Since I was a little girl, I’ve had a tendency to deny help and stay uncomfortable for no apparent reason.
“Do you want a pillow? How can you sit like that?” my mom would ask as I watched TV on her bedroom floor.
“I’m fine!” I’d squeal. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had returned from commercial break and I was not to be disturbed.
My mom would frown and walk away, only to ask me again 15 minutes later (“No! Go away!“).
You see, I was on the floor leaning against her bed. Except, not the normal sides of a bed that one typically leans on. I was propping my torso against the edge of the foot of the bed, the corner where metal mattress frames go to poke at spines and injure shins.
During the hour-long show (and later, during Angel, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity…), I would shift the metal edge from one side of my spine to the other, back and forth, left to right.
“Are you sure you don’t want a pillow?”
“Argahghhh I just missed what Willow said!”
This is not to imply that whatever my mother asked me repeatedly was something I should have said yes to. If that were true, I’d have been drinking Coca Cola since I was three.
But: Why didn’t I move? Why didn’t I just swivel the TV? Why didn’t I just say yes to my mother?
I’ve noticed this as a thread in my life. Not a thick, rock-climbing rope type of thread—more of a thin, sewing thread. It needles its way in sometimes, and I just never bother to take it out.
Today, I tried something different.
Today, I said yes to making myself comfortable.
I did three little things to honor that:
1) I changed the formatting of paragraphs in Microsoft Word.
In Word 2008 (and perhaps in later versions as well, of which I have no idea because I’m ghetto and “borrowed” this one from a spirit channeler), when you open a new document, it defaults the paragraph spacing of “after” to 10. I don’t know what 10 actually means, except for that when you hit enter, it puts a stupid space between paragraphs where it should not put a stupid space.
This means that I will find myself writing in an inspired flurry, only to realize this stupid paragraph thing 2/3 of the way through my writing, upon which I CTRL+A and change the formatting of “after” to 0. Which then means I have to reformat the entire document, trying to remember where I’d wanted all the paragraph breaks. As you can see, I have a predilection for verbosity, so yeah. This takes a while.
This has sometimes resulted in me not even writing the other 1/3. Because at that point, I’ve switched from my writer brain to my editor brain, and they are two different beasts. I can’t edit my own stuff, but at a glance I’ll immediately find something wrong with yours (ah, parallels…).
I have done this for five years. Five. Years.
Today, I said: No! Go away! to “after 10.” In a slightly less high-pitched voice, and from a much better place.
(If you’re wondering how to do it, here are the instructions.)
2) I ordered a key lock box.
This is something that has only bothered me for six months (getting better?). I’ve been Airbnbing my apartment, and leaving my key under the Welcome mat for days on end.
This has worried me. I love my home. I love it so much that it’s not even logical that I’m Airbnbing it. And I’ve continued to leave a key to it outside for months, in the most obvious place a key would be, stressing about it each time.
All because I didn’t want to spend the money. You could say I had “faith,” but you could also say that I was looking the other way and not telling the Universe that I was worthy—that my home, my things, weren’t worthy of being protected, of being safe. And if I am being honest with myself, the latter is what feels true.
No more. $20 lock box is on its way.
3) I bought a printer.
I shoot myself in the foot every time I try to publish my writing, because I do not give myself what I really need—a printer. I must print things out to edit them, to make them fuller, richer, to give them wings. I have enough trouble following through with writing in the first place (I pen articles about this, essentially so I can re-read them again and again for my own benefit).
I had a printer once—a large, gray, dusty contraption that groaned when you looked at it. It needed two cords to live. I lost one cord for it, ordered a replacement, then promptly lost the other cord. That was the limit of my patience.
It then found a home in such places as garages, the back seat of my car (for like, four months), a grassy lawn, and ultimately next to a dumpster. It must have been terribly confused, not living its true purpose.
Tonight, I finally bought one. A cute, shiny black one. Booya.
You might think these things sound irrelevant. To someone living in an entirely different social ecosystem, these things could in fact sound horrifyingly trivial.
But, it’s not about what they are. It’s about your frame of mind, your perspective—and what you attract because of it.
When we learn how to accept help or take charge of something we’ve merely been “living with,” we learn how to take our power back in an intentional way. We shift the energy of settling to the energy of worthiness.
What three things could you do today to make yourself more comfortable?