ALL my dreams are out of my comfort zone


A favorite topic: The comfort zonezcomfort-zone

Everything I currently want, that I do not currently possess, is outside of my present level of comfort. If it was within my comfort zone I would have it. I don’t possess it because I am not willing to move toward it. I expect it to come to me. To some degree I want to “hope” it into my life with the minimum amount of effort.

If there is pain involved, I will hold on for a predetermined amount of time at which point I will begin to negotiate my way out of enduring the unfamiliar terrain. Microscopically, I will only agree to the achievement with a predetermined threshold of pain. If I do not succeed within the allotted parameter, I have a default mechanism that sanctions my quitting—respectfully of course. I move forward having “tried.”

My personal achievements look more like a stumbling, fumbling, hope-I-get-it-soon, rather than, quantum leaping, soaring, and victorious-to-the-finish.

I don’t know where I got this idea that it was supposed to be easier than it is. Nor do I understand why it can be harder for some than others. What I do know is that in the middle of all this I have learned a valuable lesson: It is what it is!

[slam on the brakes]

I remember roaring to the Universe, “Are you bleeping kidding me, this is what I’ve gleaned? This IS the big answer to all my life altering questions?”

God’s quiet, beyond simple, reply, “Yes.”

[awkward silence]

“That’s stupid,” I say.

So I head out for my run, certain that I have missed part of the conversation. I wait for more. It never comes.

I get pondering this life/growing thing. Seems when I get confident/comfortable with my ability in one area; another area of my life looks utterly shabby.

“Where’s the day that it’s all lined up? Does it ever get ALL lined up? Does it ever stop being uncomfortable?” I adamantly bark.

“Yes and no,” is the only answer I hear.

“Is there a bigger answer to that question?” I retort.

“You’d be bored with constant comfort.” He says.

“Can I have it for a little while to see if I’d be bored?” I suggest.

“You already have it for a little while; you just don’t notice that you do. You call forth growth when you are ready, not me.” I hear.

“I never thought of it that way before.” I mention.

His reply, “Of course you didn’t, but now you have.”

All this time I have been thinking I hate being out of my comfort zone, but it is the very thing that keeps life moving forward. It’s the anticipation and excitement of newness to come.

It dawns on me that I am (also) uncomfortable not growing. I’m not good when I’m not engaged in moving toward something of value.  I guess it is safe to say I am growing increasingly comfortable with the discomfort of growth.

I will either be somewhere better (new) having endured discomfort or I will be in a worse (old) place having endured discomfort.

Finally I understand … It is what it is = It is what I make it.

“That’s what I said,” Says God.

I reply, “I’m slow.”

“Whatever you say,” He says.


No Responses to “ALL my dreams are out of my comfort zone

  • Dayum, girl!

    Where do you get the guts to strip down and share like that?

    Never mind, I know.

    It’s a place that’s outside my comfort zone.


    …’scuse me while I do some thinking.

    • Oh sh*t, when I read your comment I panicked. “OM what did I just blast out on my blog?!?!”
      Well, what’s done is done.
      I think I’ll go for a run and clear my head of my inner critic.

      Change (sobriety and beyond) is so freakishly confrontational.
      Doable, but confrontational!
      I want to encourage the ‘steppin’ in’

  • Love love love!!! Get it girl!

  • Excuse me while I wring out my brain because that post just twisted and knotted it and just blew it partially away. Wow.

    I have to regroup and come back with a proper response.


    • Ya know Paul, I’m not even sure what that reply means, but I’ll go with it. My sweet C. over at RecoveryInst had a quick comment too. Tell me, please, too over the top? Did I lose my mind in the genetically-modified/sugar/fake-food detox? Have I gone crazy, but am the last to see?

      • I have no clue what my reply meant either. Not over the top at all. I think that there are times I realize that I am in over my head, that I am not at the place that someone else is, and hence don’t have the perspicacity to fully envelop what the other is saying. And that might have been it. There have been times my sponsor would say things that blew me out of the water because I had no clue what he was talking about. The words were simple, but the order of them left me scratching my head. And your post did that for me. Your conversation there probes deep stuff, even though the language is simple. the meaning not so much.

