Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DAY 65 - The Holiday Season is About Comfort and Joy: Not Judgment

There is no question that we all need comfort in our lives. A little joy would be great too. But, at the very least, we all need comfort. What makes us feel comfortable, and where do we go if we don’t?

Comfort comes from different sources. Physically it comes from sufficient nutrition, water, air, exercise, sleep, and shelter. Emotionally it comes from loving relationships, and from how we feel about ourselves. Spiritually it may come from a sense of connection to all things, or a belief in a higher power.

If one generally experiences comfort in one’s life, then all is well. But it is obvious that many people are not comfortable in their lives and so strive to find comfort.

Unfortunately the source of discomfort in one’s life may not be clear. Discomfort may come from poor nutrition, lack of sleep or exercise, insufficient connection with others, a sense that one is not worthy, or from a spiritual void. There may be more than one contributor, and it is often not a simple process to understand what factors stand in the way of comfort.

The following is a short list of things that are often used to temporarily provide comfort: drugs (street and prescription), alcohol, television, exercise, sex, work, video gaming, internet surfing, shopping, reading, and food. The excessive use of any of these is usually referred to as an addiction. Addictive behaviors predictably harm the addict, and those around them. I believe it is accurate to say that addictions are primarily an attempt to find comfort.

Out of compassion, and to avoid looking the fool, we are wise not to judge others in regard to their addictive behavior. Our culture generally supports referring to individuals whose lives are caught up in the abuse of drugs or alcohol, as “losers”. But then, how might we refer to the millions of Americans who are caught up in eating excessively, or eating in an imbalanced fashion, not unlike an addict, harming themselves and others through the resulting conditions of overweight, obesity, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, dementia, depression, and other serious conditions? I would suggest that we might refer to them as people in need of comfort.

Regardless of our addictions, none of us really need to be judged. What we really need is to be loved, to understand the source of our discomfort, and to create true comfort.

Imagine no ‘losers” in the New Year; only individuals desiring comfort.

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