Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

Discomfort is a great catalyst but it’s also one of the most misunderstood states of mind. It’s not wanted. We want to be only comfortable!

Anyone who challenges this status quo becomes unwanted. We fight tooth and nail with those who bring us discomfort, question our perceptions, differ in opinions and challenge us with their stupidity or intelligence. The discomfort I’m talking about here is not violence in thought and conduct. It’s the inability to accept change or difference! It’s the inability to let something be (that we don’t endorse or believe in).

The reality is ‘comfort’ is an illusion. There’s no absolute state of comfort and all that exists is an aspiration for betterment. Either there’s an aspiration or there’s no aspiration. Let us replace our desire for comfort with our aspiration for betterment. 

Let us keep our aspirations to ourselves and let us not turn them into expectations for others. Let there’s be compassion and appreciation for others.

It’s not easy! It’s difficult to accept other people’s shortcoming when we are so self-focused! More so when we are learned! When we constantly strive for self-betterment and personal-advancement we become cynical and uncomfortable with others ignorance and sense of knowledge.

This is harmful for any collective endeavour because everyone comes with strengths and weaknesses. One of the best things that my mentors taught me is to keep people reminded of their strengths. I realized everyone is dealing with his/her problems within and without – the more one’s reminded of his/her strength, the better turns his/her confidence to deal with the situation.

Sense of comfort actually comes when we learn how to be compassionate with everyone. Every time when something makes you uncomfortable remind yourself that the best way out is to accept and let it be. Remind yourself that the other person or the situation has an unresolved history. Remind yourself that the best way you can contribute is by love and acceptance.

The comfortable we become with discomfort, the more acceptance and empathy we will develop. New discomforts will keep coming; resilience and compassion will keep bringing us strength and clarity and clarity will keep us bringing comfort.

More uncomfortable something/someone makes us, remember it can bring us that much comfort. The key lies within – in acceptance and compassion.

Venus Upadhayaya, is a columnist for Brewing Knowledge

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