        So it’s frickin’ cool is what I am trying to say. See? I take too long to get to the point, dancing around, floating about…but you nail it every time. love it. It does the soul good, your words.

        Thank you.


        • “perspicacity” … Not only did I look it up, I had pronounce it for me.

          What do you think Paul, should I tone it down a bit and stick with the plainer stuff? I woman wrote to me last week and told me she loved the book, but that it was too hard for most addicts to read. (Not sure where she got her “most” data.) Anyhow, I wasn’t sure if it was an insult or a compliment.

          Thanks for the kind words. It is a compliment to have YOU scratching your head. It’a all good and we’re all sober—today. Amen.

          • ” should I tone it down a bit and stick with the plainer stuff?”


            {sets up soapbox in middle of room, coughs, adjusts megaphone}

            There have been many times that I have thought the same thing on my teeny blog. I thought that maybe what I am writing is a bit too much, you know. Just too *much* in there. The analogies are a bit too intense or twisted, the writing too long, the ideas outside of recovery, the tone a bit too elitist or too pedantic (oops – there I go using words like that again). I mean, let self-centered fears run amok here. I have often thought of plainer language, as you mentioned for yourself. I have thought perhaps that I am scaring away readers and traffic (ego) by going at length about X, Y, Z. I thought that perhaps it be best to write posts that just say “hey, you don’t have to drink! See, I am having Diet Sprite and kicking my alcoholism in the nuts. I just don’t drink for today and I go to meetings now and then and one day at a time and put the plug in the jug, etc. etc. etc”. Nothing wrong with those posts. Those are precisely the kinds of things I needed to hear / read when I first got sober. I couldn’t read stuff like what I write now because it was irrelevant to me. I needed concrete, minute-by-minute, how-to’s and inspiration so that I could get through the next few hours. So I get it.

            Having said that, I still wondered if perhaps I am even ahead of myself. A bit too precious perhaps? A little self-indulgent? Recovery masturbation of some kind? I don’t know. Maybe I am too close to the ball for that call. So the ultimate question arises – do I plain it down and hope to capture others who might need to hear something simplified and easy to digest, or do I continue the course I am on, and possibly have only a handful of people get it? I still struggle with that, Lisa. It’s like the meetings I go to – the guy in the corner who just chants slogans “One day at a time”, “Keep coming back”, “don’t leave 5 minutes before the miracle happens”, etc. is the guy who gets the crowd later. I, with my nerding out of the basic text and history and all that jazz, doesn’t really get anyone coming over to chat. Ha ha …attraction rather than promotion. Maybe there is too much promotion. Oh Lordy.

            Anyway, what I *do* know (and I will wrap up, I promise) is that I will resent myself if I write in a way that goes against my instinct and intuition. It’s like when I comment – I tend to write lengthy posts. So be it. That’s my thing. At least for now. Things change. And in regards to what you are saying about your own writing, it’s – keep on doing what you’re doing. You make me a better person reading your words, even when I have to struggle with the concepts a bit. But that is how I grow! Struggle! If I am handed everything on a silver platter, then I gain nothing. Your posts help keep my program going in subtle ways. I need challenges. I need to be given a pathway from those who trudge the road happily ahead of me…and that is what you give me. There are few people who do that for me, online and in real life. Not that there aren’t plenty others, but I am just talking about who is in my path here and now.

            So keep writing where you are at, my friend. You rock at what you do, and if we minions struggle now and then…good for us. We are meeting up with something that will help to stretch us and grow us, in a good and positive way. The beauty of this sobersphere is that we find so many kinds of people all at different parts of their journey. Some just need to hear “You’ll be ok, kiddo…chin up” while others enjoy a treatise on the mechanics of inventory in Esperanto. Different strokes. I just keep on my strokes…paddling away. I would suggest likewise. 🙂

            {off soap box}


          • Three things:
            1) OM is an acronym for “oh my” often you’ve seen it as OMG. I prefer to leave off the “G” because in regular speech I wouldn’t normally use it.
            2) Love the soap box. The best I can say is thank you. I think I’ll continue pushing my comfort zone of writing, even if only three of you get me 🙂
            3) You are good for me too.

