“You need to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Excuse me? To whomever first stated this I want to say, “You’re wrong. That’s weird. That’s just not right.” Who doesn’t prefer to be comfortable rather than the opposite? And what sort of individual is satisfied with life out of whack or events on a roller coaster ride deciding just to accept anything and everything? Que sera, sera. As I said, “That’s just not right.” Then again, what if it is?
Is There A Pony Around Here Somewhere?
What if there is a deeper meaning to this apparently superficial cliché? We might all agree that life is full of ups and downs, changes and shifts, rocks and rolls; and, as a group, humanity tends to prefer the ups and the positive events rather than the opposite. We are a positive global body preferring good health, stability and forever happy trails. But, as we age and mature, we realize that there are always downs to be had and bumps to be experienced.
Fortunately, by leading a reflective life with a supportive spiritual community, we can come to know that there are blessings within even the darkest of hours. Certainly the process of letting go and releasing what we find comfortable in our lives, almost always results in discomfort. However, the discomfort isn’t permanent. When we surrender to the changes, we often discover that, along with the discomfort, come beautiful blessings and lessons learned. Yes, there is a pony somewhere in the vicinity of that manure pile.
You Are Stronger Than You May Believe
All this being said, we are not simply called into blind resignation and acceptance of challenging situations. Oftentimes, this strategy is a spiritual bypass, resulting in a lack of recognition for the genuine, authentic feelings that may arise, each of which signals new opportunities for growth and transformation. The liminal space where we experience difficult life events is also the precise point where we find these opportunities. There is no quick fix, or a simple Band-Aid, that can patch over the experience of being uncomfortable.
We usually find that spending time in any low spot reveals more inner emotional strength than we might have believed existed, or that we were capable of manifesting. It is important to remember in such distressful times, that we can and should seek out the support and assistance from others that we trust. A support system of family, friends, spiritual community, or even on occasion, professional help is essential in helping us to grow through any challenging experiences we may encounter. Such support can provide encouragement and guidance, sometimes just holding space for us to simply BE in and with the discomfort. Moreover, learning to be comfortable with the discomfort is an essential and important life skill to develop that always sets the stage for future growth.
You Are A Powerful Co-Creator Of Life Itself
In his 1912 Temple Talks, which can be found at www.truthunity.net, Unity co-founder, Charles Fillmore illuminated the truth that humankind are like all other matter in the universe, comprised of positive and negative currents, both of which are necessary for life itself to not only exist, but to grow and develop. These positive and negative life “currents” are part of the reality in which live and have our being. And, as Fillmore says, “It is for us to choose which we will identify ourselves with.”
Barring any physical limitations, we do have absolute dominion over the activity our own thoughts and feelings. Through our management of this activity, we create our experiences in life. Unity’s Third Principle does not state that we have control over the external conditions in life that bring about the ups and downs, bumps and bruises, peaks and valleys we encounter in life. But, it does imply that we have the capacity for mastery over how we experience such changes. As divine beings with unlimited creative potential, we are formed in the image of God. Therefore, we have dominion over our thoughts and feelings.
By extension, the thoughts and feelings we allow to dominate in the activity of our consciousness always determine the quality of our experiences. We can choose to be distressed, or even destroyed by the discomfort. Or, we can opt for some pseudo experience of comfort in an attempt to bypass the discomfort. However, there is a third option that is ultimately more rewarding. We can learn to develop the capacity for being comfortable even in the midst of discomfort. It is this last strategy that is ultimately the most beneficial, because it also reveals just how strong, resourceful and resilient we can be, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. So, next time you find yourself in the midst of such a life experience, I encourage to lean into the discomfort, feel it authentically, and listen to what it has to teach you. Not only will you grow, but you just might learn the value of become comfortable in times of discomfort.