disappointed black woman crying and touching head

Why It’s Important to Lean into Discomfort

We want to remove ourselves away from pain. We almost want to feel good all the time, but that's impossible. So how do we deal with pain.

I think one of the detriments of our ever growing technology is the fact that we don’t feel much discomfort anymore. Let me rephrase that. It’s easier for us to drown out discomfort with something else. When I was a kid, I was bored in various situations like waiting in line at the grocery store. I didn’t know the importance of leaning into that boredom and accepting the beauty that maybe occurring around me because I had the time to focus. Now, I just pull out my phone and scroll Instagram while I’m waiting for my coffee at Starbucks. It doesn’t stop there. Just this year we’ve seen the rise in food and delivery services so that we don’t go outside to the store. Everything is created in the name of convenience.

I think we’ve been made to believe that discomfort is a bad thing. In order to get rid of it, we must make everything that we do easier. That’s not a bad thing. I’m not trying to say that we should all suffer. I will say, however, sitting in discomfort comes with benefits that we are currently taking for granted. It allows us to graciously go through pain, big or small, as pain is inevitable.

Acceptance of Pain Allows Us to Transcend It

The biggest reason why we should sit with our discomfort is because we change the way we see it when we know what it is. Having the opportunity to relax into our discomfort without any distractions allows us to be with what is, not the story of how bad it is within our mind.

Numbing the pain, or not dealing with it at all is a form of resistance. We typically think resisting pain is what we need to do to get rid of it. That’s why we rather ghost someone rather than to tell them we don’t like them. It’s actually the opposite. Acceptance is what helps us transcend pain. The more we feel into the pain, we start to realize it is a sensation rather than something we deem good or bad.

It’s kind of crazy for me to even have to write about this. We’ve been told this since the beginning of time, feels like. When you talk about psychology, one thing that we should all know is the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In order for us to reach acceptance we have to go through the other four stages. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in this order.

Acceptance of the discomfort is the only place where we find peace. You can’t stimulate it to death. You can’t drown it with alcohol. Try smoking weed. None of it works. We have plenty examples of our favorite celebrities numbing the pain, only to die an untimely death. If you’re a fan of hip-hop, you can already name a few. I know it sounds paradoxical, but the only way to get to peace is through the pain.