I never realized how easy I have it, living in today's world of modern conveniences. Sure I have complained to you about not having a dishwasher at the farmhouse, and how my commute to work has tripled since we moved. Have I mentioned that the central air in the farmhouse doesn't reach the bedroom and some nights I get too hot?
These issues are not deal breakers in the big picture, but still I allow them to annoy me, and find myself complaining about them.
At least they DID annoy me - until last week when my perspective was challenged.
Last week my son returned from Army Basic Combat Training (BCT). He spent 10 weeks in humid, 100+ degree weather, wearing only clothing assigned to him, boots that were too small and sleeping in a narrow uncomfortable cot. Every day he was woken up between 3 and 4am. He logged an average of 8 miles a day running - with his ruck sack and ever present rifle. He ate the MREs (meals ready to eat) that were given to him - and did what he was told because if you didn't, there were severe consequences. He was punished with the group for actions others did or did not do.
As he was describing the experience - which he loved btw - I was thinking about how easy and soft I have it, and my whole paradigm around discomfort and allowing small things to annoy me was changed in an instant. Being uncomfortable wasn't something to avoid at all costs - NO! Being uncomfortable can be a good thing. How?
When we are uncomfortable:
We value the times we ARE comfortable and that creates an attitude of thankfulness, as in Count Your Blessings
We develop resilience that cannot be cultivated when life is always charmed
We can choose to embrace the discomfort and Grow Through It (see post on tough times)
It is the impetus for change, motivating us to make things different
Through discomfort we are allowed to empathize with a broader swath of humanity because we have walked in their shoes
Many Religions encourage us to embrace discomfort and suffering as it refines our character as silver
What is uncomfortable in your life right now? Make a choice to embrace it, let it be the impetus for change, be thankful, allow it to refine your character into something even more precious and beautiful.
The funny thing is YOU GET TO CHOOSE how you act when you are uncomfortable. Make it a conscious choice.
Have a super week-end!