Getting Comfy with Discomfort
I've been working my way through a program called Sacred Expansion with my beautiful teacher Briana Borten, which is a precursor for entering into becoming a Well Life Coach. In this program, I've been encouraged (and, really, required) to take a good hard look at myself and what I'm working through - AND acknowledge how far I've come. The biggest theme for me so far has been working through a lot of the discomfort that comes up through any evolutionary journey.
For many of us, it's human nature to want to feel good and be comfortable in our lives. When something feels out of whack (or out of alignment), we take immediate action to try and make ourselves feel better.
Bad day? Have a glass of wine and forget about your problems!
Feeling stressed? Find a good distraction, like social media, to occupy your mind instead of your worries playing on repeat!
Finding the news too gruesome? Just turn the tv or radio off!
I'm not trying to point the finger or pass judgment here, because I struggle with all these things, too - but rather I want to shift the conversation into figuring out how we can become more present when discomfort arises (because you'll never be rid of it completely, forever) and work our way through it. Without facing our discomfort we can't shed old layers and step into healing ourselves because we won't even acknowledge they exist.
It was really hard for me at first to face all the ways I was just pushing discomfort away instead of allowing myself to sit with it (or in it) because it called up some painful memories and situations for me. But guess what? I'm still here to share about it, and it wasn't as scary as I told myself it would be. Funny how that's often the case with fear and discomfort, right?
One of the ways I was avoiding discomfort was biting my tongue when it comes to stepping into activism. I knew that I'd run the risk of people not agreeing with me and was focused on being liked and growing my platform and business, so I avoided it as long as I could.
But no more. As I've become more fully aware of what I'm here to do and share, I can honestly say that this isn't anywhere close to my #1 priority anymore. I'm not here to be liked - I'm here to help shine light on the truth and bring people together on a similar mission to heal ourselves and heal the world. It really sucked to have to face that my desire to be liked was a huge part of why I was keeping to myself when it came to social and political issues, but leaning into that discomfort forced me to realize what I wanted to do about it and start taking small steps forward.
Over the last few weeks, I've been completely filled with rage, sadness, and grief at the situation going on with separating families at the border, and I know I'm not alone. As I started sharing how I was feeling, several friends and clients reached out with similar concerns and heartache. We've all been searching for explanations and actions to take; we wanted to do something to help.
As a mom of a toddler my heart aches for the parents and children who were forcibly separated regardless of their situation; it's something I don't know how I'd ever be able to endure. It's also made the tender moments with my son even more heartwrenching because I know there are kids out there who aren't being afforded the same opportunity to be kissed goodnight by their parents. Bodhi still cries every.damn.day. when I drop him off at daycare and it kills me to the core; I truly can't imagine what those mamas are feeling and thinking not knowing when they'll see their babies again.
Obviously, this is a hot-button issue and controversial topic because it's very complex. But I realized that even if I don't have all the right words, it feels worse to ignore it than to try and cobble a few thoughts together and share my experience around it. I gave myself a pass on this having to be perfect and instead chose to speak from my heart because that's what creates true connection.
I'm not here to persuade you to do anything you don't want to do or don't feel is right, but I am calling you to take a look at how you react to thoughts, situations, and people who drum up discomfort in your life.
Do you choose to avoid and ignore? Do you numb yourself with your favorite coping mechanism?
Where can you show yourself more compassion and allow yourself to experience discomfort fully? Only then can the deep healing begin.
To bring this back around to larger more collective issues, a lot of what's in the news is really fucking uncomfortable. Seeing images and videos of children sobbing for their parents while living in places I'd never want to see my son pushes me to tears every time. We can do better than this for our fellow humans. We have to.
I'm not going to allow my discomfort to keep me quiet or complicit any longer, and I hope that what you hear and see is stirring something inside you, too. Don't shut out what's happening to others because it leaves you feeling uncomfortable.
No matter what anyone has to say, YOU are powerful and have the ability to help change the world. And together, we're even more empowered.
If you feel compelled to share, please forward this to a friend so that we can spread the circle of compassion and really enter into a place of hope and healing together.
In love + heart service,