One of the more problematic aspects of life is the conundrum of comfort. We’re supposed to believe that it’s fairly binary when it comes to embracing comfort, but hardly ever is it that simple. In fact, it’s often quite difficult. For those that are concerned about themselves only, the decision could be as simple, but for those that take into consideration both their comfort and the other person, it’s just not that simple, easy or straight-forward. A great portion of people have followed comfort before in their life and it led to heartbreak and/or disappointment. It was comfortable, but that comfort didn’t grow with them and so after a period of time, it was no longer comfortable. It became forced and painful, dreaded and uneasy, empty and void. Soon, after that point in life that we stop living for existence, it was a necessity to protect ourselves from such things because it was a pain that we just would not bear willingly. It hardly seems worth it, and most times, it works out that way.
So what is one to do?
I am of the mind that pain is inevitable, from everyone, and so life becomes more like pain management, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from trying to find out. Most people in the final throes of life, despite unimaginable pain, usually wish to do more things. They wish to have done more, or to be doing something they never would have tried had they not been laid up, and it’s often a fascinating form of pain management. The flip side of this, however, is that it doesn’t really answer the question above. So, what is my response? To do what feels most right. If that is protecting yourself by stepping away, and the person cares about you as much as you are feeling, then they’ll understand. If you’re falling hard, and feel comfortable that they will catch you, then they’ll understand the time needed to make a decision. Either way, the decision will always (or should always) involve protecting yourself as well.
It is very much like the story about the princess and the pea: most times it’s the smallest things that can prevent a restful life. We tear ourselves up inside, tossing and turning at all hours, not realizing that where we rest our head has a knot embedded. Our memories of pain, loss and suffering ball up and stick in crevices that are just enough in sight to see, but not enough to be in the way. The conundrum of comfort. I suppose the best way to answer the question, although sometimes no easier, is to ask myself, “Do I have to walk on eggshells around them?” To feel comfortable, without feeling like the Self that is kept at home, is not truly comfort. If you have to gently walk around them, quietly tip-toe through the shards of their being, then there’s your answer. It’s like pillow: if you give it all you have and it’s still not comfortable, then the pillow is no longer for you. Be yourself, give it all you’ve got, and if the shoulder is still there, see what happens.