Relating to Discomfort
Tony E Dillon-Hansen
In dreams and fantasies, we would like to live in luxurious settings and lazy beaches or tending to our favorite hobbies every day of our waking existence. We, all, would love to have no problems and no worries. We would love to love, to believe, to act, to talk or to think without distress or pain. Rev. Cameron Barr remarked in sermon, “It’s not love at all if it’s so plain and simple and nice that the truth isn’t welcome.” The challenge is not that we want peaceful existence or how we may characterize good love. The challenge is not to avoid fear, anger, or uncertainty but also how we “relate to discomfort” because there is something to learn in discomfort.
Things left unsaid, undone, half-done, or avoided can be destructive to our own being. If we are constantly avoiding challenges to our lives, we may miss great opportunities to learn what can be improved in ourselves. Uncomfortable things do not have to be always confrontational, but we can choose the manner in which things are questioned. Perhaps, we, ourselves, were subjecting incorrect assumptions upon a situation. Perhaps, what was unfamiliar to us was frightening but something worth more research. By avoiding the questions around the event(s), we would never learn the intricate details of thinking differently. We can challenge our own viewpoints without sacrificing the essence of who we are, and we might just improve how we interpret the world.
Things left unsaid might need to consider if we our taking ourselves too seriously over matters. That is why I like the character Goofy from Disney to remind me that things I do and say are as well goofy. That recognition should also come with a willingness to temper oneself and accept when I am wrong.
We may consider that our words may be harmful to the person(s) causing our current discomfort. We may think that our thoughts may be considered controversial or may “ruffle feathers” that we think should not be. We know many examples of this when working as part of teams. We may observe patterns that are causing issues (may even choose only to reveal our concerns to select people), but then we do not share them with the people that can help to make a positive impact. When we do this, we rob people, or the whole team, of their potential growth. A project can easily get sidetracked or worse if the team lose focus or if team leaders focus upon bad targets. Would the Titanic have arrived in New York if officers questioned the Captain's decisions?
We could see a spouse or significant-other doing or saying something troubling to us. Communication is important here because you could go down the long path of regret and anger over a simple misunderstanding while nothing changes during silence. Also, such matters could get worse.
In some cases, things left unsaid can result in someone else's pain, injustice or misery. Maybe, we do not think our place is to say anything. Perhaps, we should speak up when great injustices are before us. Maybe, we did not believe we had the authority to challenge someone. This can happen when someone with supposed authority or superiority is doing the injustice, and we struggle to find our proper place in the discussion. Yet, we know too well what happens when someone is being abused and no one is there to help. If you have the opportunity to correct an injustice, Time will see that you are vindicated. Clever sounding rhetoric or show of muscle by bullies is no match for the truth that true justice and love brings.
Maybe, we should just quietly live without instigating anything. There are, of course, remedies for forgetting pain through drugs, alcohol, and dangerous behaviors (even conducting our own version of the pain to someone else). Then, we may find ourselves painfully attached to yet another grievance. With these, the path of fear and violence is that of more fear and more violence whether we internalize such or we allow the environment to continue around us. Further, we remove ourselves from the world both in mind and body through the supposed escapes while maintaining our anxiety and angers because none of these techniques results in quieting of the mind.
I, like the minister and most everyone, want people to like me and that throwing a concern into the open may seem to jeopardize those kind views. Yet, maybe that is not what we should want; that to act only in accordance with other peoples’ wishes.
When we do not speak out, we could find ourselves building walls with mirrors around ourselves because we take too much stock in what we currently think. Our ability to learn and to grow diminishes when we do not challenge our own comfort zones.
We do not have to judge others for not also trying, but we can be an example of how this can work as revealed within ourselves to ourselves. Karma has a way of showing these traits to others.
Who we are is what we do, not just what we say (but words can go a long way to help.) We may like pleasantries of nice, professionalism exhibited, or simply to live in peace. Yet, when moments arrive that demand justice, we cannot be in peace if we let them go on without rebuke. We do not need and should not justify our existence or the rights of anyone else, but sometimes we must. Again, we do not have to be confrontational, we should be willing to remind people the value and worth of every soul. Justice deserves its day before the collective good, and anyone not willing to recognize that also does not understand love or justice.