In my coaching work, something that seems to come up a lot is the notion of how to deal with feeling uncomfortable.
You see, when there is discomfort, such as uncomfortable feelings or thoughts or memories, what many of us tend to do is to try to push these out of our minds, numb them with browsing social media or watching TV, we might try to drown them with alcohol or overfeed them with food.
This too shall pass
Instead, I encourage my clients (and you!) to sit with the discomfort, allow it to be and experience feeling uncomfortable rather than try to deal with it in your usual way. The discomfort will pass.
Nature is the greatest teacher
Today’s weather in Melbourne was a perfect metaphor for this process.
It was a heavy, humid and cloudy morning and that sense of heaviness just seemed to grow all day. Neither my air conditioner or my fan could budge the humidity and moving inside/outside didn’t make a difference, a cool shower helped but only for a short time. I was feeling uncomfortable in a physical sense and yet there was nothing I could do. I simply had to sit it out.
Eventually, this afternoon it became dark and thunderous and a storm broke, dumping rain and clearing the humidity. It was a welcome relief. But not for long… Soon enough the sun came out and pumped up the humidity again and I was back to feeling uncomfortable!
Some time later, another band of rain arrived and again brought cool air and cleared the sticky humidity. Relief again!
Right now, I’m taking time to sit and enjoy the coolness and how good it feels. I know that sure enough, the discomfort will return at some stage this week.
Our emotions naturally ebb and flow
That’s the nature of things I guess. Seasons cycle, things come and go and our emotions are a part of that natural flow. Sometimes we’ll be feeling uncomfortable, maybe intensely so, and after time those feelings move on and others take their place.
We can choose how we respond
Once again, I’m reminded that we can’t change the natural rhythm of things, We can’t control the flow of the weather, just like we can’t control the emotions that arise in us. What we can control, what you can control, is the way in which you choose to respond.