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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Mysterious Origins of my Discomfort

Understanding ourselves takes a lot of work. The first step of doing that is accepting that not everything we are experiencing is our responsibility. We are all carrying issues that have been passed to us via our parents, or teachers or just simply things we picked up and accepted as truth before we knew any better. Those things, once we have identified them are, in the grand scheme, easy enough to let go of. We only need to identify them and recognize that we do not align with the message. Racism is a prime example here. We often pick up fears from our surroundings, and although we do not contribute to them actively within our lives, they live on in us. Fears and misunderstandings can easily be dismantled if we only embrace them and face them. There are a lot of people who would much prefer to turn it off, stop thinking about them and move on without ever really facing those uncomfortable challenges.
I was once in conversation with a fellow artist who talked about how she was often addressed about her work and why it only pictured, for the most part, white people. We spoke about it as being an important part of her practice because, as I saw it, she was working out these life issues that she had picked up, to no fault of her own, through her work. It turned out that her shame was so overwhelming of not previously representing other races that she changed her work. She now depicts a variety of races within her work and she probably no longer gets asked the question. Over time this may still make her consider other races naturally although I am concerned she, like so many others, are just sweeping the problem under the rug and not facing it.
I once was speaking to a group of people in my Art and Healing Meetup group and I mentioned that, considering my past struggles with addiction and other non-law abiding activities, I was lucky to be white because I did not have a permanent police record and if I was black or latino that very well may not be the case. I was recognizing my white privilege. This made a few other older white folks a bit uncomfortable, and one of them questioned a black lady in attendance about how it made her feel to hear me speak this way. She spoke a bit of her experience but agreed with me that I was white and because I lived in the United States I benefited from that. The other white folks that were uncomfortable by the situation, I feel, may not yet be able to face the amount of privilege they receive from just being white. It is important to talk about this, to sit with ourselves and really look at where we are and how we got here. There is nothing wrong with being privileged, especially if it has only to do with the color of your skin. To dismiss privilege and not examine it, and all that is has brought us, is not a healthy loving approach.
Another thing that makes us uncomfortable is change. Our physical beings do not like change, they would much prefer to cling to grounded and definitive definitions. This brings us the “I Am” statement. In the arts we all say I am an artist. That comes with definitions that we, as individuals, did not create. When you think about what an artist is a whole lot of things come to mind, the starving artist, emotionally unstable and so on and so on. We as artists live these definitions and, until we can admit that and try to separate ourselves from completing the “I am” statement with anything other than a period, we will never grow from them.
Uncomfortable feelings like these that come with a lot of cultural ties, are not necessarily our own personal issues. Yes we need to be aware of them and respect them, and those whose issues these are, completely.
So what about the issues that are ours? The definitions we associate with that we built within ourselves because of repeated experiences, karmic residue and past lives. I was talking with someone the other day that said, while talking about allowing themselves to be hurt “that is just who I am and I accept that.” This is someone who may not yet be open to doing the work to seeing who they actually are. They had been playing the victim for so long that they currently have no intention of changing, or so it seems. Thing like these are OUR discomforts and it takes a whole lot more than just recognizing them to work through. This work is very similar to therapy but we have to be our own therapists in here. Actually we have to trust that the part of us that is making us uncomfortable is that of ourselves as therapist and life coach. The uncomfortable nature of the feelings that cause us to blame an outside source, is the imbalance between our spirit and body, the thing we are here to experience. When we place blame, it gives us an outlet and allows us to feel grounded in something that is not real. Our growth can also make us feel uncomfortable but in growing there will not be blame, there will be acceptance.
To be made uncomfortable by an external source means we are not in line with what we are doing or where we are heading. External discomforts can be seen a few different ways. A question to ask in order to understand these discomforts more deeply is “Am I in control here?” The reason we ask that is because of course we are, it is our life, but when we look at the case of the victim I mentioned earlier, they accept something of themself as not being able to change. That thing that they are unable to change also is causing pain within them, presumably, by another person. In this case they are not in control. This is a complicated thing to address because of course you are your own captain, but when you say or think that you want or accept something you are literally putting things in motion within the universe to attract more of those things. We all know thoughts become things but if we feel that we are caused to be uncomfortable by an external source, maybe they are not the right actions to gaining the things we really want. In the case of the previously mentioned victim who is presumably “comfortable” with the uncomfortable nature of being hurt we know that because they used the phrase “I accept that.” This means they are not willing to challenge their comfort levels with real growth. The word uncomfortable here can be seen 2 different ways, the first is an uncomfortable that is presented because we are not growing, the other is the uncomfortableness of growing. To accept you are perfect as you are today is essential, to think that you will accept who you are today, tomorrow, is short sighted.
