Monday, March 21, 2011

Comfort with Discomfort

Sometimes we think that to be happy, we have to be up all the time. That if we grin and bear it or fake it till we make it, we can overcome adversity.

I don't think that's right. In fact, I think that's the last thing you want to do.

Happiness is a full contact sport. It includes and even embraces all the ups and downs of life. And in fact, those moments when we're not comfortable can be our greatest teachers.

Is there someone at work who makes your skin crawl? Try spending some more time with that person.

Is there a political or religious belief you react to? Try reading more about it.

Is there a thought that makes you really uncomfortable, or ashamed, or afraid? Come back to it. Relive it. Welcome it as a close friend.

Discomfort is a part of life, and if we try to avoid it, we only find our world getting smaller. But when we approach even the things that scare us with curiosity and love, our world expands, and we expand along with it.

And most of the time, we find the thing that was so distasteful or hurtful or scary really wasn't nearly as bad as we thought.


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