If something is uncomfortable, typically, we avoid it like the plague. It does not feel good to be uncomfortable. I strive to feel good as much as I can, eating right and exercising. I love feeling great in a little black dress or out by the pool in my swimsuit. I cannot help but think of an athlete who endures grueling workouts in order to cross the finish line first. Many of us sustain a lot of pain to win the prize. Many give up, stay in mediocrity or less because its too much hard work.
There is emotional comfort I need to address. Whenever I am healing something, that same discomfort sneaks in and jeopardizes the process. I have to hunker down and muscle through it. I am too devoted to my personal growth toward happiness to stop.
Many of us have experienced going to counseling. Even my son exclaimed his dismay. Recently, he revealed how beneficial it was, despite how he ‘hated it.” He further recommended therapy for a kid who was struggling with the divorce of her parents too. Why do we sit in front of a stranger, incredibly uncomfortable, dumping our private pain and sorrow in their lap? We have learned how powerful it is to share our struggles and seek wisdom when we are unclear. It is worth the discomfort to feel better in the end.
I have shared how I did not feel loved growing up. A healthy self-esteem was not nurtured into my being by my parents. “I love you”, “Your beautiful”, and “You can be and do whatever you set your heart to”, were not spoken. It took me a long time to believe in me. My journey included many poor relationship choices. I did not know what it felt like to be loved, so I chose those that loved me in a way I felt most comfortable, unloved. Of course, they all ended in disaster. I held it against my parents for much of my adult life. I sought to overcome this horrible pattern and self deprecating feelings through counseling, books, personal drive, and supportive friends. I realized that hanging onto resentment only stifled me. Seeing how my parents did the best they could, they had pretty rough childhoods themselves. I replaced love and compassion toward them, and they felt it too. I remember conversing intimately with my Mom in my mid thirties, discussing the ramifications of our upbringings and how I had released judgement toward her. It was a conversation I was afraid to have. I did not know how she would take it. Mom came to my bed the next morning and crawled in with me. She held me tight. It was the most uncomfortable feeling I had ever had with her. I had been accustomed to the distance, that was my comfort zone. I stayed in bed next to her. I muscled through the strange discomfort and accepted the healing, affectionate gesture.
I call Mom often now, sharing details of my life, seeking her listening ear and loving advice. When she comes to AZ to visit, we sleep in the same bed. It took awhile to mend our relationship, but it was worth every moment to have her as an integral part of my life. My Dad and I are close too. The hard boundary has been replaced by a soft, accepting one. My parents are so enjoyable to be around. Had we all not been willing to surpass the uncomfortable feelings of opening ourselves up to one another, we would be missing out on many years of laughter, fun, and family intimacy.
Uncomfortableness rears its ugly but glorious head in dating too. Emotionally immature men had been my gig. Why? It was comfortable. I will not settle for the consequences of being with an emotionally immature man anymore. This type of man became enamored and fell too quickly. There was a desperateness about his plea for me. I distinctly recognize the difference between a healthy, emotionally, stable man and one who is not. No one is perfect, do not misunderstand, but there is a difference. Communicating with someone who was accepting, patient, and grounded felt strange at first. I anticipated the resistance, moodiness, and self-absorbed behaviors to come out, which was my comfort zone. I recognized how I naturally fell into bracing myself for the worst, the negative reactions, and how I had to constantly adjust myself to make it work. I have learned to be comfortable, being my whole self with someone else who is also whole. Our past can drastically influence us today, which is why it is vitally important to clear it. Big doses of awareness and conviction is needed to change.
The next time discomfort visits, probe why. There may be something beautiful on the other side. My 10 Steps to Greatness journal can help get you there. (available on the various app stores)
Release to Unleash?
Are you willing to endure being uncomfortable in order to heal?
What areas have you had to tackle these feelings?