The Filament Blog

The Beauty of Discomfort

Jul 19, 2023

I lift my body out of my wheelchair and plop into the cushioned seat of my standing frame. I slowly crank up the frame and bring myself into a more upright standing position. The effects begin immediately. Within seconds I can feel the blood start to leave my head. My eyelids droop and my face gets cold. I take short, shallow breaths as I feel my heart race and my confused body tries to figure out how to respond and correct.


I cannot overstate how uncomfortable this process is. It tests my resolve every single time. Everything inside me begs me to sit down. But I remain unmoved, keeping my head held high, knowing that I have to let my body struggle in this space to learn how to adjust my circulation and blood pressure. I have to love us both enough to allow this struggle.


So much of what we want in life requires us to move forward when some other part of us is pulling in another direction. Sometimes it’s a physical sensation like the example above and other times it's an emotional state, like fear or anxiety, that makes us want to stop dead in our tracks.


Regardless of what it is, we all have had the experience of being committed to something that will require us to pass through discomfort. This practice is what moves us into new territory and new ways of being. I hoped for a long time that I could become the person I wanted to be without feeling fear or discomfort, but I have learned through experience (and that of my clients) that the best things in my life are on the other side of something that will feel difficult.


So, one of the most important practices we can develop is to move through discomfort with an equal measure of tenacity and tenderness so we can have what we want. I want better circulation, less swelling, and greater bone density, so I pass through the discomfort of standing. I want people to be free, self-expressed and bold, so I pass through the discomfort of trying new things in my coaching business. This is how we move forward. This is not to glorify discomfort, of course - discomfort in itself is not a virtue… but neither is comfort.


As we create the lives we love, we must ebb and flow through all sorts of different states and then choose who to be and how to act. This is the price of freedom. And nothing, not even comfort, can touch the transcendent feel of freedom. I think it’s what we are all here for. So - what discomfort are you willing to endure for the sake of your freedom?