We're crazy for comfort. We feel cheated when we're
uncomfortable, or we feel there's something to do which we haven't yet
done, the doing of which will eliminate being uncomfortable, because
we've got it wired life should be comfortable. The truth
is life is sometimes comfortable and sometimes it isn't. Even when it's
uncomfortable the show goes on. Your integrity muscle, for example, is
built only when it's uncomfortable.
didn't promise life will always be comfortable. Interestingly enough,
when life is comfortable we ease up. Life goes unexamined
when it's comfortable. What that implies is when life is comfortable,
that's when I'm most likely to be on automatic. But when it's
uncomfortable, when there's a palpable sense of dis-ease, when there's
a sense of I don't like, when it seems as if
that's when I'm most likely to question. That's when I'm most likely to
And my first take after
I've noticed when it's uncomfortable there's always a sense it's
personal. And there's even a predictable conversation that goes
along with it which sounds something like this:
"I'm not comfortable with this. I don't like this.
This isn't right. It shouldn't be this way.
This shouldn't be happening. This shouldn't be happening to
The sense it's personal is pervasive. But it's not
personal. It's just what we inherited along with human being.
And because there's no immediate recognition of that, we rarely inquire
into its impersonal nature because we're convinced it's personal.
Actually it's more than that: we're thrown it's personal.
Since we're more likely to question when life is uncomfortable, what's
the distinction in life being uncomfortable which, when distinguished,
creates the space to be with the experience of life being
uncomfortable so that what's there is neither uncomfortable
nor comfortable but rather ... simply ... life - just the way it is
and just the way it isn't?
Consider this: it shows up personal ... but it ain't
That's not a rule. Neither is it a formula. It's not a discipline
either. And, to be sure, if you turn it into a belief it
loses all its power. But as a place to stand and look from it's really
powerful. If you try it on for size, you may notice when life isn't
a) assume it's somehow personal, and
b) we try to change it.
You may also notice when life is comfortable we
a) assume it's the way it's supposed to be, and
b) we go along with it.
Yet if you examine each you'll see they're both quite arbitrary and
It doesn't require a vote on your part. Entertaining the point of view
it shows up personal ... but it ain't personal creates
space to be in, creates clarity to see in. It's to be used
- like a lens - to examine human being and what
goeswith the territory of being human (as
may have said). There's a degree of freedom in discovering much of the
stuff in life we take personally isn't personal at all. We
simply inherited it by being born.