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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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08.07.07         personal  

Pain is a mirror, Comfort....the kiss of death


We want a comfortable lifestyle, maybe a consistent income, security, not having to worry about going to “war” with the world so to speak. It’s so easy to find that comfort zone and ever so slowly, once we have it, begin to rot away. We become obsessed with our comfort levels to the point of not wanting to take risks, grow, or improve on what we have.

This past week I have noticed something I call: The Pain to Action Threshold, which is the point where pain is so great, that the individual takes action to solve it.

I am coming to realize, being patient while suffering and being fearful while suffering are the same things. We may simply tell ourselves we are being patient because taking action would make us “uncomfortable”, which is really fear. Action may cause us to think, work, invent, create, grow, etc and that might take a lot of work.

I remember a situation when I was locked out. I was able to call the locksmith, and as I sat waiting for him, I began to fume with anger at myself, him, the key, the door, my landlord, my neighbor, being late for a meeting and the cat curiously watching me fume.

I was so angry I considered kicking the door in (crossing that threshold) and suddenly, it occurred to me that if I really wanted to, I could get in, even if it meant breaking the door. I decided there might be another way. All I had besides my phone were a few pieces of paper. As soon as I stood up, I realized I may be able to pick the lock using the paper I had, if it was folded just right. I know this sounds crazy, but in about 10 minutes, I was able to actually pick my lock with the paper! Upon inspecting the door later, the gap was so tight I realized nothing else would have worked.

Reflect your own actions with respect to pain on either side of this threshold and you will see an astonishing difference in behavior.

On one side, you are hiding, don’t want to face the truth, sometimes angry, always fearful, clinging, ever clinging, like a pathetic slug to this desire of not wanting to step out of a comfort zone, allowing life push you around every which direction.

On the other, you have accepted the cause of the pain, believe you have it in you power to solve the pain, and are acting with complete faith you will either cure it, or die trying.

Same person, different mentality simply because you have crossed an invisible line in your mind. I see now this very thing happened to me when I decided to quit my PhD program despite a huge investment of time and money.

Life would be much more enjoyable if we could always think on the action side of this line, and not have to have pain push us over there. Your potential to act is unlimited, and it is only ourselves to blame when we do not take action. Fight the urge to blame others, crush the consideration that you are a victim of circumstance. Know you have full power to either solve it once and for all, or die trying. Refuse to be “patient” in pain. The tools are all there, pain is just life’s way of pushing us there.

Pain is a mirror. It reflects our cowardice to action. Only when we see it as a mirror and not a window, can we cross the threshold.

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