The discomfort in our lives is an invitation to change.”- Joe Hoare

You know the feeling

It starts as an uncomfortable tightness in your belly during one more inconsequential work meeting during which your mind wanders to what you can possibly make for dinner using the sparse contents of your nearly empty fridge. You push the feeling aside and chalk it up to your lack of self-control and beer-impaired judgment at yesterday’s “all-you-can-eat-chicken-wings” night. So you pop a couple Tums, pat yourself on the back for adding the extra calcium to your diet and carry on with your day all the while ignoring the apathy-cloaked-in-guilt infecting you, until one day you barely recognize yourself and wonder where she went, that wide-eyed Mary Tyler Moore of a go-getter who couldn’t wait to get to work each day and happily stayed past sundown to put that last polish on the next day’s presentation.

Or it introduces itself as a stiffness in your jaw as you smile your way through yet another dinner party beside your hunky Ryan Gosling of a boyfriend, showing the world how terribly happy you are in this new relationship with the man you have boldly declared “completes you” but inside you wish you were well, anywhere but here. Only you tune out the ache of discontent, until the stiffness travels down to your neck where it settles into an insistent throb that swells each time you pull into your driveway and pause before entering to greet this man you are not so sure is your happily-ever-after.

Or it’s a faint redness on your throat that heats up each time you think of the harsh words you exchanged with your mother the last time you saw her. And though you say to yourself you’re simply paying the price for skipping sunscreen at yesterday’s company picnic, the all-consuming itchiness soon leaves you sleepless and uncomfortable in your own skin.

Accepting the Invitation

This discomfort in our lives-the emotional, destabilizing and sometimes scary truths that unbalance us with their persistent whispers can fairly stifle all that we are. But what if this discomfort in all its inconvenience is an invitation? An invitation to change. An invitation to acknowledge that we deserve more than we have had. An invitation to leave the security of now for the promise of the unknown. An invitation to change ourselves, to let go of hurt and disappointment, to shed guilt, admit the impact of our mistakes and commit to do better. An invitation to give ourselves permission to reconsider the life paths we’ve chosen. To find the courage to shout out, “This is not where I’m supposed to be!” “This is not the life I want!”—This is not me.

What If

What if this discomfort is not just a symptom of our unhappiness but an invitation to seek joy- to put on a fancy dress and take charge of our lives?

If we are just willing to accept and join the party.

About the author: Maia Aziz P.S.W., C.L.Y.L. writes and speaks on living a life of love and laughter. President-Elect of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH), Maia hosts a weekly talk radio show Morning Moments With Maia…Conversations of Love and Laughter, Sundays at 9am EST on blogtalkradio where she speaks with an eclectic lineup of guests who live their lives with positive intention.


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