On Discomfort

All of my life, I avoided discomfort.

I would curl and cringe and run away when I saw a glimpse of my weaknesses.

I would run away from confrontation.

I would run to obtain any craving I had, whatever would relieve the discomfort of desire.

It seemed like that was the only option.

But recently, I’ve realized there is a different reaction I can take.

Be okay with discomfort.

Ah, so I continue my folly of acting that way in social situations. Ah yes, that familiar churning in my chest. And all those fears of being rejected and unloved.

So what?

Ah yes, here I am yet again failing to be the person I would like to be.

Okay.

And here I am, frustrated and impatient with my life’s unfolding.

Ah yes, I feel this pain.

And?

No, now I want something.

I am craving it very badly.

I am very most uncomfortable with this longing.

Okay.

I must have this.

And?

Oh but I still want it!

Okay.

And so it goes.

It turns out that you don’t have to do much about discomfort.

You can just let it be there, squiggling and squirming gray matter grabbing at you as it is. With all its threats and shouts and insults and hurts.

You can just experience it and let it be.

There’s power in embracing discomfort.

If you hold it close and listen long enough, you’ll discover what you’re avoiding.

You’ll discover what you don’t wish to see about yourself or the situation.

And you’ll gain the presence to change.