As I sit here, eating hot turkey chili, getting ready to make cookies with my daughter, and snuggling with my dog Redmond, while struggling to write this newsletter (which I've committed to writing today!), I got to thinking about the concepts of self-care vs. comfort.
As humans, we need BOTH self-care and comfort; and yet, they are not the same thing. In fact, they are very often used interchangeably and this can be a serious mistake. If you don't understand the difference between these 2 concepts, you can easily fall into self-sabotage.
Comfort is necessary when we are hurt, grieving, stressed & need support of some kind. We absolutely MUST know how to comfort ourselves and receive comfort from others.
Comfort feels like a warm hug, loving support & gentle ease. Comfort allows us to rest, to process and to heal.
I love comfort. Receiving comfort from family and friends (and so many of you - thank you!) after Bacchus died was paramount in helping me grieve and move through that difficult time.
Self-care, on the other hand, is necessary ALWAYS....not just in times of loss or pain or stress.
Self-care is about tuning into a deeper connection to yourself, your true wants & needs, and listening to that deep inner voice - of "truth" or "intuition" or whatever you want to call it - that part of YOU that wants to grow in a positive, healthy way.
Self-care fills you up in a sustainable way; self-care moves you closer to your dreams; self-care helps you reach meaningful, life-affirming goals.
But here's the PROBLEM:
Real soul-nourishing self-care is NOT always comfortable!
Sometimes self-care means:
- NOT eating the 3rd slice of cake, even though you want it and well, you "deserve" it after such a hard day!
- Choosing to write this blog post because I committed to it (even though I get afraid of "showing up" sometimes), instead of taking a bath, distracting myself on Facebook, or eating another bowl of chili
- Saying NO to your best friend who wants to go out, when you committed to working on something important to you
- Saying YES to something that both terrifies you but also makes your heart SING!
- ASKING for what you want in a relationship, even though it might make the other person (and you!) uncomfortable
- Telling someone that the way he/she treated you is NOT acceptable
- NOT sitting around having another cup of tea or glass of wine, and instead keeping your commitment to find work or volunteer opportunities that you're passionate about
- Clearing out your clutter because it's getting in the way of moving ahead on your goals
- Coming out of hiding from behind your computer, your kids, your diet, your exercise program, and your white picket fence...so you can feel more fulfilled in your friendships, in your creative endeavors, in your body, in your life
- Asking a client to pay their overdue bill
- Taking a RISK towards starting a business
The thing is, self-care does NOT always feel good in the moment.
In fact, it can be downright terrifying. And deeply UNCOMFORTABLE, because DEEP self-care challenges your comfort zone.
"We can choose COURAGE or we can choose COMFORT, but we can't have both. Not at the same time."
And sadly, many women forgo self-care in exchange for comfort.
We use "comfort" strategies when we're afraid to take a risk, feel difficult feelings, rock the boat, or challenge internalized conditioning of how we "should" act or who we "should" be. And these comfort strategies are the very things that create self-sabotage, stuck-ness, and frustration.
And while it's NOT your fault (every ounce of our being as humans wants to feel "safe" and comfortable, & avoid risk) , it IS your responsibility IF you truly want to create change.
Self-care does not always feel good because it can challenge your comfort zone and some women forgo self-care in exchange for comfort.
So on this day, my question to you is this: Where do you seek COMFORT in exchange for SELF-CARE? Where do you know (deep inside) you WANT to grow this year, and what "discomforts" do you need to face in order to do so?