Comfort Zone: Part 1
"Then I saw it, my comfort zone. Keeping me small and keeping her noisy." Wendy Windle Oh the uncomfortable comfort zone. Whoever decided to call it that way, probably never stepped out of it, never discovered the wonders that stepping out of our comfort zone brings to us.
I´ve always been a firm believer about stepping out of the comfort zone. Well, I am lying completely. Not always. (the mind tricks us huh?) I´ve always been good at big leaps out of the c zone. Huge changes, dramatic turns. As painful as I knew it could be to move from one country to another, I would do it, no thought given, regardless of the body shaking, the rush in the blood stream, the twenty thousand doubts I could have and the certainty that the first months would be tough. I knew, eventually, I would love the change and would pat myself in the back for having had the courage to jump.
Not so much with my inner self comfort zone, the aspects of what I defined as "me". I am sure there was a time where my walls were so high and my positions so firm, that stepping out the comfort zone was not even an action in my universe. In this area, the minimum sign of body shaking or rushes in the body, would shut me down like an oyster and keep me there, warm, fuzzy and alone.
But one day, I started doing it. Not because I thought it was a great idea, far from that, but because life kept pushing me so hard, pushing the same buttons, once and again, and there came a point that I simply had to stop blaming it on other people, on the circumstances or the stars. They all had become so disposable in my life, that it was easy for me to simply move on, go on, finding new people, new circumstances, all because I wasn´t able to do one thing: express.
Yes, I´ve always written, yes I´ve always been a hopeless romantic, but speaking out loud, up front? No way.
Allowing myself to be seen as vulnerable or insecure? No way.
So I would feel something that wasn´t so nice, and I would cover it up with all the "itsok´s" I could find. Always after unconditional love, my misconception of it was trying to be OK with everything everyone did. It´s ok if you disappear for days, it´s ok if you sleep with someone else, it´s ok if you don´t tell me that you love me for months, you must be scared and I must be unconditional. My itsokeyness would start growing inside of me, until, weeks or even months after, I would be so far from the truth, my head would be so conflicted and had convinced me of 100 stories why I should part.
All because I couldn´t open my mouth. (my tonsils and my ears suffered it too!).
So, forced to look at myself as the common thread in my life. I saw it. It was painful, but I saw it. I was the one keeping myself separate from others. I was the one feeling isolated and misunderstood. How could I ever be understood if I would hide behind masks of okeyness and an arrogant facade? (I am fine, i don´t need you, who cares).
And I did what I didn´t know what to do. Asked for help. Recognized that I didn´t know how to open my mouth in the moment I needed to. Emotions and lips were not connected. No wonder why I needed to have different partners in my life! So no one would come close enough to make me face myself. Keeping it in an intellectual level was easy, so easy. But an emotional level? But allowing myself to show my doubts? No!
WIth a superhuman effort, I took the conscious decision to talk, no matter what. I figured i didn´t need to know what happened to me when I was a child to be so protected blah blah blah. The point was to change, and change now. Take responsibility from my part of connecting with others. It was so funny at first to see me babbling and saying twenty non-sense statements before what I wanted to say came out. I had to start with stuff like "it´s really hard for me to talk, so be patient, but I will say this, even if I have to sit here for one hour."
As any road never taken, it was tough at first. But as any road that you take every day, it became smoother and smoother. Easier and easier. And on the way I started discovering my real feelings, not the ones behind all the crap in my head, not the arrogant me, or the itsokey me. But in the willingness to show myself as I was, the reward was that the Universe reflected back more and more clarity every time. I started recognizing that the only reason I felt misunderstood, was my own reluctancy to reveal myself.
And the time I felt lonely and disconnected is long gone. I discovered that there are thousands of people out there, willing to connect with you and understand that I am not perfect, that it is ok to feel, to show and to express. The more I became comfortable with it, the more comprehension I received back.
So, yeah, the comfort zone, not always a big leap, not always a big thing. But it´s in the smallest things, it´s stepping out of the comfort zone in an everyday basis, that can transform our lives around.
Now, years after, I am stepping on a different comfort zone.
Want to hear about it? Stay tuned for part 2!