restoration.  And man, how beautiful does that feel?  But here's my guess: after that one delicious and luxurious day, the rain that once made you comfortable is suddenly a source of discomfort.  You miss the days of sun and the ability to explore the world around you unhindered by rain boots, umbrellas, and the fear of being soaking wet. 

You miss freedom.

Here's my little theory: life is the same way, my loves.  A little comfort has its place in our life, but if you have too much, it actually creates discomfort. Don't believe me?  Let's play a little game.

Let's take an area of your life where you feel entirely comfortable, and absolutely, 100%, no way in this world need any change. I challenge you to really examine that area of your life.  Give yourself five solid minutes of quiet, and look at it from all angles, slowly, and deliberately.  Once you've fully examined it, be honest with yourself: within the comfort, did you find a sense of discomfort as well, lurking in the shadows?  Was there a part of yourself that wanted something more, something different, something better, but instead, you've just settled with good enough?  Was there a part of you crying out for help, begging to be set free?

I know there was for me.  Once I put down my holy water, my cross, and really took a look at my life, I found there were so many areas of my life where I was truly, entirely, and desperately in need of radical change.  My comfort was holding me back from living my true purpose, and being the person I want to be. 

I know what you're wondering now.  "Well, Gieselle, if comfort isn't good, and discomfort doesn't feel good, what the hells bells are we supposed to do?"   Well, I'm glad you asked.  The secret you're searching for is the one thing you don't want to hear: lean into the discomfort. 

No, it doesn't feel good.  Yes, it's incredibly hard. Yes, you'll go kicking and screaming the entire time.  Unfortunately, however, the hard truth is that without listening to this discomfort, we're ignoring the truth about our lives.  Discomfort tells you exactly what you need in your life.  It sends you a signal that something isn't working, and you need a change. Sometimes, its as simple as changing the position you're sitting in, and other times it's as complex as picking up your entire life and moving to another country.  It's not always easy, but I promise you, friends - if you listen to discomfort, your body, mind, and spirit will all thank you in the end.

So starting with today, I'm pledging to add significantly more discomfort into my life.  (I'll tell you a little secret: posting here is part of that promise.)  I'm not claiming it'll be easy.  I know it'll be quite the opposite: it'll be challenging, risky, and full of anxiety and failure.  But in those moments where it does work out? It'll be better than even my sweetest of dreams.  I am so ready.

Come join me in discomfort, loves. I promise, it'll worth it.

 


Gieselle Allen