During my first year of college, I disconnected myself from a toxic relationship and to say it was facile and fast would be a lie. I contemplated my decision and often went back and forth – I almost did not go through with my decision – but thankfully, I did. Granted, it was not a graceful gesture nor was I pleasant and polite in the process. But, when is it ever a cozy experience abandoning an area we deem comfortable?
Of course – I must digress – there are specific situations where being comfortable is more than ideal, such as being comfortable with one’s body and looks. I apologize for the tangent, but being comfortable with my physical appearance is an item I still struggle with and often find myself far less than comfortable with how I look. So, in this instance, being comfortable is the goal.
But, when does the state of comfort become a hinderance? In situations where comfort leads to being lethargic, it’s a limitation we might not often notice. Comfort can be damaging and preventing us from achieving more.
I thought about this while driving and even more dangerously, I wrote down the lines while driving. In stagnant and nearing dead end relationships, comfort is like sleeping while being entangled by silk sheets, surrounded by lush softness and satisfaction. But, when we wake up from the hazy dream, we realize there are no silk sheets but rather a snake strangling us in bed. Stiff with no positive movement is how I would describe past friendships I have let go for the betterment of all involved.
As I typed this, I asked myself the question, “Are you comfortable?”
At first, I answered, “Yes.” Then, I changed my mind and said, “No.” I suppose for certain aspects of my life, I am quite comfortable and in other areas, I am not comfortable at all. However, that answer is terribly vague and does no justice for my goal of being vulnerable. Therefore, that answer is unacceptable. To provide a proper answer, I will divulge and divide my thoughts into categories.
❖ Friendships ❖
I am both comfortable and uncomfortable. I would say that I am content with the quality friends I have in my life but I will frankly admit I do miss my old friends and wish they could forgive me. But to accept what is done, I often remind myself that I dug my own grave and now have to tend the flowers at the site of what once was a beautiful friendship. On the other side of the spectrum, making new friends is exciting and scary at the same time. Being vulnerable, having to build trust, sharing laughter and secrets, all these acts slowly build a bond and while it’s been fun, I still have my worries and self-destructive habits to work on. Being vulnerable is uncomfortable but I truly believe that with risk comes reward.
“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” – Khalil Gibran
“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson
❖ Forgiveness ❖
On the topic of forgiveness, it’s an area I have not found my way around and often wish I had the light my friends have to be able to get through this unknown territory. I remember one night, years ago, I submitted a Reddit post saying that I’ll eventually forgive my stepdad but now, I am not so sure. The concept of forgiving my stepdad seemed plausible when I was over 400 miles away from him, but now that I’m less than 40 feet away from him, the possibility of forgiveness seems impossible. But the concept of forgiveness seems one sided if I wish that my former friends could forgive me but I can’t seem to forgive others. It’s selfish and not what I want to be in this harsh world. Perhaps, I can forgive others in my own manner: slowly, but surely.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain
“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” – Cherie Carter-Scott
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” – Katherine Ponder
“A life lived without forgiveness is a life lived in the past.”
— Asa Don Brown