I want to talk about something today that I've been observing and pondering a lot lately.
Life is such that we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations at times. Uncomfortable relationships, uncomfortable jobs, uncomfortable in our bodies, etc.
Change is also uncomfortable right? We dread change sometimes so much that we are willing to stay in the uncomfortable circumstances we are used to rather than choose the unfamiliar discomfort of change.
Why is this?
I think that we tend to choose the discomfort that we are used to over the discomfort of change simply because the discomfort we are in feels familiar. We have learned how to 'be' in this discomfort. Even though we know that the discomfort of changing our circumstance will eventually bring us comfort, we choose to stay in what we know.
Let me give you some examples I have in mind......
You are uncomfortable in a relationship because it's not healthy. Maybe the relationship is abusive in some way, co-dependent, jealous, or controlling. You are not comfortable here. You know it's not healthy, and you know that it would be best to change this relationship by either leaving or by going to counseling to do the deep work it takes to see if you can heal the relationship and create a healthy one together. It's not comfortable leaving a relationship that you have been in. There is a grieving process. There is learning to be single again. The thought of finding another partner might be terrifying. Or both people deciding to really do the deep work needed to see if you can transform the relationship is also uncomfortable work. Both of these circumstances create discomfort that you are not as familiar with. It's unchartered territory. You don't know what to expect, so you avoid it. You stay in the discomfort that you have learned to 'be' with, even though you know in your heart of hearts that it's not the best decision for yourself. Even though choosing a new discomfort (leaving or working on it) is the only thing that WILL eventually bring you comfort.
You are uncomfortable in your job. Maybe it's a toxic work environment in some way. Maybe it doesn't challenge you at all and so you feel miserable. Or maybe you are overworked, underpaid, and constantly stressed. Maybe it's not at all the work that you want to be doing in the world. Putting together a new resume catered to jobs that would fulfill you, applying for those jobs, doing interviews, facing potential rejection, or the possibility of starting something totally new to you is discomfort that you are not as familiar with, and so you stay in the discomfort of your current position. Even though choosing differently would lead you to a place of much more comfort.
Your body has health challenges, and because it does you are physically uncomfortable. Maybe these health challenges could be greatly reduced by implementing an exercise routine, but joining a gym and making yourself exercise 5x a week feels so uncomfortable to you that you continue to deal with the daily pain now, rather than pushing through to get your body to a more comfortable state. Maybe you have serious health issues because of how your body reacts to certain foods, but totally changing and restricting your diet feels unfathomable to you. You have gotten used to the daily issues that your diet causes you, and so you choose to not change a thing, even though pushing through an uncomfortable change would eventually bring you to a state of health & comfort.
I could go on & on with examples, but I'm guessing you get the picture.
We tend to be creatures of habit. It's amazing to think about the uncomfortable circumstances that we can get used to in life, and therefore continue to endure for long periods of time. It seems odd that so often we choose to not step in to change when we know it would bring us comfort in the end, because we fear the discomfort that is not familiar to us.
What comes to mind for you as you have read the above?
What discomfort in your life have you gotten used to dealing with?
What is the change that you know would bring you comfort, but you avoid because of the unfamiliar discomfort of creating the change?
Please don't stay in the discomfort that you have adapted to simply because it's what you are familiar with. Don't become complacent and stay in discomfort that is not healthy for you just because you have adapted to 'be' with it, when you have the option of changing!
There will always be discomfort. Choose the type of discomfort that will propel you forward into lovely, fulfilling things for yourself rather than the discomfort that will slowly destroy. Eventually, these choices will bring you to comfort, and comfort is what you truly deserve!