Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

The Destructive Side of Comfortable.

ThoughtsI guess there’s no real danger involved in being comfortable but for me it really has been a challenge that I have never really been aware of.

Feeling comfortable in itself is the not the real challenge, it is the choices (or lack of) I make when I feel comfortable.

While I was away on holiday/vacation I had no real opportunity to write stuff down but plenty of time to reflect on things and one of these was why my life has been like an emotional roller coaster over the past few years.  I wondered why I felt I had no control over the ups and downs until I started thinking back on the times when I had experienced times of feeling happiness, joy, confidence, calm and at peace with everything versus the times when anxiety and fear came back to rear it’s ugly head.

I had been thinking about this before I went away but then got caught up in everyday life and didn’t really explore it further, partly because I couldn’t really get my head around what I was thinking.

Now I am beginning to believe that feeling comfortable is (or has the potential to be) destructive for me! I know this may sound like I have completely lost the plot once and for all! I am writing this to try to explain it to myself and to convince myself that I haven’t lost it completely!

Feeling comfortable of course is a good feeling. For me it means no anxiety or fear about the future, be it financial worries (I know that one far too well) or fear of illness etc. It also means I find it easier to stay present for longer.

The negative or destructive aspect about feeling comfortable for me is the fact that I stop learning and growing. It is like a part of me convinces me that my work is done and that all is perfect. It’s not until I am back down in the “dark hole” and having to find a way out, that I start again.

It’s only when I seem to be in a place of pain that I find the strength and motivation to get back on the right path (wherever that may be).

This leads me to question if there’s an element of me being in the “dark hole” that I am holding onto, and if so, why? I know I will have to explore that further.

CloudsWhy do I seem to create these situations for myself? It sometimes feels like all the work I had done up until that point has been undone and that I am right back where I started!  When I get a chance to put this feeling into perspective I realise that, even though I may be back where I started, I have learned a lot along the way and maybe this is just an opportunity to learn lessons again. Lessons I may have not been ready for at the time!

Maybe the lesson for me here is to remember (yet again) that it’s the journey that matters and not the end result!

20 responses to “The Destructive Side of Comfortable.

  1. viv66 April 28, 2009 at 6:01 am

    I thought of the words in a Pink Floyd song when you were talking about being comfortable. “Comfortably numb”
    I am thinking a lot about the experiment using frogs and different temperatures of water; a frog put in mildly warm water stays there even if you heat it to boiling point and kill it. It’s about what we get used to.

  2. J April 28, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I love the song “Comfortably Numb” but it also describes perfectly how I feel when I am in that stage.
    I have heard about the frog experiment and I think it would be a good idea for me to jump out of the water before it reaches boiling point!!!

  3. fibi April 28, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Maybe those moments of “comfortable” are necessary to regroup – to assimilate all you have learned.. A hiatus, before the next lesson comes along..

    I think in order to feel complete, we need to have all experiences in life – comfort – contentment – happiness – joy – sadness – darkness, etc..

    • J April 28, 2009 at 3:19 pm

      Hi Fibi,

      I agree with your every word!
      I initially wanted to write about “contrast” in terms of how it would be difficult to appreciate or even recognise happiness, joy, abundance etc, without also having felt the opposite, however, the post (as it often happens) kind of developed a life of it’s own.
      I love your view on how the moments of comfortable are necessary to regroup and assimilate all that has been learned. It just makes perfect sense to me.

  4. viv66 April 28, 2009 at 8:37 am

    The point with the frog is that the changes are so subtle that it literally doesn’t notice what’s going on. Obviously we are a bit more savvy but even so I know myself that I often will do nothing about a nasty situation rather than risk a confrontation and a worse situation arising out of my reacting…
    I think Fibi is right too that we need a range of experiences to be complete, and that the difference between a rut and a groove or niche is simply a matter of depth!
    That said, I did confront someone at work last week, quite politely, but firmly, and so far nothing terrible has happened…but I’m waiting, as a friend of mine puts it, for “the other shoe to drop”. I’ve given myself permission that if things do get bad, I can just walk out saying, “I quit!”.

    • J April 28, 2009 at 3:33 pm

      I would like to think I am “a bit more savvy” than a frog but at the same time the subtlety of the changes can be so difficult to notice. I hope that I am at least a bit more aware of it now and as a result will be able to do something about it sooner.

      Being polite but firm, I belive, is the best approach in confrontations. I still have a lot of work to do in this field as I would tend to do nothing to avoid confrontation. I have found though, that the calmer and the more diplomatic I am when forced into confrontation, the better the outcome.
      I hope that things improve for you at work and that you are not “forced” to walk out.



