Deepening and maturing emotionally, mentally and spiritually opens new doors for our relationships and our success in life. How can we find comfort through the stress we encounter when we stretch beyond the familiar limitations of our past?
I can still remember how surprised I was when I realized that my familiar discomforts from childhood on some strange level had become comforts in my adult life – the lure of the familiar. This led to the awareness that my coping mechanisms were built upon that childhood foundation; and so in order to move out of the familiar traps of my past, I would have to leave behind the comfort of my habitual behaviors as well.
I had always considered myself a fairly conscious person, liberated from the things I learned as a child that didn’t make sense to me. But the unconscious draw toward the familiar is strong and deeply entrenched and emerges in the most surprising ways just when we think we are trying something new. I am grateful for those who helped me to see these things for myself and for the privilege of helping others become more aware, empowered and free.
In order to change, it is necessary to look at circumstances in your life that seem to hold you back. Ask yourself how the present circumstances reflect dynamics from your childhood which structured your familiar roles in relationship to life. Our goal is to become whole within ourselves, so we can be increasingly flexible in response to life’s opportunities and challenges. It helps to remember that your coping mechanisms and comfort levels are not who you are, they are merely habits. Who you are is a brilliant facet of the Oneness of all life. Within your true self, you hold all potentials, some developed and some mere seeds – but all present. So letting go of limiting habits you can begin to step into your potential in new ways.
But how do we find comfort in new ways that support our wholeness and integrity as a person?
I suggest that a good way to begin is to make note of what habits limit you. Here are some of the questions to ask yourself to help discover these things:
– What substances and attitudes do I use to push myself into things that I don’t want to do?
– How do I stop myself from taking action in ways that would make me grow?
– Do I really enjoy the things I do for entertainment and comfort or are they just ways to turn off my brain and numb out?
– What am I addicted to using or doing? Why?
– In what ways do I give my power to other people?
Don’t try to respond to all of these at once; choose one and work with it. Begin by decreasing its frequency of use. When you find yourself wanting it, notice what you are in fact forcing or avoiding. Then let your Higher Self step into the driver’s seat of your life to help you be strong, as it guides you to live in your power and to be comfortable there increasingly. Choose your behaviors based on this partnership with your Higher Self and what supports it while you are letting go of habitual compulsions.
Don’t expect to completely leave behind all your old comfortable coping mechanisms, but rather harvest the power you have been giving away to them until you really don’t want them anymore. When you can use them occasionally without feeling compelled back into old habits, you are strong in your true self! Some behaviors you really have to stop entirely because they are too self-damaging.
Finding comfort in new ways or redefining old comforts in helpful rather than self-limiting ways is a pleasure you can invest in. Know that when you release certain coping tools you may feel bereft for a while, so it will require you to be gentle but firm with yourself. The parts of you which cling and whine will be your inner children who need healing and empowering. It helps to recognize this, to comfort those parts of you and reassure them that they are loved and safe because your Higher Self is here and in charge. I can help you to heal and empower your inner children in gentle and effective ways through my healing work. Healing your inner children speeds your ability to resolve self-defeating compulsions. Then you can more easily find what comforts, satisfies and empowers you as an adult.
Maturing our approach to comfort makes us trustworthy in our own lives. Life becomes safe because our Higher Self is increasingly present and empowered. In my experience this the most comforting and loving gift we can give ourselves.