  • Yes! I do this same thing: “Why is it so hard? When can I just take to my hammock and just ‘be’? When do I ease along, careless?” oh, right. I don’t. When I’m noticing. Time for more growing. Oh! Genius. You are a genius. This is just what I needed, awake in the middle of the night. 🙂

    • A, OM these comments are hitting me so hard this week. I’m thinking I’ve gone mad, but feel totally sane … that’s the crazy thing. I mentioned to Paul that my sugar detox has me in new territory. (pushing my comfort zone and taking all of you along with me) xox L

  • Do you know what this brings up for me? Resiliency. I found myself getting annoyed that I’m always searching for something and I hate that I have to get out of my comfort zone to find it. It’s like I feel everything too deeply and if I would just stop doing that, I’d finally get where I’m going. But then I realized that I always find what I’m seeking before I move on to the next thing, which means I’m resilient. I’m not bad at getting where I’m going. I’m just good at making more road to travel!

    • I love the closing line of the comment. It sounds like the title of a good book. I’m loving the word resilient. it so important (for me) that I see my efforts as a genuine desire to grow. You’ve painted a beautiful picture of me putting down more “yellow bricks” so I can continue to grow. BTW, I got scared about this post after I put it up because I’m thinking I’m just getting so “out there.” I love that you understood me. So, extras thank yous from me to you.

  • Hi Lisa, I am heading over to Paul’s blog as soon as I am done kicking your butt. If either of you change ONE IOTA of how and what you write, I will start to cry. I know I am often slow to comment, I get backlogged very often on WordPress, but I read and treasure every word you write. It is NEVER too much, or whatever words you were using to describe your worry. If you still have doubts, scroll upwards and see all the amazing comments. I am not bellyaching, because I am so proud of my blog and the success I’ve had, but I don’t get half the likes and comments you get. Not that the quality has anything to do with the numbers, but clearly you are doing something right to have such a large response.

    Okay, I’m done lecturing. I love you, your blog, your thoughts, your point of view, and I look forward to every single post.

    • I love the lecture. I want you to lecture me! You are grounded and I appreciate your perspective. I do get confused—often. I love how you write because your perspective is so fresh. In many ways I am jealous that I didn’t start writing my blog sooner in my sobriety. I’m clearly going through a mini-metamorphosis about how to proceed on my blog. Yore opinion is paramount. I have the utmost respect for your writing, quality of sobriety, and love of God. Thank you
      ps. heading out to catch up on blogs so see you later to soak up your wisdom

  • I love this Lisa. Laughed out loud at “I’m slow” because I feel slow too sometimes–stubborn, questioning, questioning more, just barely willing to be willing–but willing enough to take that first step forward.

    I like that pre-measured amount of pain idea and the “I tried” excuse. I’m ok with pain, if I expect it, but I have to really push myself to exceed that pain threshold. My runs, for example. I know 10 miles is long. I know it’s going to be uncomfortable. I expect some pain if I run a particular speed. But if I try to push faster and I get winded and tired, I say, “this is hard, this is too fast” because it’s more pain than I’m used to or expecting. I have to run through it, I have to have faith in my ability, I have to raise my pain threshold or intercept those pain receptor messages.

    If we’re still alive, we’re still learning and growing. We still have lessons to learn.

    Please never doubt your words. You’re pushing out of your comfort zone and breaking your barriers–and I am so proud of you.

    Lots of love, C

    • Thanks for the comment. You inspire me constantly. I have a ton of respect for you and your sobriety. I wanted you to know I’ve been working on sprints this week. It’s helping my long runs a lot. Keep up your encourage my . I love it

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