What are our major gripes? For most people, our greatest fears never see daylight. The cataclysms, the darkest outcomes that we imagine, those things that keep us up at night usually never end up actually happening. What does happen, daily, are the trifling, petty, minor pains that ruffle our feathers and bring about moments of anxiety, fear, and shame. These are the papercut moments in life that are small pains but pack a big punch: The person cutting you off while driving, not getting acknowledged for the work you put into a project, or paying a bill when your low on cash. Although these moments are not the worst things that could happen, they are the more frequent pains we are met with daily and if not addressed, can lead to greater disharmony.
Nobody likes stress, nobody likes sadness, nobody likes to feel uncomfortable. However, on the flip side of this, is a world of possibility. How do you get comfortable with being uncomfortable? The first thing is to know that something is moving. When we are feeling any level of discomfort it is a sign that you have the potential to grow and that an event is pushing you out of your comfort zone. It is imperative that you see these gripes and sources of discomfort as opportunities rather than intended inflictions of hurt.
Once you realize this, stay aware. Think about how the situation can create growth in you. Maybe the circumstance is allowing you to practice forgiveness, maybe it’s understanding. Either way, if you stay heart-centered you will see the moment for what it really is. The key is that you don’t run from it or fight it but that you learn from it.
When we are feeling uncomfortable, we may try to dodge the feelings by masking it but rather than cover it, expose it by allowing yourself deeper understanding. Get to the bottom of why you feel the way you do. Usually what is causing you to feel uncomfortable has its roots in the past which is being called forth into the present to be healed and released.
Recently I’ve had my share of being uncomfortable because of a decision I needed to make. I had to decide whether to return for a second interview at a job that was lucrative, but wasn’t aligned with what I saw myself doing in the long run. The whole damn day I struggled with this decision, praying that I’d be given a sign, something to show me what decision I should make. I looked. I listened. I read inspiring words, I made a pros and cons list. I read my horoscope. Nothing came. To know me is to know that I work off of signs and going with my gut so when none came, I felt lost.
Eventually I decided to do what I felt was in alignment with my purpose. I wrote an email turning down the second interview. After doing this, I have to admit, I felt good about my decision but part of me still wondered if I made the right choice. Could I have worked at that job and still continued with the work I’m passionate about? Am I going to be financially stable? All of these are questions that ran through my mind.
As I got up from sending the email declining the offer, I looked to the side of me. I noticed two words written on a filing cabinet that was left behind by a former co-worker: commitment and legacy. How’s that for a sign!
There were many lessons that I felt my feelings of discomfort were trying to teach me. The lesson that I realized through this experience was to learn how to trust myself. I had to remind myself that the answers in life are always found internally first then validated externally. So, that sign I was looking for only appeared when I was able to be honest with myself concerning the direction I saw my life going.
In addition to this, the experience was providing me with deeper understanding of my purpose. Seeing the word commitment and legacy reminded me of the importance of prioritizing my purpose in order to feel a greater sense of joy and fulfillment.
Feelings of discomfort are not going to disappear. However, you can learn how to address them in the moment so that it does not wreak havoc on your life. It is just as important to know how to deal with the minor slights of life as it is the more traumatic moments. As you begin to practice looking for the deeper meaning behind life’s challenges, you will shift into a much more powerful way of living.
Kamaria G. Powell was born and raised in Boston, and received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and went on to receive her master’s degree in education at The University of Massachusetts Boston. Following her postgraduate studies, she began teaching for Boston Public Schools.