Over the years, I’ve read or heard a sentiment expressed that if the conditions of your life are challenging, learn to love them before making any changes. Or something to that effect.
There is some merit to this idea. If I just cut and run any time I get uncomfortable, my potential for growth will be limited. Remaining committed to challenging circumstances until the lesson is learned can provide opportunities to uncover limiting fears and beliefs. And working through challenging circumstances provides valuable evidence that perhaps I can do what is hard and feel what is uncomfortable. This is one of the important ways to expand growth, overcome fears, and modify beliefs in ways that make life more workable.
But in the extreme, this concept can be equally limiting. Tolerating what should not be tolerated has no intrinsic value. Sometimes it makes sense to cut and run. Or at least take a break.
There is discomfort and there is misery. I would define misery as the condition of having pain, discomfort, or suffering triggered so frequently that there is no time for recovery. Without recovery, there is no time to reflect, to learn, or to grow.
To manage the gap between discomfort and misery, know your capacity. Growth is possible in this gap as long as there is time to recover from triggering events. If there is no time to recover, consider taking a break or releasing yourself from the commitment. Then, get curious about what got triggered.
Triggering events and circumstances occur for just this reason – to help us recognize what is in us that gets triggered in the first place. Disarming these triggers creates greater capacity for whatever in life comes our way.
If you’d like some help disarming your triggers, that’s my specialty. I’ve learned several ways to increase my own capacity for what comes my way and would be delighted to share them with you.