STUDY Day 16—Release, Discomfort

Discomfort Motivates Change

Have you woken on a cold morning relaxed in bed, snuggled in with a good book, a loved one, or peace of self, completely content with no need to move or change?  What is the universal need that can push people out of this kind of comfort, the universal need that we all have that can not be met by anyone or anything outside of ourselves? The need to urinate.

As humorous as that fact is we all can acknowledge it as unavoidable over time.  The discomfort of needing to urinate will drive us from under covers, from the warm embrace, from the best novella, to meet our need. For the most part discomfort is what drives our lives, drives change.  As a society as we learned to push through needs, to stuff down desire, we have created an ability to ignore the subtle drives of who we are and what we want.  Without discomfort, we ignore the need or desire to change even when it serves us.

Learning to see our needs and choosing to meet them at the moment of discovery takes discipline and responsibility.  It took discipline to learn to stuff them down, to meet the needs of others, to continually not meet our needs, it will take equal or opposite effort to learn to bring awareness to them in the moment and act on them in a way that meets our needs.

Let’s start to be aware of a few simple ones that might be an “aha” for some of us:

  • I can go to the bathroom when I first feel the urge instead of waiting and holding it.  It is okay to excuse myself in a conversation to do so, or have people move so I can take my leave.
  • I can take the last piece of ____ when I am eating in a group.  Sharing my intention communicates my need.
  • I am allowed to keep something to myself simply because I choose to.  I am not obligated to share my possessions, time, thoughts with anyone.  Sharing these things is a free will choice only I have control over.
  • I can say no to helping others or meeting their needs whether I have a good reason or not.
  • I can ask someone to stop something simply because it bothers me before I reach my breaking point.

Do these feel impossible or easy to you? Learning to see how our thoughts are guiding our actions, beliefs, habitual behavior when we are not consciously aware makes the process manageable.  What keeps us from changing? Often the fear of harming self or others, anticipation, unknown consequences, past responses used to predict future behaviors, keep us from change.  Not communicating keeps us in a place of discomfort, holding, or stuffing these needs down.

Some of the reasons we wait to meet our needs:

  • we take joy in seeing the happiness of others, we believe meeting our needs will end their happiness
  • we believe that others have more right to their needs and it is selfish to meet our needs
  • we selflessly put the needs of others first, not knowing how we can find a win win
  • we believe in fear of “not enough”.  If I take what I need there will not be enough for others
  • we believe others will think poorly of us if we meet our needs instead of waiting to meet theirs first

When we feel we can not change we learn to ignore the discomfort.  Imagine ignoring these for a life time:

  • pain from accidents
  • emotion of hurt feelings
  • loss of love, loved ones, a home, possessions
  • victimization of others, victimization of self
  • fruition of a dream
  • personal freedom

Through control of wants, needs, desire, emotions, or pain we can become very adept at not seeing our needs.  We are all very amazing powerful people with strength and commitment beyond our comprehension. Instead of using our strength and authority in our lives to push down or ignore these things lets learn to see and understand them for what they mean to us, taking the next step towards a win win for everyone.

Waiting to Meet My Needs