Comfort. What do you think of when you hear this word?
A warm blanket? Sailing through the Mediterranean on a cruise ship? Your favourite food? Electricity? Thousand thread count Egyptian cotton sheets? Sitting by the fire with your feet up?
What about strength, or power?
The word itself is of Latin origin and can be broken down into com - fortis.
Com- means ‘with’.
Fortis means ‘strong, mighty, firm, steadfast, brave or spirited’.
Simplified; ‘with strength’.
When we’re not feeling great, we might seek comfort food.
When we are grieving or experiencing some kind of loss, others may try to comfort us.
When someone reaches the far end of their life, we try to make them comfortable until they die.
Comfort is giving us the strength required for the onward journey. It’s a concept encompassing truth, hope and beauty. It is a hearty idea, and to offer comfort to another is a deeply generous act.
Author Neale Donald Walsch, famous for his book series Conversations with God, wrote that “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. And heck, past versions of me have also been known to spout the merits of getting outside of the comfort zone (you know, where the “magic” happens?).
But what I have come to believe is that the most powerful magic actually happens inside of the comfort zone. Where we are exchanging comfort in a deeper, more genuine sense. In an intimate sense. Where we are fortified, our power restored. Maybe by another human, or maybe through our belief in something bigger, and an understanding that we’re never really alone… even if it feels that way sometimes.
As we edge our way into the festive season, my invitation to you is to connect to this idea of “comfort”; consider what it means for you, and perhaps get a layer deeper than some of the superficial ideas that dominate the ease-obsessed modern West.
If you think comfort is about ease and ease alone, I think you may have missed the original intention.
A new year will soon be upon us, and what I want for you and yours is to go into 2024 reinforced, strengthened and full of spirit (read: inspiration).
So, don’t be afraid to seek comfort in the coming period. Put yourself in the places you need to be in order to be strengthened. Offer the same comfort to others, generously.
This is an essential part of the process of both personal and collective evolution. And an idea worthy of your reflection.
Thanks for showing up.
Keep showing up.
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