Living in Discomfort

Image from cnn.com.

“There is no practical or compelling reason to leave one’s present comfort zone in life. Why should you or would you? Frankly, none of us do unless and until we have to. The invitation probably has to be unexpected and unsought. If we seek spiritual heroism ourselves, the old ego is just back in control under a new name. There would not really be any change at all, but only disguise. Just bogus ‘self-improvement’ on our own terms.” –Richard Rohr

I’m reading Father Rohr’s book, Falling Upward, a Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. There’s little that I haven’t underlined. I suppose when the invitation to leave one’s comfort zone is “unexpected and unsought,” things from within challenge things in the exterior. The two halves of life, as Rohr explains, are not confined to chronology. A child suffering with cancer for example, can move into a “second half,” while an elderly person can be stalled in the “first half.” 

I had no intentions of bringing Hurricane Dorian into my writing today, but I suppose, with it still out there, it managed to make landfall in my mind. Heavy sigh. 

So, I’ll just go with it. 

Have you ever felt like life’s circumstances are like a slow, unpredictable Dorian storm? Enough already, right? Not to say I understand the tragedy Bahamians now face; but living on Florida’s east coast, I understand pre-hurricane angst and the desire to decisively know a storm’s magnitude and path. Please tell me how much this is going to hurt and for how long, so I can just maybe control the outcome. Yet, even with sophisticated technology, our meteorologists still can’t make predictions with 100 percent accuracy. As much as we want to know, we just are not all-knowing. 

Falling Upward somehow seems relevant in Florida’s current weather forecasts as I ponder order and disorder and the known and unknown. If it’s not a hurricane, it’s a fire, a tornado, a mud slide; or maybe an earthquake, dust storm, or flood. Although I mean this literally, I of course, mean this metaphorically too. Life is painful. In the end, I’m reminded (at least for today) that life isn’t necessarily about nailing a clear path, but perhaps discovering a little bit more of myself, a second-half self, in life’s unpredictable and sometimes uncomfortable path. 

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