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Comfortably Uncomfortable

This week's topic is something I am currently going through. I just moved apartments this past weekend and it had all the joys and stressors that come with moving - that come with change in general. We have all heard that growth comes right outside of our comfort zone. We have also heard that we need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. But if we become comfortable with the uncomfortable, then how are we supposed to grow since growth happens outside of our comfort zone? We will constantly be comfortable then! Which sounds nice on one hand and terrifying on the other.

I think a lot of the stress from change comes from trying to control the situation. I'm not sure if you are familiar with getting your car stuck in the mud but it's a great analogy for dealing with uncomfortable situations. If you keep revving your engine and spinning the tires, you will just sink deeper and deeper into the mud. However, if you are patient and allow the mud to settle around your tires, they will be able to grip on to something, helping you get unstuck! Of course, we may also need to rely on a chain we have in our trunk or even the help of friends but more often than not, all we have to do is rest. We have to lean into the uncomfortable situation in order to find our way out of it.

Too often do we get anxious because we are not constantly in growth mode. So we try to force it. This causes more of that uncomfortable feeling which we think means growth but is really just stress that hinders our growth. We get in our own way! We need a different way to view this.

Lucky for you, I have an answer.

Let's use the metaphor of the acorn. When an acorn is planted in the ground, it doesn't sit there stressing out about becoming a giant oak tree. It just becomes an oak tree. It also didn't have a choice in what kind of tree it was going to become. It was always going to be an oak tree. As it grows, it may lose branches in a storm. It may be blocked from sunlight because of other trees around it. It may house a family of raccoons. It may get the initials of a pair of lovers carved into its trunk. But it is still an oak tree. And it keeps growing until it is time to stop. No matter what happens, it will always keep growing. By just sitting there and existing. Waiting for water to come. Waiting for the sun's rays. And always giving back.

Yes, we are not trees. Trees do live a lot longer than we do though, so we could probably learn some lessons from them nevertheless. Allow yourself to grow as you do. There is no need to force anything. You will grow as you grow and will always be able to receive what you need to help you give back.

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