Use Discomfort

November 14, 2021

Amy Mueller, Low Entropy Volunteer Writer


I wish I could say discomfort was a foreign feeling. I wish I could say I haven’t sat on my couch, coffee in hand, rain bouncing off the concrete outside, with a deep gnawing ache in what feels like my soul. As I sit, a million thoughts racing through my head. How did I get here? What’s next? How will I get there? When do I start? How do I start? I am no expert, but like you, I am human. Perhaps you too have felt this feeling and had these thoughts. If so, I hope you are on the other side now. And if you are not, I have some comforting news. You are not alone and good things will come of this.


There are a plethora of situations that may lead us here. Perhaps you have recently lost your job, a loved one or a relationship. Or maybe you are wondering if you are happy where you are and are trying to figure out what comes next for you. Or your discomfort may be unrelated to any of these things. Maybe it is the pandemic and what feels like the polarization of the world. Maybe it is related to everyday circumstances. Maybe you are going through a particularly challenging time for none of these reasons. Wherever you are at, your reasons for feeling this way are valid. And if you find yourself relating to any of these feelings, I hope these next words are the most comforting ones you read today: You will not always feel this way. These days are temporary. They won’t last forever. This too shall pass. And somewhere deep down, while cliché, we know these words are true. They offer comfort and remind us of our strength. And sometimes that is exactly what we need.


I cannot promise working through your discomfort will be easy. I cannot promise it will be simple, linear or straightforward. It will be uncomfortable. But it is temporary. What I can promise you are two things: 1. You have experienced great challenges in your life outside of this. And just as you have before, you will overcome this too. You already possess the strength and tools you need to navigate this. 2. If you are being challenged, you are learning, and growth is taking place.


The difficult part of realizing the value in our discomfort is that we must move through it in order to get past it. I know that is not the news you wanted. In order to work through our hurt, pain, challenges, grief and every other difficult feeling/emotion, we must decide that the benefit of working through the tough stuff is greater than the comfort of remaining as we are. I can assure you, your future self will thank you for putting the work in. The path to get past discomfort, hurt and pain is through it. It’s tough, it sucks, it hurts and it is painful. You need to let yourself feel all of these things. Cry it out. Journal about it. Take deep breaths. Meditate. Talk to someone you trust. Ask for help. Make a commitment to yourself that you will do what it takes to move past where you are right now. Go slow. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself permission to be here and be okay with it. Accept that this is a journey and it takes time. Breathe. Take things one day at a time. Take things one moment at a time if that is all you can manage right now. You will have good days. You will have hard days. You will make progress and you will take steps back. This is all part of healing and overcoming. You don’t know it yet, but this is where your strength comes from.


There is no time limit and there is no prescribed amount of time it will take to work through this uncomfortable place. Remember, you have the strength to navigate this situation. You possess the courage and tools you need to get to the other side. While being here, I hope every now and then you pause and reflect. Take a moment to look back at how far you have come. You will see that, as time goes on, you gain perspective. You will see things more clearly and realize things about your situation and yourself that you couldn’t see before. You will soon see things in a new light. These things are important and I hope you recognize that these are your moments of growth. In your discomfort, you will gain strength and you will gain resilience.


My hope is that through this process you realize, while difficult to navigate at times, discomfort is necessary to reach our true potential. It serves to show us who we really are and what we really want out of this life, and it helps put our priorities into perspective. As we continue this life journey and inevitably encounter discomfort along the way, I hope instead of resisting, you embrace it, as you recognize this feeling as growth taking place. I wish you peace, grace, compassion and strength as you navigate your journey. While it may feel as if you are on this journey alone, remind yourself: we are all navigating our own journeys, together.



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