Your true character shows up when the defecation hits the oscillation. The measure of your integrity and commitment to your core values is demonstrated by what you do when things become uncomfortable. Your character is measured by what you value beyond your own comfort, in every challenge not just life and death, but the more nuanced moments as well.
- When your boss tells you he’s promoting your peer, and you could do a better job
- When your wife calls you abusive in your tone, and it hurts to even consider, as you thought you’re just passionate/ good willed.
- When someone on the internet disagrees with your perspective, and provides reason and evidence.
How you navigate these moments matters. These are challenges – And by no means do I want you to take these moments and accept them as the truth, but your character is defined in that split second in between what happens next. Is there a part of you that considers the possibility of truth, that scares you, and has you feeling like you might crap your pants? Or do you just dismiss it and move?
If you respond in the way the social media mobs, and a majority of idiots advocate for, you stick your finger in your ears, get #triggered, ask to go to a #safeplace and proceed to label the uncomfortable source as a villain or monster, conveniently leaving the role of victim as yours to claim.
If your reaction to discomfort is to dismiss truth (if you know that it’s truth), to try to censor, to criminally label on a whim, whenever you find the facts, evidence and reasoning challenging, or uncomfortable, the constitution of your character in those moments is profoundly weak. And by choosing to take such actions, to be intolerant of challenges, you make yourself more fragile, strengthening your self-inflicted victimization and doubling up on a fixed mindset.
The very discomfort that people are trying to make a thought crime these days is the very same discomfort that allows us to sit with the honest possibility that we may be wrong, or we could do better, and face up to the truth. This ability is essential to being authentic. Being honest with ourselves, allows us to admit, acknowledge that there is room to grow, if only for a split moment. And by acknowledging that, it grants us the gift of that room, that workspace to work on it and improve.
Courage, Integrity & Grit – are what allow us to sit and wrestle in discomfort, and learn to smile through it.
So, if on the other hand, in those challenging moments, you consider the situation, the source, acknowledge the possibility that truth may exist even in the shit that scares you, then you’ve got an opportunity for growth and good living.
Discomfort is part of authenticity. Being authentic and sincere means being honest, comfortably uncomfortable with ourselves, living with the knowledge of the possibility of being wrong, but still making decisions anyway.
I value truth, freedom, and a right to build, live and enjoy a great life for myself and others, beyond my comfort. This means I have to tolerate noise, stupidity, viewpoints and actions that I vehemently disagree with, and unless they threaten my ability or right to practice those beliefs.
But in that discomfort is tolerance, is the capacity for other possibilities, and other considerations. Living with that doesn’t mean letting go of your convictions, it means always having an ace up your sleeve, the wild card to help and serve you when you need it, the open window, the escape plan, the door to a better life when you want it. To me, something in there, something is the very nature of humanity and God. I find comfort in the discomfort and the asterisk of opportunity and unknown. I try to and fight for the room for possibility in my life. Even the scary possibilities. These are the journeys, the new frontiers for our life.