Courage or Comfort

Pivotal moments, and even less significant ones, often come down to a simple question.  Do you want to be courageous or comfortable?  Because you generally can’t be both.  Either answer is correct.  The trick is choosing consciously, so that when you have feelings shortly after your decision, you will understand the what’s, whys of your emotions and even how to best talk yourself through the post-game self-analysis of your choice.

You ask– what the *%&#! is she talking about?

Well, for example, if you decide to opt for a courageous choice, you may find yourself terrified, uncomfortable, awash in doubt, or your knees juddering from anxiety.  Knowing that you are taking a brave action, you can give yourself encouragement or pats on the back — as you understand that new actions can cause fear, anxiety, doubt, etc. etc.  The feelings are completely normal.  And, they will pass.

If you opt for the comfy choice, besides feeling cozy in a way at first, you may have a sense of disappointment crop up.  Or maybe you’ll beat yourself up because you didn’t rise to the challenge. Or you’ll call yourself stupid, lazy, and all those other charming things we say to ourselves when we are already feeling pretty cruddy.  Okay, crappy.  Okay, maybe even shitty.

Just to provide a specific, albeit silly, example, let’s take this precise literary moment.  I had to muster a bit of nerve to publicly write a “naughty” word.  The parent in me had a curled lip and her finger wagging in disapproval.  And yet, I felt  compelled to write the truth.  And now I’m a little worried that I shouldn’t have.  Maybe I will offend people.  Maybe it was too bold.  Obnoxious.

However, if I had just left it at “cruddy,” I would have felt like I was all milk-toast.  Vanilla.  Caving to my well-mannered upbringing rather than owning my foul mouth and letting it color my paragraph with a little accurate zing.  Being vanilla is who I am, and I am often deeply ashamed of it.  I could go on and on about how bland and stupid and boring and “not cool” I am…

Point demonstrated?  It feels CRAPPY  and shitty when you yell at yourself when you’re already a little down in the personal sparkle and vim and vigor department.  Obviously if you are seeking comfort through making a comfortable choice, you are not at the top of your game.  You want a little gentleness or rest or safety.  And since you know your most vulnerable, underbelly areas, you have the special potential to plunge the dagger more accurately than anyone.  And when you do, it really, really hurts.  So, don’t.  Or at least cut off that nasty voice mid monologue.  It will be a courageous act… that will make you feel more comfortable 😉

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Suzanne Dudley

Writer, Coach, Actor... mom, and wrangler of many dogs. Pugslie, is but one of a small herd.

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