The beauty of long layovers and being stuck in an airport you get the time to think and ponder on life, where you have been and how far you’ve come. Watching my fellow travelers pass me by I got to thinking about Comfort Zones…
So often we live as we are taught, we follow what we are told about how we look, how to dress, how to talk and be an overall human. These lessons on “being” become our ultimate comfort zones and we wear them like cloaks around our proverbial selves.
But… What if what we are taught is all wrong?
What if our perception of ourselves and the world is in fact skewered from reality?
For instance, I grew up in Apartheid South Africa where we were taught on a daily basis that Non-Whites were untrustworthy, that they only steal and kill. They corrupt our white youth. They are on this earth to serve the white man. An interesting comfort zone that was held by many. It was so easy to believe what was taught and pushing the boundaries would just bring so-called pointless stress to their lives. Added to that religious institutions sang the same song, that’s a topic for another day.
It may seem innocuous but if people didn’t push this boundary, if we didn’t embrace the challenge of looking through the proverbial glasses society gave us and see the truth through the lies where would we be today?
Don’t blindly believe what religion or society teaches you, push those boundaries and expand your mind.
That said, I think the most common boundary that most have worldwide is that of our body image.
I grew up believing that my body was all wrong, my thighs could kick start a plane, my nose was the wrong shape, my hair the wrong color, that my body was the childbearing kind i.e. nice big hips. I wasn’t ever going to be beautiful or anything more than plain Jane.
People in our lives tell us these things about ourselves often without even realizing it and, before we know it, it becomes our living fact. We can live believing what we have been shaped to believe or we can stand in front of the mirror and *force* ourselves to see through the mist created by others.
We can push the boundaries of our comfort zones and love our imperfections because they make us unique. This boundary is one of the hardest ones for me personally but it is a challenge. Wear a dress and show off your legs, wear something different for a day and see if it fits your personality and not what others *think* is you.
Yes, your nerves will be a wreck and you may even have a little shake on but do it, climb that mountain of a challenge and don’t stop till you get to the top. The view, oh the view, the feeling of taking on the challenge and succeeding, not backing down and actually doing it is like none other.
Don’t back down from this challenge whatever you do, those boundaries are restraints on the true you and you are beautiful.
It has been drilled into us that that homeless man on the side of the street made a decision to be there, he is too lazy to get a job, probably a drunk or on drugs with a million kids in a shack somewhere. Perhaps you were lucky to escape this lesson on life but time and time again I have heard the same response, the same thinking process from many.
Don’t give unless given. We see someone who is going through something and decide to stay in our comfort zones of not doing anything in order to avoid anyone thinking we are nuts or want something from them when we don’t. We do nothing and carry on with our day, why challenge our comfort zone and bring worry and stress into our lives.
Challenge this comfort zone the most, kindness goes a long way and if that person thinks you want something or that you’re nuts it’s on them. Do good in the world, be kind regardless of what society has taught you. Your moment of kindness could make someone else day whether you know them or not.
Society and religion put proverbial strings attached to the idea of being kind and giving. Give to charity not the person directly that way you are *known* as charitable. Give to the church and the church gives to the people, you are blessed and *known* to God for your kindness.
Sorry but no, just plain no. Push the boundary and be kind and giving for the sake of being kind and giving without expectation of reward and in the face of people judging you. Let them judge because that’s on them not you. Step out of your comfort zone and be kind regardless.
Scared of the unknown and feel comfortable with your life as you know it?
Challenge your life and book a flight to someplace you have never been. Yes, it can be scary traveling, especially alone, but how will you know what is right or wrong with your world if you don’t see how things are in other places? If you don’t experience other cultures how will you know if your’s is the right way to be human? If you don’t push the boundary how will you ever know that there is more to life than the society you live in?
In this life we pick up comfort zones and boundaries just by living, breathing and being, it’s a natural process and one we can’t avoid.
We can challenge them though, we can decide to live more truly, we can be more open to the possibilities that there is more to life and that what we have been taught to believe is incorrect.
It can be scary but oh how freeing it can be.