There’s a saying that life is truly lived outside our comfort zone. I'm sure the folks who coined this saying had the big things in mind. Afraid of heights? Face your fear and leap out of a plane. Have a dream of becoming a chef at 55? Reinvent yourself and go back to school. Unhappy in your marriage? Find freedom in solitude.
As a new mum, it doesn’t take the big moves to get me out of my perceived comfort zone. Even though it feels like I was born to be a mum, simply becoming a mother has forced me to venture outside this realm daily. My comfort zone is 8+ hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Oh well. My comfort zone is also finding time to practice mindful movement every day. Yeah, right! I’m also quite comfortable being able to head out of the house on a moment's notice, allowing spontaneity to take me. Never. Going. To. Happen. Again. I like to have control of my days and how they unfold. Ha, now that’s funny. If there is an issue, a problem, a hurdle, I love finding the solution, a tangible way forward. Motherhood doesn’t always work that way.
I’m realising how uncomfortable it is to sit with my baby girl as she goes through a plethora of feelings and experiences that I can’t do much about. Teething for example. My daughter is in the throws of it right now and it is intense, for both of us, at times. I can see and feel how much discomfort she is experiencing. Aside from pulling out all the tools to soothe her pain, even for just a moment, the reality is she has to go through this discomfort. The teeth must come through.
Not being able to fix the pain, to make it go away, is very uncomfortable for me. Yet, when I stop trying to fix it and simply be in the moment with my daughter, allowing her to fully express what she is feeling, something miraculous happens. I relax, she settles down (yep, in that order) and the moment is ours. The moment no longer belongs to pain and struggle, powerlessness and frustration. The moment belongs to her and I. Rather than trying to find a solution or a way through this experience, I can just hold her and let her know that I am here. That letting go becomes our way through.
The letting go is uncomfortable for me. Giving my daughter the space to feel and express without the tendency to jump in for the quick fix, or the temporary distraction, is uncomfortable for me. When I’m able to pause and allow the moment to be what it is - overwhelming, shitty, confusing, annoying - all of that dissolves and it’s no longer any of those things. It’s just a mum and her wee girl hanging out, moving a bit more gracefully and easily through the motions of this crazy, beautiful life.
What makes you uncomfortable and how are you going to get comfortable with that?