Are You REALLY Willing To Be Uncomfortable?

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I don't know about you but I have noticed that at times, when I really desire things to be different, I want them to be different but not at the expense of my comfort.

So let me ask again…. Are you REALLY willing to be uncomfortable? 

What are you willing to give up in order to have the inner and outer connection and ease you seek?

I’ve been pretty good at pretending like I’m good at discomfort but to be really honest…  I have spent much of my life trying to avoid being uncomfortable. But the joke is that the more comfortable I’ve gotten with being uncomfortable, I’ve saved myself so much time and energy and have learned how to get to the core of things in a more direct way.

Would you rather just pretend like you’re going through the motions of change while knowing deep down you’d rather not be challenged too much? 

This one’s tricky because I know that for most of us we believe we’re great with discomfort and challenge. We’ve been through traumas and loss and stress and disappointment and intensity. Our bodies and hearts have carried hurts and pains and we’re used to be uncomfortable. This isn’t the kind of discomfort I’m talking about.

We get uncomfortable because when we’re dissatisfied and stuck. We’re uncomfortable because we want others to change and they won’t.  We feel challenged because we can be so unwilling to feel our feelings of sadness and longing and anger.  We’re uncomfortable because we keep ourselves from the very joy and wholeness that live inside of us. We're uncomfortable but we don't stop and let ourselves feel it.  If we truly felt the depth of the pain of it, we'd stop perpetuating it.

So many of us are wired to just hang out with the habitual stress and struggle that we call our lives. We feel uncomfortable because things aren’t going the way we want them to and we believe we’re working hard to change them, but are we really? Every day I see people who are comfortable in their struggle because it’s familiar. Because it’s become an old friend who’s kept them company.  Because it has started feeling like it’s WHO they are.

  • Who would you be if everything was ok? 
  • Who would you be if you let yourself have the joy that lives inside of you? 
  • Who would you be if you set boundaries and expressed your needs with conviction? 
  • Who would you be if you knew you were lovable and worthy?

Now… can you sit with the sensations that arise in your body that come in response to those questions? 

Can you sit with the emotions that come up?

That is the discomfort I’m talking about.  Are you willing to take a leap and let yourself be uncomfortable while doing things differently? While having a difficult conversation with someone or taking some time to figure out what you truly need and desire? Are you willing to feel challenged when a close friend expresses some feedback to you without shutting down or making them wrong? Are you willing to sit with yourself and tend to your heart when you've just criticized yourself?

Over time, discomfort isn’t as scary. Over time, discomfort can even feel exhilarating and like a true gift or an interesting challenge.

With mindful awareness, we can notice that for many of us discomfort = fear.  When we experience fear, so many of our minds go into stories of worse case scenarios in the future or thoughts of past situations where there was too much vulnerability or humiliation.  BUT… that’s actually not happening now.

What if discomfort was simply contraction in the body or adrenaline pumping through the veins? It might even feel similar to how you might feel if you were just about to jump off a cliff into water. If we remind ourselves that we can make it through, that we have inner and outer support to get to the other side of the discomfort, we can do just about anything. Can we be uncomfortable for 10 minutes or 30? 

Is there a difficult conversation you’ve been wanting to start? Is there a group you’ve been wanting to join? Is there a boundary you need to set?  Is there a way you've been avoiding yourself because you don't want to feel something?

Take a moment and feel the sensations in your body and simply observe what arises without judgment. Notice the emotions.  And then see if you’re willing to be with that anyway. Remember… it will shift eventually. And over time, it might even help you build trust and resiliency in yourself and you’ll be able to navigate any tricky waters that arise.