Center for Spiritual Living

Welcoming the Uncomfortable (06/13/21)

Rev. Mary Murray Shelton

What does it mean to be uncomfortable? It’s unfamiliar, right? And that can feel vulnerable.

I had a Russian host when I was staying in Moscow. She showed me all over the city, and I became aware of many unpredictable, uncomfortable, changing requirements that city dwellers were used to and took in stride. When I commented on this, Natasha replied, “Well, you miss a lot when you always have to be comfortable.” I thought about this. She wasn’t defending the manipulation of the people. She was pointing out that Americans seemed to lack resilience when it came to inconveniences. It’s true. We do like to be comfortable and in control.

What happens when we’re uncomfortable, though, is often that we’re off-balance just enough to be opened to big, transformative changes. Loss, illness, mortality, heartbreak–at each of these times we realize how little we really control. Fight, flight, freeze, or flow are our choices. Flowing is usually the choice that follows trying everything else unsuccessfully and finally surrendering to what’s happening.

If being uncomfortable is an invitation into transformation, what could really be better? Can we find a way to welcome that state of vulnerability? We’ll consider that possibility today.

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