My friend Susan is a runner. It is so much a part of who she is. Yesterday she was speaking of running in the rain. She said, there’s something uncomfortable about going from dry to wet, but once you’re there, it’s amazing. You’re splashing through puddles like a child, and you feel exhilarated. She said drivers go by and yell “It’s raining!” and she yells back, “You’re missing it!”
Sometimes life connects dots for us in strange and unpredictable ways. This morning I found a guided meditation called “Exploring the Wilderness of Discomfort,” and I thought of Susan. And doors opened for me.
What if we didn’t avoid discomfort? What if we pushed past that barrier of initial discomfort, or fear, or hesitation? What if we lived our lives that way?
I thought of her running, every day, of experiencing every day and every thing it brings her. Today it is sunny and warm, tomorrow it is raining, the next day there is a dog that runs alongside her. It might be the same route every day but if we’re there, if we’re showing up, if we’re truly present, life has new gifts to bring us every day.
But we have to get up and get out and live, and run into life. What are you running away from? the meditation asked. When you experience discomfort, what are you doing instead of being with that discomfort, what are you escaping to?
There is so much here for me. I think we as a society have learned to run away from discomfort. We get the first twinges of a headache or indigestion, we take a pill. We find someone on the Internet who doesn’t agree with and we “delete” them from our friends list. We go into a creative endeavor and find that we’re not very good at it, which is uncomfortable, so we give it up, before we have given ourselves a chance to play.
A chance to run in the rain and splash in a puddle.
So I’m asking you today to do something uncomfortable. Sit with it, push past it. Don’t grit your teeth and bull your way through it. Approach it with a childlike, running-through-a-puddle curiosity. See what happens in your heart. See what happens in your life. Maybe it’s raining, but maybe, if you’re driving by, you’re missing something. See what it is.