The Deliciousness of Discomfort.
If there is no such thing as pain on this planet, then how does that redefine our human experience?
If the duality of pleasure/pain, good/bad, right/wrong, yes/no does not exist, then what is left? How do I process my experience and where does it leave me?
If pain, bad, wrong, and No simply become another type of information, how is my human experience transformed?
I had the recent epiphany that while I’m eager to accept what society deems good, I resist putting myself out there for anything else from a place of fear of the bad, fear of being hurt, in pain, told No, being wrong, or possibly even the decimation of rejection.
However, if I objectively examine the facts of the way I do life, what I eagerly embrace as pleasure, bliss, right and good, it is, in truth, just simply my feelings of comfort. They are undefined, ineffable physical feelings in my body that I recognize, the comfortable known.
As I look further, these negative labels that the planet created are what I agree to use. I found that buying into these earthly labels turned out to be the shackles that were keeping me bound tomorrow to the exact same human expression I am today, and that by avoiding them, I was in fact avoiding truly living.
It was time to move out of my comfort zone. Time to cultivate discomfort.
As I unravel the constant planetary barrage of how exactly I am expected to behave in this human experience, I started asking myself, “Who says?”
They say I have to follow the rules.
They say I can’t do that.
They say I shouldn’t go there.
They say I can’t look like this, I can’t wear this, I can’t like that, I can’t date you, I can’t write this, it’s dangerous, it’s illegal, it’s wrong, it’s immoral… and the list goes on and on.
Who are “They?”
Who created these parameters I so wholeheartedly believe, that are so clearly holding me back from embracing the totality of my human experience?
If the answer is some other human, some societal construct, some institution, someone or something besides the Divine, my response is now “Fuck that!”
In this process, I came to the realization that while stringing together moments of pleasure, bliss and joy, if I want to really learn, grow and expand through this human experience, I have got to deliberately cultivate what they say is pain, bad and wrong and, ultimately, try all this out for myself.
I’ve got to experience it all to be fully human.
I’ve got to get comfortable with discomfort and make my own rules!
Embracing this new mindset for me has really changed the way I am experiencing life. It made me a deliberate proactive player in this game as I cultivate the information-gathering experience and invite others who are hungry for an enriched journey to do the same.
Do I make you uncomfortable?
Mm, Yes, please!
Make me uncomfortable. Show me what is calling out for my love and attention. Hold up the mirror so I can see my blind spots that I’ve yet to find alone, the places in me where I can grow and expand.
Last year I was given the amazing gift of being fully present with an exquisite man who embraced me saying “I’m scared. I’ve never done this before.” In his trust and vulnerability, he mirrored my sentiments.
We held sacred space for one another, eagerly leaned into our mutual discomfort, grew powerfully together if only for a moment, and held on for the ride as long as we possibly could.
I wish I could tell him how much his gift means to me, how eternally grateful I am, how profoundly it changed me and the way I do life.
Lately people have been flowing swiftly in and out of my world.
As I see them turn on their heels and run from our uncomfortable energy exchange, it’s taking everything I have not to chase them screaming, “Wait! Come back! Trigger me, damn it, make me really uncomfortable!”
I’ve been pursuing absolutely everything that can possibly push me from my comfort zone, reaching out to people left and right in total and complete unwavering faith that they have gifts of information for me.
I’m no longer fighting the discomfort. I am hungry for all the juicy tidbits I can acquire.
No longer shying away from the societal construct of risk and pain, I now actively seek opportunities to be triggered, begging the Universe to accelerate my growth and expansion.
I drove home from teaching tonight sobbing tears of gratitude the entire ride as I’d had a blissful day of delicious discomfort.
A woman came to me this morning after a speaking engagement to tell me that as soon as she heard the topic of our session — sexual violence — she wanted to run from the room in discomfort, yet something in her told her to stay.
She shared with me the violations she’d endured as a child. She told me they led her to a life of drug addiction, violence and prostitution. She shared about the wake-up call that led her to college, then burst into tears as she shared that it may be too late for her as she is currently awaiting sentencing for her crimes.
She will find out in August for how long she will go to prison.
I acknowledged her strength to stay present through the event, to move in and embrace the discomfort, to share her story with me afterwards, then hugged her as she sobbed, promising to provide her with resources she could use to actively heal while in prison.
This evening, I showed the Tony Robbins’ documentary “I Am Not Your Guru” in my business class. It is one of my favorite lessons.
For two hours, the entire room was a mass of thick, dense, delicious discomfort.
Several students were moved to tears.
A number shared their epiphanies through shaking voices.
At the end of class, I acknowledged the strength of each and every one of them to sit through the lesson and to participate vulnerably in the exchange.
After class, a lovely, tiny, doe-eyed young woman returned to the room. She firmly stated that my class was almost unbearable for her, incredibly uncomfortable, and that I am triggering her every single night.
I truly thought she was going to start screaming obscenities at me at any moment as she hugged her arms tightly to her shaking body and could barely hold back tears.
Then she thanked me.
She thanked me for seeing her, for hearing her, for valuing her voice, and for giving her the safe space to truly show up for herself.
I was then moved to tears myself, overwhelmed with gratitude, and inspired to continue my pursuit of discomfort as I no longer fear it, but instead embrace the gift of the fearless freedom.
Ultimately, where does this experience leave me?
It leaves me free to simply be without suffering. It leaves me free to risk fearlessly. It leaves me open to create from the depths of my heart and soul completely judgment-free. It leaves me to love without conditions and without getting hurt.
It leaves me to open fully and fearlessly to the human experience which is the ultimate intention of the Divine.
So, do I make you uncomfortable?
Come on now, say it with me, join me in the deliciousness…
… Mm, Yes, please!
Christie Del Vesco is a College Administrator and Professor, a Universalist Minister, a member of the RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) Speakers Bureau and single mom. She’s a children’s advocate, a survivor of many forms of sexual violence, and a voice for the survivors who have yet to find their own. Chris is a firm believer that we go through what we do, to help others when they go through the same. She also believes if we would all just “be the change,” we can change the world.