It's a little awkward, but it'll pay off.
Who wants their kids to feel discomfort from time to time? I do. I know it sounds funny, but it’s totally true. And I’m not talking about the, “this shirt is too tight," kind of uncomfortable. I’m talking about the discomfort that comes from not getting what you want or that comes from making different choices for yourself.
For example, when we discontinued sugar after the holidays. I can still hear in my head my son’s crazed voice shouting at the top of his lungs, “But I LOVE sugar!” when I told him, “No, you can’t have a candy. We’re done with sugar for a while honey.”
In another instance, I remember one night sitting on the floor with my son who was throwing up into a bowl. Every time he finished vomiting he would say emphatically (and also sort of sadly), “I hate throwing up!” And I would say, “I know. It totally sucks. But it does pass. I promise you won’t feel like this forever.”
Truth is, that’s the case for most feelings of discomfort. In that moment I knew that I couldn’t take it away from him, but even if I could’ve, I wouldn’t be able to forever.
I wanted him to understand that this experience was only temporary, and that he would be able to get through it.
I remember once when I was in my 20’s, I was in a relationship that I didn't want to end, even though it totally needed to. I became acutely aware that I was choosing not to make the best choice for myself and I started to wonder why. The answer came to me clearly — I was avoiding the discomfort of transition.
I realized that the idea of being uncomfortable had such a power over me in that moment that I was hiding from making the decision that best served me.
I was giving up on something better (in this case not being with this man who was unfaithful to me) for the sake of … what ... not having to pack some boxes, look for a new place to live, or dislodge from the comfort of partnership? I was choosing NOT to get something better because I didn’t want to feel temporarily uncomfortable.
Eventually, I packed my boxes. But that moment gave me a pivotal look into the kind of hold that complacency can have on people.
That is a piece of why I want my kids to feel uncomfortable. I want them to know that even when they feel discomfort — eventually everything will still be okay. I want them to know that they can make choices that are in their best interest even if it’s sometimes hard to do so.
I want them to understand that the road to any success — heart or worldly — often involves failures and discomfort of some kind. I want them to know in their bones that they can weather this discomfort, and it doesn’t mean that they should give up or are incapable of great positive change, transformation, or accomplishment.
Experience has shown me two miraculous things about discomfort: it points you toward the changes you need in your life, or it leads you to something even better.
It is — more often than not — a necessary component in making changes that are good for you.
“My body is going crazy right now because it wants this sugar, but I know it’s better for me in the long run if I give that up right now,” says the mature individual who knows he CAN handle discomfort, especially if it is in his best interest. Or, “Yes it sucks to have to look for another apartment and my life is going to need an overhaul, but I deserve better. I’ll be okay.” That’s the good stuff.
What I’m really saying is something bigger: If you sit through it, it will shift into something better. The comfort that comes after transformation is just around this uncomfortable bend.
"Don’t worry honey, you’ve got this.”
Aimée Cartier is a psychic guide, author, and the founder of Intuition University. With accurate insight plus compassionate & practical guidance she helps her clients experience ease in life's burdens, choices, and experiences. More at www.AimeeCartier.com.