  5. creatingyourlife April 29, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Very insightful J. I believe most of us like ‘comfortable’ because of our fear of the unknown, another reason most of us are resistant to change. My recent reading is really getting me out of my comfort zone and challenging everything I have ever been taught and believe. To tell the truth it is quite scary, but I trust the source of the writing so I will continue. I agree that we need times of comfort, but it is all too easy to get stuck there, that’s why certain things happen that we don’t always fully understand. It’s just the universe nudging us. Look forward to your next post….

    • J April 30, 2009 at 6:02 pm

      Thank you Brynn,

      My main problem with “comfortable” was being stuck there for too long, not really because I was afraid of the unkown. It was more a case of my ego trying to convince me that there would be no more need to practice anymore or learn anymore. Maybe it’s my ego feeling the fear of the unknown and fighting to keep me stuck!!

      Are you still reading “A Course in Miracles”?

  6. midori April 29, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Time never can be rewind so do life. And of course the way we spent our life. Please love ourselves and others.Most of all the earth!

    • J April 30, 2009 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you midori.

      I am happy to welcome you here and I really appreciate your visit and comment.
      I agree with loving ourselves and others. this alone will make our world a better place.

      Best wishes


  7. viv66 April 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I’m not sure I am more savvy than the average frog, to be honest! I put up with crap for the sake of being nice and keepng the peace. I must stop. I took a small step today and said no to having my assignments swapped around next month, because what I was being asked to swap to paid less than I’d already agreed to. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, because there was no incentive to agree to changing it. But even so, I feel slightly sick at having refused. IT’s not a lot of money anyway so…
    You must know the joke about the wide-mouthed frog, nothing to do with the subject really but all to do with self preservation?

  8. J April 29, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I have put up with crap my whole life for the same reason as you; keeping the peace and being nice!
    I have also come to the conclusion that I must stop and I am taking small steps (well! most of the time!!!)
    I am pleased to hear that you took a small step and I only wish that you did not feel slightly sick from refusing. You have every right to refuse! I am at a loss to how they can even ask you to alter your assignments for their benefit and at your expense! I wonder what their answer would be if you were to request a change of assignment to suit you and requested more money at the same time!!

    You keep going and if all else fails we can always start the “feeling less savvy than a frog” blog!!!



  9. uninvoked April 29, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you for this post. I almost wonder if being “comfortable” is what had me stagnating in my writing. I’ve got so many short stories that could be out, two novels in the works, and yet no new ideas, no fresh stories. No words in my head whispering to me.

    I think it’s time to go back to basics.

    • J May 1, 2009 at 8:47 pm

      Hi uninvoked and welcome here.

      I am glad you found the post useful and I sincerely hope that your words will start whispering to you again.
      I think sometimes the more we push for something to happen the less it actually does until we let go for a little while.

      Going back to basics may just be the answer you are looking for.

      Best wishes


  10. bojinx April 30, 2009 at 6:04 am

    life always goes back and forth, learning, unlearning, quiet (or comfortable) is where you get to recharge – and I reckon its ok to be quiet and comfortable every now and again – so long as you don’t get stuck there.

    So, between the period of crazyness’s its good to take a step back and reflect – look back and move forward. Sometimes you need to see the past to be able to picture the future…

    • J May 1, 2009 at 9:03 pm

      Hey Bojinx how have you been?

      Thank you for your kind words and you are right. It is good to be quiet and “comfortable” but I came to realise that I too often ended up getting stuck there and always had to have some kind of a wakeup call to get me back in gear.
      I do think it is important to reflect and recharge and hopefully now that I am more aware I will be able to stop myself getting stuck there for too long!!

      Best wishes

  11. psychscribe May 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    What a wonderful post. The paradox of it all of course is summed up in your words “It’s only when I seem to be in a place of pain that I find the strength and motivation to get back on the right path (wherever that may be)”…
    On another path in this response, I know I have looked for your blog before when you’ve commented on mine, but somehow I didn’t find it…????? Maybe I clickec on the photo and not the J. Anyway, I’m so glad I found you now. Love your blog and will add it to my blogroll so I can be sure to find you often!

  12. J May 1, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Hey psychscibe I am so glad you found me and thrilled you are back.

    The thoughts that eventually led to this post have been in my head for so long and have caused a great deal of confusion, which is a fairly usual effect my thoughts can have on me!!! It’s only when I start to write stuff down I get some degree of clarity and I think that is why this blog has become my therapy!

    I hope that all is well with you and I will visit soon.



  13. psychscribe May 2, 2009 at 1:45 am

    PS – I did not finish my sentence in my previous comment, sorry: I meant to say that the paradox is that once we get on the right path we get comfortable again..

  14. J May 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I thought that was what you meant by the paradox! Hopefully I will be better equipped to stop it next time!

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