To have an understanding of something makes it is easy to say you want something and do the work to plan how you are going to get it. The problem that arises is that our understanding of the universe is so scant we cannot really rely on that physical information to guide us properly. We do not know the future and our plans may not have a lot of use tomorrow. Fortunately, the universe does know a bit about the future and lets you know when you are getting off track from your course. And to keep the language fun going that can also be described as an “uncomfortable” feeling.
I was speaking with a close friend of mine recently and we were talking about how if everyone would just follow their path the world would right itself. It is such an uphill battle, this discussion. In my practice I want to help others find their path and do the things that they are in line with, but with so much baggage and self doubt that has been cultivated it is not an easy topic to bring up casually. As soon as I address that a person’s drive and passion have merit the excuses start to emerge. It is interesting because those excuses are the source of discomfort but because they have been clung to for so long they feel comfortable. There are huge differences here between going outside your “comfort zone” and sabotaging your happiness. It is hard to say how the Universe will communicate with each individual because everyone will receive messages differently. One key thing that I have seen though is if you find yourself making excuses, to only yourself, about who you are or what you are doing it is very likely that you have ideas that are growing within you that make you uncomfortable. They are uncomfortable because they are pushing you beyond your comfort zone. They are asking you to step up and accept how awesome you are. When you are living your life honestly you will have no need for excuses.
Saying that you want something is easy and often pretty flippant. When I was an addict I was constantly saying I wanted more of whatever I was addicted to at the time. When I began to listen more to my heart I felt a deep desire to quit. I can easily wake up and say “I will never use again,” actually following through with that is the hard part. The universe had already put a lot of work into getting me in situations I could use as an addict. So like a great friend She wanted to be sure I was making a choice that I wanted to make. Although drugs use can be seen as bad to us the universe will only see it as a neutral action, it does not judge or presume to know better. For months I was tempted by old addictions, and I very often had to remind both myself and the universe of my new plans. It was not easy I was constantly uncomfortable, plagued with old thoughts of using and having new opportunities to use or drink. Before accepting the responsibility that I was in control and wanted to quite my uncomfortable feelings were diverted to placing blame on external things. Other people, my job(s), my relationship(s), my own nature anything would do. I was convinced that I was uncomfortable because of something outside of myself. At the point that I decided to quit, and I had thoughts of quitting for years before I actually did anything about it, I realized that none of those external things really mattered. The longer I was clean and sober the clearer I was thinking. I was no longer looking outside of myself to place blame. I began acting differently towards my uncomfortable nature, I watched it and tracked it to see how it presented itself. As temptations were presented I reaffirmed my stance that I was to blame if I had used and accepted my responsibility. I knew that I was laying track with the universe and it would pay off.
Eventually we came to an understanding and I was in sync with my buddy the universe, but not without a little discomfort along the way.
Uncomfortable feelings are always things we can pick apart and examine. Some of course we have to continue to be uncomfortable with in order to remain on a course we are choosing until the world understands we are ready for that shift. There is a big difference though between wanting to alter a course that I am not happy with, and being content with what I have built. Here too we are being guided. And there is no easy explanation to its purpose.
We need to remember that we are part of a complete system. Not only are we here as a separate beings, but we are also very much a part of the whole. In a spiritual sense we are the whole, and somehow have complete access to the whole system. We can not access it all within our brains, well we can but that is a skill that very few people can do. The reality of this connection to the whole is best seen within your intuition, and like anything the more you try to hear it the more you will find it is always communicating with you. This communication is your emotional guidance system. If you are feeling uncomfortable allow it to exist and learn from it.
It is a good practice to see if the feelings you are having are of yours or new ideas that conflict with old dogma. Either way have trust in the universe, or God (whatever you fancy) and step into the unknown. You are held and it’s okay to be scared of, or uncomfortable with the unknown. All fears do is keep you from being your true loving self. Too many people use fear as an excuse to remain in an uncomfortable state they are comfortable with. Don’t let your fears change your course or keep you from being yourself. If on the other hand this uncomfortableness is something new that you can not unpack, observe it. Be aware of where you are physically and emotionally. Ask your heart and gut if you are safe and loved. If you get a resounding no then maybe it is time to liberate yourself from that which is causing you discomfort.

from miedonomas

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