A warm house. A cup of coffee. With complementary stroopwafel. I attach lots of value to those little moments of comfort and warmth. Don’t even get me started about an extra hour of sleep or a new album from a very decent singer-songwriter. In these moments it’s easy to be grateful, positive and happy.
But what about the other side? When you finished your cup of coffee, have to do the dishes and all you have left are few cookie crumbs. As long as we walk this earth I don’t think we can fully experience joy if we don’t experience the other side. Life if often a spectrum of emotions and experiences. Joy on one side, sadness on the other. Passion on one side, anger on the other. Motivation on one side, disappointment on the other.
We move along those spectra throughout our days and weeks. Sometimes we’re on the happy side, but on other days we might be on the sad side. Writing this blog every day has made me question my own perception of happiness. More often than not, I am also stuck with this idea that only the positive side of the spectrum is worth sharing. That only that side really matters. That you sit through the rough patches in order to reach the better side again. (Maybe blame social media a little bit?)
But today I just felt uncomfortable. And that wasn’t a bad thing. It was the uncomfortable feeling that I was hoping for. Because even though I love being warm, safe and comfortable, sometimes it’s very good to realise that if those fuzzy feelings are caused by only material things are not the way to happiness at all. You don’t really need it. But realising that and feeling truly uncomfortable with wealth when you all that you can dream of.
Being uncomfortable is okay. It’s a good thing most of the time. As long as you know how to keep your own boundaries safe. I even encourage you to welcome the feeling. Because the next time you drink a cup of coffee, it won’t just be because you always drink one in the morning, it will give you gratefulness and that is worth something.
May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
– Franciscan blessing