About 15 years ago, we were watching old family movies, when we came across one, where my older daughter was saying, “My mommy is really comfy. I love my mommy, she’s so comfy.” She was as sweet pie, as soft as butter, smiling with her golden curly hair, and big bright brown eyes, expressing her love and contentment, with the word “comfy”. Comfy can be used in many positive ways, as a slang for the word comfortable. Comfier and comfiest sound so inviting and peaceful, and may even leave you with an image of a perfectly puffed up white pillow, inviting and waiting for you to melt your body right into it. The word “comfortable”, may leave you with a different feel and idea. It does for me, and in some ways, I don’t like the idea of being comfortable. Maybe it sounds like things are the same, boring, or too easy. Maybe it’s because my life really has never been comfortable, and I just can’t relate to it. Well, in some respects it’s true. But I, like my little girl, like things to be comfy. Maybe not comfortable, but comfy for sure.

What in the world does that mean? For me, an introvert, it means a lot. I figured out, about 8 years ago after reading the book Quiet, that I am an introvert. And what a relief it was to know I wasn’t alone! I wasn’t the only person who at times, needed to be alone in order to recharge my mind and spirit, after being with people. I wasn’t the only person, that when surrounded by large groups of people, felt the very air I was breathing, suck right out of me, to the point where I would feel weak and faint. I wasn’t the only person that walked circles around a party, smiling, trying to look like I was social and having a good time, only circling, because I was either nervous, uncomfortable, or overwhelmed by the whole thing. I’d excuse myself to go to the restroom, (that I didn’t need to use)  just to hide behind a door to take a few deep breaths, so I could walk back into a busy, chatty crowd. I’m not just an introvert, but an introvert wrapped with a bow of anxiety. Not so much now, but in my 30’s,  – Yes way! Now that I know this though, it’s a bit comforting to realize it’s not just me, and that I have friends in this same camp, and they are not odd or weak, (like I thought I was), but rather just made differently, with different life experiences, and different ways of being, that either naturally or unnaturally shaped them to be just the way they are. But this, this way of being, is not “comfy”. It’s actually uncomfortable to say the least.

What is comfy then? To me, comfy is a place in my mind and spirit that comes about when my life is at ease. It may be snuggled up next to my husband on the couch, where he sweetly massages my feet without my asking. ( I’m spoiled. I know.) Comfy is when everything is going smoothly in my life. When hugs are poured out on me, and kisses are shared spontaneously. Comfy for me, when my husband and I are in that sweet spot, and on the same page about things. Comfy in my world, is when homeschooling the kids is challenging, yet not difficult, when my children are happy , the bills are paid, my family and friends are in good health. When yoga and long runs are part of my week, my relationships are healthy, and life is just cruising along to a Bob Marley beat. Yeah, that’s comfy. That’s really comfy. I love that! But that’s not real. And most times, it only lasts for a season. Maybe even, only a month or a week. Maybe a day. Or, like a hiccup, it’s there yet before you know it, it’s gone. Because somewhere down the road of reality, we are all definitely made aware of the fact that our lives are not at all comfy.

In the last few weeks, I have talked with many close friends, family, and met more people than I could have ever imagined, that are struggling with anxiety, sickness, stress or very difficult home lives. I’ve talked to more friends recently, more than any other time in my life, that are feeling isolated and alone in their minds, and day-to-day lives, because of what they are dealing with. They don’t know what to do, or how to articulate their worry and fears, in a world where we all look like we have it together. If you go by FB, Instagram, or Snapchat, or whatever other social media you dive into, you’d think we all are living in a perfect world. But life is far from perfect, and yet we somehow think that someone else is living it.  How can we possibly speak of our own worries and troubles, when no one else is speaking of theirs? We live in a time where we all appear to be content, and on top of the world, through social media. But, if someone could see things through our own lens, they would see that at times, we all feel less than, anxious or even alone. They would see our troubles and difficulties, and not feel so alone. I know you’ve heard this. We all talk about how we should spend less time on our devices. We know we should put down our phones, and look up and around. We know we need to be more present with our friends and family, truly giving them our complete attention. Psychologists, teachers and professionals are all talking about it. We even tell our friends, and families this, yet we get sucked right back into the cycle of it all. The moment we see the our feed, wall or snap we are in competition mode no matter how you cut it. And that’s a stress whether we are aware or not, in some way we are part of the cycle. It’s not all bad, I’m not saying that. I love the articles, foodie posts, exercise challenges, ideas for decorating and design and gorgeous, tempting food pics. I know, I just said that. I love food!  It’s not all negative. That’s definitely not what I’m saying. But if we compare ourselves to the perfect pictures, that were taken 10 times over, for the ultimate post, while edited, cropped and filtered, we will be a bit let down, and left with an image that is very hard to live up to, during our not so comfy days.

