How to Enjoy the Uncomfortable

Waiting in an uncomfortable state feels as though there are ants crawling out of my skin. I can’t remain calm in my thoughts and it’s hard for me to sit still. I notice I scratch my head more, play with my fingers, tap my foot… anything to not let me feel the discontent of sitting in the uncomfortable.

Why is it so hard to wait in the discomfort?

Coming from a person who will do anything to move away from uncomfortable situations.

The desire to have control.

To have a say in what will happen or at least be prepared for what is to come.

I like to be able to plan ahead and be aware of what’s coming up next. I like to be able to prepare myself for what’s around the corner and feel I have a better capacity to react physically and mentally to a situation when I have prepared myself for it.

When I am not mentally prepared for something, I tend to give a quick reaction which may not always be the best or most accurate. In many cases, I’ve found that I have to apologize for my first reaction and explain how I really feel.

“It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I wasn’t prepared”… typical.

What happens when I don’t have control?

When I’m in the middle of the leap. My feet have left the foundation of the past and am stretching in anticipation for what is possible in the future. I get the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach similar to when I’m in a free-fall at the local Six Flags Amusement Park. At least on the ride, I know it will be over in a few seconds and I can enjoy the thrill.

When I am in the middle of a transition or in a space of waiting, I really don’t know how long it will be. How long I will have to not know.

When I don’t have control over my destiny, I feel irritable and frustrated with life.

I want things to fall into place and become solidified.

The Fillers

What’s interesting is when I am in a place of unease, discomfort, uncertainty, I find myself looking at my phone more. I will check my email on my phone multiple times an hour, swipe through Facebook to see if there are any answers there.

Many times, I have caught myself just staring at all the apps on my phone trying to decide which one I should click on that will DO something for me.

When I’m on the computer, I find myself looking up random facts and searching beach destinations, hoping that will kill enough time between the here and the next that I won’t have to wait as long.

I begin seeking out answers, seeking for anything to fix the issue and bring me comfort from the anxious anticipation.

So, what have I learned?

I can’t control time.

I can’t make it speed up and I certainly can’t make answers appear through anything I do on a phone or computer.

I am stubborn and wish not to admit that what the wise people say is true, simply because what they say is not easy to do and I find myself rebelling against the uncontrollable wait, spending more energy than if I just adopted the experience of those who have gone before me.

How to conquer the wait?

Enjoy this moment. See today for what it is and become grateful for the things I do have today. Knowing the only constant in life is change… that’s a guarantee… things will change.

So how can I live in this moment, knowing life will change? Embrace the here and now and give the thoughts and anxieties of tomorrow over to God. I can spend my time thinking about how it will all work out and when it will happen and how it will look, but it won’t make it happen any faster.

See the lesson of the day. Go through my day as present as I can Meaning that I catch myself when I’m future-tripping (future-tripping: worries, anxieties, head-chatter about the future). Then I reflect each night on what I have learned about myself and those around me today. Seeing each day as a blessing for the opportunity to experience a better awareness of myself and those around me.

Get out and give back. This is the perfect time to be of service to someone else. May it be a formal volunteer opportunity, or simply offering to cook dinner for a friend or neighbor. Spending time outside of ourselves and giving our time and energy to someone else is constructive for both body and soul.

Within the wait remember… this too shall pass.

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