|“The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” ~Mr. Dooley|
This quote was originally published in the 1902 book, Observations by Mr. Dooley based on a fictional character introduced in the Chicago Evening Post.
Why would we ever want to cause affliction to ourselves or to anyone who was comfortable?
Is there a thing as being too comfortable?
I believe there is.
Life in the comfort zone is great for a while but just as we fall into a trance when driving long distances, we can also find ourselves living in a state of auto-pilot.
Have you ever had an experience where you are driving a route you take every single day and all of a sudden you “wake up” and you’re a few blocks away from where you last remembered driving and think to yourself, “Whoa! What just happened? How did I get here?”
This is a trance state called highway hypnosis, an altered mental state where you can drive your car safely but have no conscious recollection of doing so. It happens when we drive the same consistent path, route or long stretch of road because our mind has mastered the pattern and the route.
This can happen to us spiritually too.
Avoidance of this daily comfort zone trance is in part why we do this work so we can enjoy exhilarating, soul-nourishing circumstances rather than trance-like relationships, experiences or thoughts.
The comfort zone I’m referring to here is not to be confused with the incredible, abundant and manifesting state of flow that I refer to all the time.
The numbed state of comfort zone addressed here is when we choose to ignore our feelings because it feels “easier” somehow. It might be easier in the short term, but long term these very feelings that are ignored in the beginning result in illness and struggles that are far harder to heal than enduring a few moments of brave reflection and processing of your emotions.
Without question, there are times when we truly need to be comforted – after the loss of a loved one, during a life change, or throughout an illness.
But there are times when the mundane needs to be afflicted and expanded – in thought and experience.
Is there a place where you have fallen asleep in your emotional life? Have you become numb to feeling good or bad? Or feeling anything at all?
If we let our hearts go to sleep; we begin to numb the pain instead of actually feeling, and ultimately healing, the hurt. We begin to shut off the parts of us that hurt because we no longer want to feel the pain. But numbing our emotions and getting too comfortable is not healing.
This course of action won’t bring us closer to the real purpose for our pain. If we have to grieve a loss or a life change, we might as well do a thorough enough job so we figure out what it’s bringing us toward, right?
Our pain always has a purpose.
Our grief makes us stronger, more resilient, more appreciative, more grateful, more alive….but not if we get comfortable.
Perhaps you can ask yourself, what am I supposed to do with this healing? Is it there for me to support someone else? To create something that never existed before? To help someone else heal in this way?
And if you are afflicted right now… honor this time! This is the time to give yourself the love you need. Because you need to fill your heart first with the love, compassion and strength it needs to do the rest of your healing.
Join me for this week’s meditation, Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, where you will listen to what your struggle or trance is telling you. This meditation will help you in understanding the true purpose of your struggle and it will help you to move forward as you listen to your body and where it is asking you to proceed next.