We want to feel good instead of bad. We have an aversion to pain and we gravitate towards pleasure. Because of this, we like comfort and we like to feel comfortable. But a shadow of this natural inclination is that we can get stuck in the comfort zone.
When we are committed to comfort, our aim is to avoid risk. Risk holds the potential for pain and the potential for unwanted. Because of this, risk is anxiety inducing. We don’t like anxiety, so we try to stay in a place of neutrality. I say neutrality because when we are committed to comfort, we get into a behavioral state where in the name of risk aversion, we make decisions and take actions that prevent both pain and pleasure. We aren’t really happy and we aren’t really unhappy. We’re just… comfortable enough to not make changes.
The comfort zone feels safe to us. But the reality is quite the opposite. In fact, being committed to comfort might just be one of the most dangerous things you can do in your life. And it is not only dangerous for you, it is dangerous for any being that is part of any system that you are a part of.
You did not come to this life to be comfortable and to avoid risk. You came here for the sake of your personal expansion and to play a role in the expansion of others. And your personal expansion, as well as theirs, is adding up to universal expansion. Something which the universe at large is completely committed to. When there is an end to expansion, there is an end to life. This expansion is facilitated by the contrast of unwanted and wanted, pain and pleasure. The experience of unwanted is meant to cause you to change towards what is wanted. And in a time-space reality where time is an element of that perceptual reality, we experience this as movement, growth, improvement and progress. Being committed to comfort, causes a plateau regarding expansion. It causes stuckness, where there is no change or movement. It causes stagnation. It causes decline and it causes worsening.
Because this state of anti-expansion is not in the best interests of you personally, not in the best interests of those beings (including people) that are around you and not in the best interests of the universe at large, the universe will act against it. This means that being committed to comfort and keeping yourself in the comfort zone means being out of alignment with the universe itself. It is a big invitation for the universe to seemingly move against anything that you are using to keep yourself comfortable and stuck.
So that you can understand how this works, I will give you a very harsh example.
Sarah and Damian were in a relationship for 15 years. Sarah was often unhappy with the relationship. But many of her needs were met by Damian. Being with him made her comfortable, especially because it was a relationship that kept her away from the anxiety of financial worry. Damien had no interest in changing anything about himself or their life. He controlled their relationship and their life so as to make sure that he was comfortable. This included avoiding doing any uncomfortable work on himself or on their relationship, like self-reflecting or counseling. Damien getting upset in any way, caused Sarah to go into anxiety and to seek her own personal comfort again. So, she avoided getting into discussions or arguments with Damien. She kept the house the way he wanted. She made excuses for Damien’s poor behavior around other people and simply avoided inviting over people who might upset him. She stayed focused on what did work in their relationship, their business of flipping houses. But flipping houses served as a distraction so that they could avoid dealing with what wasn’t working in their life. She kept him in the comfort zone, so that she could stay in hers.
Because both of them were so committed to comfort, the things they were using to stay comfortable, began to be opposed. First, a book was put in Sarah’s path that challenged her ideas of relationships and led to an argument with Damien. But she stopped reading the book because that argument rocked the boat too much and threatened her own comfort. Then, one of Sarah’s relatives died. It caused her to think about her life, because it is temporary, and about what she wanted to change. But the thought of making a change, brought in the potential for risk and so, she fell back into everyday life the way things were. Then, Damien’s closest friend ended the friendship with him. Instead, of reflecting on himself and on relationships in general, he told himself “He was a terrible friend anyway if he could want to end the relationship, so I’m glad he’s gone”. After that, the little poodle dog that Sarah used as a substitute for the lack of intimacy she experienced with Damien died suddenly. But instead of face the lack of intimacy in the relationship, she just got another dog. Then, Damien had a small heart attack. Both of them were thrown out of the comfort zone and into anxiety when that happened. Damien was faced with his own mortality. Sarah was faced with losing the security that Damien provided. Sarah knew it happened because Damien lost his closest friend and was avoiding all self-reflection. And she knew they needed to make changes to their life together. But the opportunity for change that was opened up by that experience was only one that they engaged in for a week. After that, Damien simply got on heart medication and started telling Sarah that when she would bring up anything upsetting, she was contributing to the risk of him having another heart attack. So, she stopped completely. And the two of them threw themselves into investing in and flipping even more houses. Pretty soon, everything started to go wrong on their house flipping projects. I mean everything… up to the point that the purchase of three houses in a row fell through. But when nothing seemed to be going right, they simply took more vacations. And the vacations served as a new way to avoid the problems they needed to face and the discomfort that came with the ‘risk’ of making changes. This pattern kept going on until one year later, Damien died of a massive heart attack.
The reality is that both Sarah and Damien invited a universal escalation. The very decisions that they felt made them safer (because those decisions made them more comfortable) were in fact bringing about their ultimate unsafety. Instead of assisting each other’s expansion, they assisted each other’s stuckness. And this means that through her enabling behavior, which was done to mitigate her own anxiety, Sarah was in fact an accessory to Damien’s death as well as to the of her dog… the things she wanted most to avoid. Because Sarah was so committed to comfort, she was preventing her own expansion as well as the expansion of the beings who were part of her immediate system. And so, the universe began to force expansion by opposing any of those things that served to keep her stuck and plateaued.
Whenever you are committed to comfort and are using something as a tool to keep yourself away from risk to the degree that you are not in alignment with expansion, those things that are serving to keep you comfortable, will be targeted. You might as well paint a bullseye on them. This includes people that you are using to keep yourself in the comfort zone; that due to things you are doing or they are doing, are out of alignment with their own expansion. When these things are targeted, the aim is to cause a change that will put you back into alignment with your expansion path. Using our previous example, that meant: The introduction of a book that would shake up stagnation in the marriage, the death of a relative, a friendship loss, the death of a dog, a pre-emptive warning heart attack, the prevention of their house flipping projects, and then Damien’s death.
When this happens, you are going to feel like the universe is against you. You might even feel like it is against the people and things around you. But from a higher perspective, because you want comfort and are committed to comfort, the things you think are in your best interests, are actually against them. And the things you think are in the best interests of the people and things around you, are actually against them. From a higher perspective, the universe is messing with the cozy jail bars you have built and they have built that are limiting you and everything else around you. It is orchestrating a full system liberation. But as we all know, if we don’t change and expand in response to smaller stimulus, we may only change and expand as the result of a “whack a tree at 70 miles an hour” experience.
It is tempting to think that the presence of fear and discomfort means that you should avoid something. It’s tempting to think that the presence of risk means that you shouldn’t do something. But discomfort, fear and risk often doesn’t mean that. And in order to continue to expand, assist in the expansion of others, find happiness and stay in alignment with the universe, you’re going to have to lean into discomfort as well as take risks. If you don’t, you might just be inviting the scariest experiences of all and taking the greatest risk of all, without even knowing it. It’s tempting to feel safe and in control when you are committed to comfort. You may feel like life is smooth sailing in the comfort zone. When in fact, those calm waters are taking you straight towards the biggest storm.