The super cool things is, that we were made to be wiser and smarter than all this. Computers and technology have nothing on us! Our minds and spirits are so powerful and amazing, that if we take time to back away, clear our minds, recharge, and look up and away, we will know exactly what to believe and not believe. Maybe not entirely at times, but we will have a nudge, or gentle push in our spirits, that if we listen and follow, we will find what is real and right in time. We are all starting to get, that this fake, perfectly crafted world we see before us, is just that. Fake. Not fake, as in not happening, because what you see is happening, it’s just not the whole picture.  Years ago, I posted a picture of my husband and I on a date, looking happy, and giggling, while having a drink outdoors on a perfectly sunny, beautiful day. It was beautiful indeed. We were having fun, for sure! He looked so handsome, and I was in a sexy dress, (he thought so), and the night was amazing. That’s what people saw. But what they didn’t see was what happened after a phone call, right before getting home, (about to be the best part of our date – insert smile) that quickly spiraled our evening, because of a difficult family incident.  So to some, that quick picture, taken in a flash of moment, on our “perfect” looking date night, was perceived  as the reality of our every day life. It was a glimpse into our life, for sure. But that only told one fraction of it. You get me. We all have this in common, because our lives are not a snap shot. Our lives are anything but that. Anything but comfy. Of course, we wouldn’t share our worst days for the world to see, but I do hope we share. I do hope we talk, and communicate in some way, of the troubles, and difficulties we face. I do hope we get together with our friends, (even at a party, wall to wall with people where you want to hide in the bathroom for a moment just to breathe haha, just me) or just one on one, over coffee or whatever, to just get vulnerable, and real enough to let others know that they are not alone. And not just in the typical way of sharing, where you still need to keep it all appearing as if you have it together, but in a way of being totally real and authentic about your life. Your amazing, sweet moments matter. Your high points need to be shared. We need to see the good in all things. BUT, we all need a reality check in person, face to face, to share the difficult, sometimes awful, stressful, messy moments of our lives.

We all have friends with addictions, depression, sickness, anxiety, eating disorders, financial troubles, struggling marriages, fears of failure, insecurities, hopelessness and loneliness, Don’t you?  If you don’t think you know these people personally, I ask you to ask a friend. If you think that this is a downer, too negative, or that this couldn’t involve anyone you know, trust me, you aren’t living in the real world. This messy way of describing people, is the messy truth. Try sharing your feelings or thoughts with someone on a deeper level than you have. You may be surprised to hear what they have to say to you. You’ll allow them to share themselves with you, just by being real and vulnerable with them.  The only way I know this, is because I share my thoughts and feelings with people about certain struggles I have, and the more I do, the more I see tears flowing down faces, hands reaching out for hugs, people sharing their thoughts and fears, that they had never before felt safe to express. Walls have come down, and light has brought hope to a hopeless situation. Friends that have felt trapped or isolated for years, now express gratitude for a listening ear.  In these moments of realness, that I am so grateful for, I see God’s hand in healing and restoration. I see hope and truth and friendship on levels I never thought possible. I see the beauty of humanity in this broken world. I see connections spiritually and emotionally that point me to God. There is no greater gift than to connect with someone on this level. There is no place I’d rather be, than in an uncomfortable, messy conversation with someone being real. (well there is, like the beach….) But, truly, it is a liberating, refreshing, life-giving place to be. Now, I am becoming quite comfy, being uncomfortable.

I know now, that it takes being uncomfortable, (not Comfy) vulnerable, and risky to find that place of comfort with a friend. Everything in my life that has been difficult, has been extremely uncomfortable. I used to tuck my troubles away in my mind, stuffing them deep down into my spirit, hiding the mess, so that no one would see the real me. I did everything I could to avoid being uncomfortable. Which meant having a false reality most times. But now, I’ve grown to know better – to just be real. (too bad it took til I was in my 40’s to figure it out!) It’s a process for sure. I have realized no matter how difficult and uncomfortable those moments and experiences were, they made me stronger and wiser. Being uncomfortable stretched me, shaped me, and empowered me to be who I am today. Being uncomfortable has made me more compassionate and empathetic for others than I ever would be, had my life always been stress free, comfortable, cozy, and comfy.

I think it’s fair to say we all would like our lives to be comfy. My little girl wanted to remain in my comfy arms, snug as a bug in a rug. But, she had to leave my side, into the oh so uncomfortable world.  Yet, this world that hurt her, disappointed her, troubled her and discouraged her, (like all of us have experienced) also shaped her into most beautiful, confident, brave, kind young woman I know. Had we not talked about my struggles, been vulnerable with each other, and had I not been real with her, she may have turned out quite differently. We can do this for each other in so many ways. It’s really crucial we do. Not so much so we feel comfortable, but rather comfy. Comfy to me, is cared for, loved, understood, protected, heard, and at ease. You won’t be in that sweet spot always, but you sure can create a place for someone else to feel that way. And that, that is pretty comfy.






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