It’s interesting that as soon as we have to do something important we create small, but seemingly urgent tasks. As soon as I sat down to write this blog post I thought about how I really should vacuum my room, or clip my nails, or update my blogging profile picture.
When I sit down to meditate I often think about all the things I need to be doing later in the day. I think about how I’m wasting time just sitting there, yet simultaneously I know meditation is one of the most important elements in keeping my life together and preventing a relapse back into my negative habits.
The problem isn’t the activities. The problem is my obsessive neurotic drive to avoid discomfort. We all have it to various degrees, and I’m just as human as the rest of you.
I’m not super human just because I’m Cameron the moderately good writer from cameronchardukian.com, though it may be easier for some to rationalize that as the reason they’ll never learn to accept any level of discomfort.
If there’s one thing meditation has taught me it’s that it’s ok to feel discomfort. Discomfort isn’t necessarily even bad unless you label it so. When I began writing this post I felt tremendous resistance. Although I don’t feel this is going to be one of the best posts I’ve ever written I’ve managed to push through the initial resistance and am now enjoying the process.
I’d been having a completely unproductive day until this point so why didn’t I throw the towel in? Because I understand that (generally speaking) those who chose comfort now will ultimately be the ones who live the most uncomfortable existences.
If I struggle the three months it takes to make lifting weights a habit now, I can essentially let it run on autopilot the rest of my life, and enjoy the benefits of it while I watch the rest of my peers grow into fat, miserable losers.
While I’m writing this blog post, many of my peers are getting high. They may be enjoying themselves more at this moment, but their approach isn’t sustainable, and over the course of a lifetime I’ll experience significantly more happiness than them.
As a general rule imagine discomfort as being a bank of sorts. If you borrow from it by say skipping a workout, you suffer decreased self-esteem, you lose progress in the gym, and you’ll have to pay “interest” because going to the gym next time will induce even more discomfort and be even more difficult.
On the other hand if you accept that going to the gym is going to be uncomfortable you’ll enjoy the payoff of increased confidence, making progress in the gym, and helping solidify the habit of going to the gym, thus putting yourself into a spiral of less discomfort.
Today may not be the most memorable of your life, but it’s definitely going to be the most important.
How Do I Stop Resisting Discomfort?
Notice the discomfort, breathe, and let go. Realize it’s ok to feel whatever you’re labeling as uncomfortable.
Attempt to ground yourself in the present moment as well. Few problems exist outside the present moment.
Even in a fight or flight emergency there’s no problem. Either you overcome the situation, or you die, in which case there’s still no problem.
Nothing is inherently negative unless you make it so. If you have the internet access to read this post all of your major problems are likely conflicts you’ve created within your own mind. It may be difficult for your ego to let go of them, but I assure you you’ll be a lot happier once you do.
If you’re unable to accept discomfort you have two other solutions. First, you can attempt to escape it. This may be a good idea if it means walking away from an argument, but doing so can also be an unintelligent approach if it means attempting to escape reality.
If neither accepting your situation or escaping it are viable solutions for you, then your only solution is to change either yourself or your circumstances. This is typically the approach used within the personal development community.
Remember though, no amount of self-improvement will ever heal an inadequate amount of self-acceptance.
Picture is of my hilarious fridge. Gotta love vegan style chili!
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