Friday Night Me Time

It’s interesting how we get pulled out of a comfort zone, and in that space of being uncomfortable, that’s the moment where we’re most potent to make an impact. I’ve never thought about the self-delusion that exists in my mind with the positive language towards getting out of the comfort zone, but the reality of avoiding discomfort. I think most people would acknowledge it’s healthy to leave the comfort zone and be stretched, and a major aversion to putting oneself in a truly uncomfortable position. As much as I resist the concept of the all-inclusive resort in a 2nd or 3rd world country, that’s the reality of my actions towards “stepping out” more often than not. I’m not a proponent of taking unnecessary risk for the sake of defying the odds, a fools journey usually rooted in pride; however, my safety is rarely truly at risk when I subconsciously or otherwise avoid uncomfortable situations. To make it real, I’ve been asking myself, in light of the cultural tensions at home with the Muslim world, why haven’t I had a Muslim family or group of friends over for dinner? Why not create dialog at local level and establish a connection in love and hospitality when the actual risk is null. I suppose this is when I take action and make a commitment. I commit within the next two weeks to hosting a dinner at my place with my local Muslim community.

There’s a real pull at the end of the week to do something for me, and a temptation to say that because of I’ve done all this week and because I’ve put up with all this corporate or whatever shit, that now’s my time, my entitlement of free time and personal gratification. It’s the most convenient truth to belief, and it’s certainly not wrong, bad or ugly. It’s such a slippery slope those and there’s endless case studies that show a very clear law of diminishing returns. There’s so little in that well after the first little bit, and the amount of money, time, and effort that spirals towards whatever I convince myself I deserve is truly sickening when I see the reality of it.

The flip side is that I love taking care of myself. I love getting a massage and going out for drinks with friends, I probably like it a little too much, and it’s been growth to accept these moments as pure and golden coming from a overly-religious upbringing of quasi-puritan roots. What I mean is that I perceive a false humility in spiritual circles that denies self-care and pleasure in light of the ever-present darkness and need for service around the world. This idea that I should not ever really enjoy a celebration feast because there’s a child in China who is going hungry tonight. I think there’s a clear message in ancient scriptures that speaks of celebrating and feasting when the time is right, and also mourning with those that morn.

My growth and reminder tonight, after sharing wine with new friends and laughing at uncomfortable jokes about being the only white guy at the table, is that the discomfort outside of time that’s all about me is ultimately a deeper well of possibilities and joy than any moment that I’m worried about my own comfort and time to unwind.

Here’s to a great Friday night.

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