Practice

Discomfort Toleration

Tolerate discomfort.  Imagine a world where we stop telling children that they should just be quiet because their tears make us uncomfortable.  Imagine it being okay to look your friend in their grief-filled eyes and feel no urge to change their sorrow, just to sit alongside them in solidarity.  This is the world I imagine and I wish for you to join me.

Often, a person will move out from under the spotlight of discomfort as quickly as possible.  In conversation, thought, movement, and many other activities, our internal barometer will alert us to the fact that something is not ideal.  Something may be unpredictable or outright painful and we move away.  Here is where I ask you to deviate from standard operations.  Don’t fight, flee, or freeze; just stay.  Acknowledge that your preference would be another reality and make the conscious decision to accept the reality you are in.

Let’s try this together.

Choose a flag to remember to practice.  It can be anytime you are interacting with someone else, a physical practice, or anything of your choosing.  The flag matters a lot less than remembering to practice and the more you try, the more skilled you become.  I am proposing this: the more we practice tolerating discomfort, the more we can embrace uncomfortable situations, which is a powerful ability.  We shall stand strongly in the throes, where others would shirk, calm and unwavering until consciously choosing to move on.

 

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