A blinking light can mean a lot of things.
We’re recording now.
A birthday party.
At the end of the day, a blinking light is simply designed to get our attention. “Hey. Look over here. There’s something you should see.”
Discomfort is a lot like that blinking light. It’s simply a signal. All it tells us is to pay attention. On its own, it’s neutral. Judgment free. It’s just a blinking light.
Once we begin to pay attention carefully enough, we can gather added information.
“Ah. I’m in an abusive relationship. It’s time to leave.”
“My pace is a little too quick right now. I’d better back off a little.”
“I just said something that this person doesn’t like, and he is letting me know he doesn’t appreciate it.”
If I slam on the brakes every time I see a blinking light, I’m going to cause traffic accidents. Likewise, if I assume the victim role every time I experience discomfort, I’m going to miss important opportunities to receive honest feedback about how my actions are being received. I’m going to lose out on opportunities to learn. To grow. To become.
If I simply relax and let myself become fully present in the moment, others around me may experience discomfort. As long as I’m staying in integrity with myself (not causing physical, mental or emotional injury to others or myself), I’m on the right path.
Another person’s discomfort need not by the measure of my own emotional state. Put another way, if you’re crying, I can help the situation by remaining calm. If you feel offended, I can add value to the situation by breathing and staying relaxed.
A finger pointed in my direction does not make me guilty of anything. A pat on the back does not make me a hero.
What we say about anyone reveals more about ourselves than anything else.