To dig in, to unpack, to move forward, I have to be uncomfortable.
Let me explain.
I have pushed the notion of discomfort. I have welcomed it, when I was in the pool at 5:45am and my body was burning with lactic acid and I would be practicing for the big payoff- a best time in the State swimming finals and a top 10 placement on the podium. The reward was clear: discomfort now for accomplishment and success and achieving a goal further down the line. The other option was mediocrity and complacency with my race times. The other option was to not be a role model to my younger teammates, to not persevere, to not be a captain of the team and know my leadership was validated by my perseverance. The other option was my version of failure.
The discomfort came when I stood up to my attacker and named him. And went through a trial. And showed that although you are a collegiate athlete it does not give you the right to hit women. I could have kept friends, I could have lived with the temporary pain of the bruises, I could have been silent in my misery and coped through the passage of time, and how it heals. But I looked the discomfort of talking to police and lawyers and university officials and losing people and said no, this discomfort is worth it. I am worth it.
I want to be uncomfortable with my polyamory. I want to be bound and gagged and forced to watch my partner have sex with other people and welcome those feelings of fear and jealousy and insecurity and rape them of their power over me. I want to cry and feel the fear, the terror of losing something as intangible as love, and tell it no.
Pain is weakness leaving the body.
Pain is lactic acid. Pain is persecuting an attacker. Pain is seeing a great love fuck someone else in front of you.
And pain is temporary, at least in these examples. Uncomfortable feelings fade. I was hiking in the jungle and afraid to repel down a cliff by myself for the first time. It took a bit of coaxing from my friend and a lot of trust of the rope I was fastened to, but I jumped. I trusted I would live, that I would go on to eat pupusas and drink cheap Salvadoran beer and dance with beautiful men that evening, and I did.
I will take that discomfort of polyamory and jump off the cliff. I have been coaxed. I trust my literal and figurative rope and bonds, I trust I will go on to eat food and drink and dance with beautiful people.
I will be uncomfortable, I will embrace the pain, and then it will leave, as all temporary feelings do. I will obtain the big payoff: the placement on the podium, winning my trial, getting over my phobia of heights.
I am worth the discomfort. I will not pussyfoot around it. I will not hide it. I will take it by its neck and wring it of its power. I will relish in it and come out the other side a more complete being, welcoming the peace that comes with security in your sense of self.