Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Comfort Zones

What is your comfort zone?

"The Comfort Zone is our living, work, and social environments that we have grown accustom too. It determines the type of friends we make or people we associate with. It determines a life style we accept or reject."

Isn't that how many of us lead our lives? We hide within what has become comfortable, easier, we don't have to think about it. Each day ends up being much like the one before, and the one before that. I view it somewhat like living an assembly line of life. Life becomes dictated by routine. Soon everyone within our circle of acquaintanceship is just like us. Life follows a certain pattern, and as long as we, and everyone else follows that pattern, the comfort zone is maintained.

For some us though, we come to a moment of reckoning, an almost palpable comprehension, and we may ask ourselves. Is this my life? This life was not the one I envisioned, is it? What changed, where did my life go?

We become fretful, our soul is suffering pangs, it becomes a nagging discontent, we begin to probe, oh it hurts! We back off, seeking the safety of our comfort zone. But it is too late, our soul has been reawakened.

We begin questioning.

What happened to my dreams? What were my dreams?

Many of us let life lead us, we follow the lines painted on the roadway, never turning off onto that attractive little side road. We notice it, we see the beauty of the tiny two lane road, overhung with the verdant leaves of row upon row of trees, creating an inviting oasis from the flat monotonous pavement of everyday life. But, we have a plan, or someone has a plan, a plan that we are following, a plan that has to be stuck to, a destination we must arrive at.

But, once discontentment sets in, we are knocked out of our comfort zone, though we may try desperately to get back in. After all, it is comfortable, we know what to expect, we already know and are familiar with our destination. It is yesterday, it is today, thus we know tomorrow will be the same. It can be a comfort, that knowing. But where are we arriving to? Is that destination really what we dreamed of?


A safe comfortable life, or finding our dreams again?

If we listen to our reawakened souls, we notice there seem to be pieces missing. Now what? What do we do with our discontentment, the pain? Ignore it, hide from it, slip quietly back into the safety of the comfort zone? Stay safe, but unhappy?

Impossible, because once that discontent settles in, once we notice the holes in our souls, even our comfort zone is no longer truly a safe place. It is inflamed with the memory of what it was like to have dreams. We want to rekindle those dreams, but, somewhere along the way they were lost. The discontent increases, and the comfort zone beckons, with no dream to pull us off the easy path, it can become very seductive to slide back into the comfort zone....safer....easier.

It takes effort to reach a dream, to overcome the complacency of mediocrity. But, once we gain sight of that dream or create a new one, something happens, the old comfort zone is no longer what it was. It is not 'our comfort zone', it may still be someone else's, but we no longer fit there. We become continuously discontent.

To ease that discontentment, we begin to seek the healing of our soul, by searching for our dreams of old. Depending upon the dreams, and how much of those dreams were snuffed out, it can become a battle. A battle within ourselves, and possibly a continued assault from the others that people our comfort zone. Then we may ask ourselves....or, guilt I really want to fight those I love and care about, to achieve my dream?

Questions arise, so many questions. Am I doing right? Am I hurting others by pursuing my dream? Is that important? Is it OK to place my dream above the comfort zone of another? After all, to achieve my dream, I have to discombobulate others. Is it worth it?

All questions that if not really thought out, if we look only at the easy answer, leads us only one way........back into that comfort zone. But, it is no longer comfortable, it is no longer safe, it is no longer easy. We remain discontent, we remain wounded, our soul does not heal, for somewhere along the boundary lines a dream hovers.

To be reached, dreams must be visualized, strongly, clearly, visualized. We have to see them, feel them, imagine them, to reach them. Again, not a straightforward predictable, comfortable life.

I think we have to tell ourselves we are worth it, we are worth our dreams. Once we get to that point, then we can begin visualizing those dreams. They become stronger, luminous, worth fighting for.

I have lost my comfort zone, I am discontent, I am sometimes fretful, sometimes that pain in my soul seems more than I can bear. But, in my discontent, I have begun to remember.....happiness.....true loving.....real feelings.....I am living my way through to a better life, a truer life.

"We would rather stay in our comfort zone and be tortured and unhappy, than walk through the pain and the fire of leaving but finally creating a better life. Fear of pain really holds us back without us realizing we are already living "in" the pain rather than traveling "thru" the pain to a better place. Being ...(in a bad place...)is like standing IN the hot coals instead of running through them. Guess which one burns your feet?" ~courtesy of jac~

"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."


Fiona said...

Talk about resonating!!!!! Wow Sunny. Every word is absolutely so true.

The being in the zone, the wondering what dreams I even ever had, the wondering how I got to where I am, the soul ache of wanting something we don't have. The being afraid of the unknown. The importance of living through vs. living in.

And yes, Jac's words - that woman is so incredibly wise.

That is an amazing post Sunny.

Big hugs

Jac said...

We couldn't live if we didn't have the retreat into comfort zone. Could you imagine life being this intense always? Life would be linear (always moving on), but impossible to bear. Or we could have a circular life, where we just repeat the same anesthetized routine and go nowhere.

Most of us, thankfully, live in the spiral -- one step forward, two back, but always forward again eventually towards growth, advancement fulfillment and ultimately peace. Right now you are just forging ahead which brings pain, but you'll get back to a softer easier place, where you won't be so hard on yourself. And then think of how far you have traveled!

Oh, and BTW, I found that quote on a message board elsewhere, so credit goes out there to some brilliant and unknown writer!

Take it easy on yourself! It sounds to me like your are doing great. Email me sometime! Virtual hugs!

Sunny Delight said...

jac, Yes you are correct, we do need a zone of peace on occasion, only I never want to completely fall into a zone is too short.

Thank you for your comments, you are a very wise woman. And I hope you are right,I sooo hope you are right. I can't email you, because I don't have your email address......I will post a second comment on here with my email, and delete it later tonight. *hugs backatcha!*

Jac said...

Got it -- smiles and hugs!

Fiona said...

Big big big smile!!!! I'm so glad you two have hitched up, I just know this will be a wonderful friendship!!!

Group hug!!!

LePhare said...

Another thought provoking post Sunny. You keep doing this to me. Questions I have often asked myself.

Sunny Delight said...

Fi, as long as we keep living, we will find our dreams again.

Ian, ~smile~ I try. If anyone can find the answers, I have faith that you will.

Sunny Delight said...

Ian, Do you feel special? You should, in a group hug with three wonderful women! (yes, I count myself in there, I do have my moments)

Jac said...

Yes indeed you are a WONDERFUL woman, maybe the wonderfulest!

LePhare said...

Just doing what needs doing. It's all anyone can do.

Thanks for the hug. I DO miss a stand up cuddle.


Phil said...

Hi Sunny,

I'm still alive. Just wondering if you are too.

plan0 said...

I was watching Stranger Than Fiction - talk about the epitome of breaking a comfort zone. Somehow your words and the movie plot resound with me. What I thought previously was escaping my comfort zone has become establishing another and another. Is there a way to escape the vicious cycle?

Sunny Delight said...

Ian, we are here anytime for "standup cuddles"

jac, let's just go with we are all wonderful!!!

phil, yep, I am! Trying to be very alive!

plano, I have not seen the movie, but, I think I know exactly what you mean. I did it so many times, thought I was breaking out, only to slip partially back into the old one, while the new one became comfortable too, and found myself still not actively pursuing dreams. Now, I am hoping, even have some faith in myself, that I will continue to reach out beyond the comfortable boundaries, keeping the old dreams alive, and most especially new ones, always in sight, trying to achieve them.