Today I did something outside of my comfort zone: I offered to help a stranger bring her newly purchased thrift store treasures to her car.
I felt really uncomfortable thinking about doing it, but something pushed the words out. We had a lovely chat as I walked beside her, and with every step, my anxiety subsided a little more, until it completely dissipated and all that was left was gratitude.
I was grateful that I pushed through my initial discomfort, and helped someone.
Now I’m here questioning why I felt so uncomfortable. My belief system dictates that it is entirely illogical to feel uncomfortable helping someone, but the physiological response doesn’t lie.
My mind wanders to the early years, which were focused on mercilessly serving oneself, and “fit in or be left behind” group-think. The egocentric thoughts and activities from the morning of my life clash with this drastically different idea of being of service. I’m assuming this rivalry is the root cause of the emotional discomfort I experienced.
I feel a little sad for the part of me that is living in the leftovers. Our past is like braille on our backs, reminding us of what we once were. The memories remind me that I am happier when I push beyond the follow-the-crowd, safety-net way of living.
Opening my eyes to an alternate approach, which focuses on ruffling my own feathers by challenging long-held beliefs, and creating space for new ones that serve a soul-growing purpose, is proving to be more productive and gratifying.
The lesson I see in today’s adventure: being of service is a good thing, and if I’m uncomfortable with it, then I need to do more of it.
Spend more time in unfamiliar territory.
Turn the unfamiliar into the familiar.