Comfort is among life’s essential treasures and most dangerous pursuits. Without it, health is impossible. Yet, when it is life’s goal, it kills us. Fortunately, any choice we make can serve us on the journey of waking up.
The job of our heart, if you ask me, is to lead us in the direction of ever-expanding love. Which means in the direction of those things we need to make more room for, ease up on our judgment about, forgive, loosen our attachment to, and so forth.
That direction, we needn’t be reminded, is usually the opposite of comfort. After all, it’s impossible to free the likes of pain, fear and shame without feeling them. Dis-comfort is our heart showing us what needs our loving attention. The day we learn this lesson, our life changes forever, they say.
“I’m not comfortable with that,” is one of those rorschach statements that can tell us a lot about the speaker, especially the one in the mirror.
It can be our ego saying, “I’m afraid, and I’d rather run from that fear than actively manage it.” The wish for this sort of comfort is the wish not to have our preferences, habits, addictions and beliefs challenged. Denial, drugs and death are some of the more popular ways we attempt to achieve that wish (with inevitable lack of success).
Or it can be our heart saying, “That doesn’t feel quite in harmony with a healthy outcome.” The quest for this kind of comfort is a celebration of life.
As is the comfort necessary for any kind of healing. Antagonists in conflict require the comfort of a “safe space” in which to move beyond what separates them. Any sort of physical malady, from a cold to a heart transplant, heals best when comforted by any of the countless physical and metaphysical equivalents of chicken soup.
Sleep, silence, a bath, prayer, listing 100 things we’re grateful for, giving a compliment, receiving a compliment, laughing often and for no reason––vast is the storehouse of inexpensive tools to create within us the comfort we cannot live without: the comfort that heals.
What delights me about the universe is how relentlessly loving it is. I find that the desire for all forms of comfort––that which heals and that which kills––is actually our heart leading us in the direction of ever-expanding love. The former rejuvenates, while the pain of the latter reminds us to make a healthier choice.