I said to the man at the gate of the year, give me a light that I may walk safely into the unknown. And he said to me put your hand in the hand of God and it shall be to you better than the light and safer than known.
King George VI
‘Comfort-zoned’, more like how you say ‘friend-zoned’ except that in friend zoning, the zoned one is completely uncomfortable with it. The ‘comfort-zoned’ person is very unlikely to do anything to get out of it.
The comfort zone is a psychological state where a person feels familiar, at ease, in control and experiences low anxiety and stress.
I should probably be the last girl on the planet to write about this because I am practically obsessed with comfort. Anything that tries to pull me out meets almost insurmountable obstacles and I’ve had some trust issues.
But recently God has had to really deal with me. I’ve not completely learned but I am learning to let go of the familiar and venture into completely green fields.
I hated new grounds; they infused me with a nervousness that renders me inactive. But gradually, I am learning to tell some of the stories I’d rather not tell, finding healing and forgiveness and offering hope to other wounded persons.
I still feel very awkward and scared shitless but I’m learning to rein in my fears and reach out of my safe niche. I may be wrong but I guess we all like familiar grounds and all want to do the normal. The major catalyst that keeps us glued to our comfort zones is fear; fear that the unknown will completely change our lives in ways we don’t want because stepping out means we’ll lose control of our circumstances.
Misery obviously loves company so it drags laziness into the zone. That’s where we miss it. We want to deal with the laziness first. So we read about 101 ways to Motivate Yourself! and 10 Ways to Overcome Procrastination then get frustrated when it doesn’t work.
When we deal with symptoms and not the disease itself, the symptom temporarily abates but comes back if the disease is not taken care of. In the practice of optometry (my field of study), a red-eye is a symptom of various eye conditions. Some persons get very concerned about going about with a red-eye and maybe get some decongestants to clear it. Of course, it clears out temporarily but because the causal disease has not been treated, it resurfaces – probably worse.
Because they did not pay attention to the symptom, the disease progressed without being addressed. This same scenario is what plays out in the fear and laziness equation. The panacea for fear is faith; absolute trust in a loving God who has our best interest at heart. Most people want to be sure before we take any step. Like King George VI in the opening quote, sometimes we’ll have to walk through the valley of shadow of death and our only assurance that we’ll make it through is God’s presence. Like Robert Frost noted in his most famous poem “The Road Not Taken” sometimes traveling the road less traveled can make all the difference.
This, I am learning. Slowly but surely, I’m exiting the comfort zone.
Live by Design.