I used to think that life was better when it was comfortable.
Like a big feather pillow partnered with a Caramel Macchiato and topped with a fleece blanket — maybe with a side of Sleepless in Seattle.
But then, almost two years ago, we had Kate. And in my Pixar-movie world, a surprise Down Syndrome diagnosis was anything but comfortable. It rocked me, it shocked me — but now two years later, it ain’t no thang.
Except for one thing: it taught me the meaning of life.
And the meaning of life is this: we’re not made to be comfy.
In fact, being comfortable is not what makes us happy (for long). Being comfortable is not what makes us who we’re supposed to be. Being comfortable is nice — and a good supplement to a life of purpose — but it’s not an end within itself.
Because what I’ve found is when I’m comfortable, I’m usually not moving. Or growing.
It’s kind of like the whole science to body building. When it comes to building muscles, you have to push them, “break them down,” and then rest them — then they grow back even bigger and stronger. But if you just rest all the time?
[But I wouldn’t know anything about that, says the woman who just spent a 9-month pregnancy vacation from exercise.]
So now, I have a totally different life philosophy that starts with being out of my comfort zone. And it doesn’t have to be in big, meaningful ways all the time, but in small ways: having crucial conversations, making a new friend, hosting a party, running a mile (or 10), writing a love song or even a blog post, telling your story — being vulnerable.
And most importantly: doing something when you don’t feel like doing it because it’s the right thing to do.
Getting uncomfortable isn’t easy, but nothing worth it ever is. And whether it’s lacing up your jogging shoes, adopting children in need, starting your own business, pursuing a passion, life is always better when we put faith in God, fears to the wind, and dive in head first.
“It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before. To test your limits. To break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin