Have you seen that video of the Rabbi explaining how a lobster responds to stress?
(I highly recommend you do. And yes, of course it’s safe for work. It’s a Rabbi! And no, lobsters are not kosher, but the story still stands.)
My hubby showed it to me the other night because I was ‘responding’ to stress *ahem*, meaning … I was having a moment. My ‘moment’ involved getting caught up in a drama that wasn’t mine, but felt close to it, and in thinking too far ahead on another matter entirely. (We call this ‘zooming ahead in my household.)
This lobster story helped me bring back down to earth, because the truth is that growing and stretching and evolving can feel really uncomfortable.
But here’s another truth: uncomfortable isn’t a bad thing.
Okay, uncomfortable is bad when we’re talking about new shoes, or beds that are too small, or if you’re flying and the person in the seat in front of you pushes their chair back suddenly and you weren’t expecting it.
But being uncomfortable when you’re stretching yourself, moving outside of your comfort zone (whatever a ‘comfort zone’ is anyway), is not a bad thing.
Yet we expect it to hurt, and so we make it painful.
We writhe, and push it away, and make it DRAMA. We complain and moan and whine (and sometimes, wine) and groan and stomp our feet (metaphorically, right?).
We don’t like things to be uncomfortable. We like comfort. And neatness. And tidy things all in a row, that have labels and instructions and are easy to return.
But no, lovely human of the world, no.
You don’t judge yourself for feeling happy, so why judge yourself for feeling uncomfortable?
(Unless it’s because you bought shoes that are too small. That’s on you.)
Let things be uncomfortable.
They will get better.
They’ll start to fit, for a while. They’ll feel neat and tidy and you’ll be able to read that label perfectly well.
Until one day (who knows when?), you’ll feel uncomfortable again.
You’ll be growing, learning, evolving, stretching… and you’ll have to find a new space in which to evolve, a new stone on which to step.
So, let yourself feel uncomfortable.
And, let yourself grow.