From Discomfort, An Elevated Life

I demand certain comforts in my life. Some non-negotiable, “I refuse to live without it,” comforts. My clothing, regardless of the event or level of formality, has to be comfortable. My sheets are of the snob thread-count variety. I have throw pillows and plush blankets of every size and weight in the cozy nooks of my house. I have taken pictures of my friends peacefully, unintentionally, in slumber, when they’ve visited. If you come over, you’re going to be comfortable. From salt lamps and diffusers, to numerous ho lee shit cushions, candles and hot tea, if it’s in my home or on my body, it creates a sense of comfort, either tactile or within the space, itself. So, right up front, know that I hold sacred, the underrated elements that generate a sense of physical comfort. What I hope to explore together, in the following moments, is the demand we place on ourselves, other people, places, things…life itself, to always provide “comfort.” Ready? Let’s begin…
I have been dialing in, (and often, reeling in) my emotions. Not nearly long enough to have reached a level of growth that soars seamlessly through times of “dis-ease.” But, long enough to have developed an awareness that I was constantly interrupting my energy to pacify my every desire. Justifiable anger. A change of plans that sparked a stretch of chaos. Being barely on time for an appointment and doubtlessly choosing the s-l-o-w-e-s-t fuel lane. An acute illness that interfered with life, in general. Misunderstandings, miscommunications, mistakes, and, the messiness of the human condition. The infinite situations that bring us discomfort, snaps us like a whip and, stinging, we are immediately unwilling to feel anything less than a baseline of emotional and mental neutrality. We don’t expect to suffer. Ever. We don’t believe we deserve to suffer. This mentality, alone, creates more suffering. That pain and loss are as natural to our existence as the air we breathe, is not a concept we readily accept. In turn, we struggle for our definition of homeostasis by forcing our mental energy towards that problem, that sting, that misunderstanding. We brood. We fume. We wallow and ruminate. Our energy obeys. Each time, it attends to every wound, attempting to alleviate us of any pain of any kind. While we may be pacified by conquering repetitive, superficial dissatisfactions by way of permitting responses ranging from childish to outrageous, we remain blisslessly unaware that this same energy can never successfully elevate, grow and enlighten our consciousness. Even so, we simultaneously, if silently, seek a higher understanding, a deeper sense of purpose, a broader vision of the most pondered perplexities around the globe, frustrated with our lack of progression. Have you ever considered just how much energy we expend on temporary setbacks? Anger? Temporary. Traffic, schedule changes, personality conflicts, unanticipated financial loss…all temporary. But, rather than send our focus to the fact that the finite WILL resolve and we WILL be well, we direct our attention to feeling better, “now.” In a generation where instant gratification is the standard, guarding against the pitfalls of refusing to embrace the latter as facts, we self-sabotage. We invite paralysis instead of willingly, resiliently moving through the guaranteed struggles we all encounter. We sit, stagnantly, bemoaning the need to “feel better.” All the while, our precious energetic currency is frivolously spent on petty disturbances rather than loftier aims that generate growth- spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Why is this such a vital and basic acknowledgement lest these advancements never see a fraction of their potential? It goes back to the interruption of said energy. We could choose a more linear path of energetic response to facilitate a lack of suffering, but the periodic insistence that our spirit circle back to satisfy our whims entrenches us in the least desirable energetic space: the cyclic track to no where. Those who chase happiness and comfort are destined to remain unhappy and uncomfortable. If you can finish the sentence, “I’ll be happy when ________,” you most certainly will not be happy, then, either. I was recently discussing the Hedonic Treadmill with a friend. We exchanged observations of the material pursuits of the masses. We must have shelter, clothing, food, water, etc. But, when we discussed the most dissatisfied people we’d met, they were, by all societal accounts, successful. They had enviable lifestyles, affording them multiple homes, boats, sports cars, airplanes. They are business owners. They are in positions of authority and power. Many have attended prestigious universities, traveled extensively, and each time they’re spotted, it seems there’s always, “more.” Of…everything. More stuff. Less satisfaction. More money. Less adventure. More stress. Less comfort. I’m challenged to fight the anger I feel when I think of how internally programmed we are, especially in America. I stopped cable almost a decade ago, cut out the nightly news, lost track of all current movies, pretty much experimented with less of the constant input of being told what to think or “want,” by way of commercials, slanted coverage of news reporters, even major league sports teams. It’s what we “do,” and I stopped doing it, for a chance to see what I WANTED to do, without sway, persuasion or influence. No one was more surprised than yours truly when I discovered there was so little authenticity in my life that a complete overhaul was the only way to go. It took years of undoing. Losing my concept of “comfort,” becoming willing to identify my hang ups that kept ME in an energetic loop, was one of the most profound revelations I’ve had, to date. As always, my entire purpose behind sharing my thoughts and experiences is for another to discover their own epiphany. My hope is to impress upon you the idea of evaluating your own energetic hijackings. Are you demanding unending comfort with little tolerance to inevitable irritations? Are you expending time and focus in pursuit of things you don’t authentically desire? How would your life improve if you stop insisting that anger must be attended to rather than released, even if it is justified? What could you do differently today to elevate your life, that requires no money, leverages your energy, improves your spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well-being, simply by examining the deep brain trenches in which our thoughts take the path of least resistance? Resist, for a time, your go-to responses that do not serve you, or others. Do the hard thing, because it eventually becomes the easy thing. If you didn’t draw the blue print for your own life, you get to scrap the project and renovate as needed. Here’s to construction ahead, Warriors.

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