Give yourself permission to be uncomfortable and to make others uncomfortable in your truth

Rev. angel Kyoto williams

Being in discomfort is inherently…uncomfortable. Urges rapidly emerge to quell said discomfort. What about longer lasting discomforts, or discomforts which we don’t have the ability simply to dispel? Or discomforts resulting from a change in or reduction of habituated comforts and freedoms, such as during this pandemic. Or the discomfort that comes with confronting long-standing social injustices? (Change is not always comfortable, even when one is aware that the outcome could be beneficial personally, or even globally.) 

What if instead of trying to get rid, we actively choose to practice staying with discomfort? Or, as Donna Haraway would say, staying with the trouble. 

During the process of May’s Grand re Union edition, we began having conversations around this topic. We wondered together what would happen if we invited curiosity and encouraged a focus on the wonder of what may emerge. We considered how we might disrupt our learned patterns, so geared towards production and solutions. We realised we could discard imposter syndrome and projected expectations and instead embrace the (yet) unknown. 

For those who have experienced trauma (arguably everyone to varying degrees under white-supremacist, patriarchal-capitalism) it can be particularly difficult to discern the difference between discomfort and danger. Although there can be safety without comfort, it’s hard to conceive of comfort without a level of safety. We collectively imagined our climate for conversation, a frame of invitations that facilitates our feeling safe enough to engage in disrupting our patterns of comfort, and practice moving at the speed of trust (adrienne maree brown.)

We choose to trust that the party is made by the guests and that we are enough as we are. We shall turn up for each other, for a conversation on disrupting discomfort, hopefully… with you.

Discomfort is where liberation really emerges from, just like the Buddhist symbol of the lotus that emerges from the mud.

Lama Rod Owens