The unbearable discomfort of the comfort zone

Written by Clare Dimond

August 18, 2017

One of the obvious and inevitable outcomes of seeing more clearly that our experience is created by thought in the moment is that we become increasingly comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.

All of those thoughts that used to floor me before still come and go, I still feel them as intensely as ever, it’s just that the legs have been kicked out from underneath them. I just can’t take them as seriously as I used to.

Angry at myself and everyone in my life, including all the people I haven’t met yet? Wow.

The economy is sliding into an abyss and I will never work again. That is one huge thought right there.

Clare you are so ugly and untidy. Ha!

Because we know deep down that it means absolutely nothing. It is transient thought. Here one minute. Gone the next.

All the hateful, peaceful, angry, insecure, secure, anxious, calm, up and down thinking is just the changing energy flowing through us and our unconscious attachment of illusory specifics to that energy.

This stream of thought says nothing about the world, about us, about other people. No matter how real or chock full of vital information it seems to be. It tells us absolutely nothing. Zilch.

The outcome is that we can get very very very comfortable with being uncomfortable.

We can feel it all physically. Observe as the raging extremes of fear, anger, hatred roll through us. Our hands can clench and tremble. Our stomachs can flip and clench. Our foreheads can tense and ache. The only information in any of it is that thoughts are passing through.

We can notice it all and still just do what we know to do regardless, fully aware that these thoughts and these feelings will pass on through.

And the ironic next thing to happen, the thing that I personally hadn’t expected, was that all this being comfortable with discomfort means the beginning of the end of the comfort zone.

Let’s take a moment to say goodbye to this supposed refuge that has accompanied us from the moment the first thought of ‘I’ entered our heads and consider why its time has come.

Our comfort zone is the place we retreat to or stay in when the outside world seems scary or we seem inadequate. In our comfort zone are the things that we believe we can do, experience, say without the risk of looking foolish. Here are the people we believe we can talk to and the places we can go without risk.

Then there is everything outside the comfort zone which is off-limits, the no-go area of life. We can see it all as we peak out from under the blankets but the thought of venturing out into it…? Oh no.

We should make the most of it as long as it lasts. Because the very first insight we have into the transient, illusory nature of thought is the very first nail in the coffin of the comfort zone.

There is no other way.

The more obvious it is that everything we see changes all the time, the more we stop looking outside us for the guide of what to do. In other words we HAVE to look inside. It is the only place of actual information for our lives.

And this information is exceptional. It is straight-forward and practical, it is other worldly and ethereal.

There is the deep knowing of what to do that is our internal GPS.

There are the nudges and the prompts and the ‘why are you making such a big deal of this?’ that tells us to just get on with what we know to do.

There are the winces, the pain and the discomfort that tell us we are out of alignment with what we know deep down to be true.

There are all the things we don’t even consider doing, all the unexpansive relationships we automatically steer away from, all the twists and turns we don’t take because they make so little sense for us.

Then there are light-up-the-sky bursts of inspiration. The personalised gift of incalculable value delivered in our name only, the alchemy of the individual and universal that allow us to create, think, say and write the original and transcendent.

All this information has always been there. It is just that before we were too busy trying to find a solution to imaginary problems to take any notice.

Now though we are no longer so tangled up. We are not spending our time constructing new convoluted tunnel extensions to the rabbit warren of our thoughts.

We are looking inwards. There is no other viable direction to look.

And now, when we have the insight or the inspiration or the deep inner knowing or the nudge or the prompt we can try retreating into the comfort of the ‘I’m not brave/intelligent/rich enough to do that’ or ‘I would do it but the world/that person is too mean/scary/busy/competitive right now.’

But it sits so badly with us. It is as thought we are trying to squeeze ourself into a coat or a pair of shoes that we are out growing by the minute.

Now that we have seen this insecure thinking for the transient energy it is and now that we have seen the inner flame, nudges and certainty for the gift of life they really are, our ‘comfort zone’ is laughable.

Staying here, pretending to believe insecure thoughts, pretending not to notice our inner truth is like trying to hide a floodlight with a piece of gauze or put out a bonfire with a sheet of tissue paper.

We know what to do. We know what is real, loving, expansive, authentic and resolute. And we know that anything that gets in the way is made of transient, insubstantial, ever changing energy.

As a result we either do what we know to do or we endure in the realisation that we are living a lie.

In the comfort zone is only discomfort.

And the discomfort is intolerable.




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