We all go through times of discomfort, times of unrest, and times of great change. And more often than not, we come out the other side stronger for the experience.
While we are in the midst of darkness, it’s often very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. During times of despair, often the last thing we want is to be told that it’s going to get better and that we’ll be stronger for the experience. Even though it may well be true, we often don’t want to hear is how great life can be. Because while you are in a depressed or low state, it is not possible to envision better times. You cannot imagine a world that is bright and full of beauty. If the world is a reflection of yourself, it can certainly feel like an unwelcoming place at times.
As humans, our instinct to move away from pain and towards pleasure can often drive us into further despair.
For example, substance addiction and other unhealthy addictions are caused by our wanting to be out of pain…our resistance to facing pain. This constant state of needing to feel good through external sources is certainly not the answer.
The concept of finding comfort in the discomfort is something I have personally needed to come to terms with. I went through some dark times after a major accident, leaving me with no function in my arm, no job, and no sense of direction and purpose. The accident eventually kick-started my journey of personal growth but not without periods of despair.
I had to find comfort in the uncomfortable. I had to accept my state of mind, my emotions, and my impaired physical body in each moment.
Mindfulness and meditation practices helped me deal with the overall pain on a moment to moment basis. If I could find a sense of acceptance with my pain while in a meditative state, there was nothing stopping me from finding that place at all times, whenever I needed it. It just came down to practice, discipline, and trust within myself.
During the low points throughout my journey, I was able to find a perspective outside of my experience. I started to learn to accept my circumstances and find comfort in my discomfort. I started to view life as a series of experiences that need not be attached with positivity or negativity but with equanimity. This allowed me the space to seek peace and joy within myself.
The external world will always be unable to fulfil us regardless of how much we search for it. Sometimes you need to break yourself all the way down before you can rebuild yourself up, more powerful than ever. Everything we go through is purely to help us grow and develop as human beings.
It can certainly be distressing when something drastic happens that upends your life and what you thought your path was. However, through these experiences, I was able to come to the realisation that life will always have ups and downs and it’s how we deal with them that really matters. We are simply observers in our own lives and the quicker we learn how to ride those waves of life, the quicker we can start to enjoy the ride.
If you are someone who is struggling with your mental/physical health or you are having difficulty picking up the pieces after an accident or traumatic event, know that there are plenty of people out there who can support you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. We are all in this together.