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Do you choose temporary comfort, or do you choose growth?

During the pandemic, I didn't get sick for a full year. It was the first time in my adult life that I was able to avoid getting the flu, a cold, or a stomach bug for such a long period of time, and I was ecstatic!

In my naivety, I thought that it was because of the new health regime I'd started the year before, which included a concoction of daily vitamins, breathing exercises, and some pretty big changes to my diet. "Here's my new life", I thought, "free from colds and flu, and ready to rock every day".

However, as our lockdown experience started easing, and I began seeing a lot of people again, I was in for a rude awakening. First I got covid, and then just about every other bug and gremlin in town in rapid succession - in the months that followed, I got sick a lot more often than usual.

It turns out that when you don't see many people for a year, you aren't exposed to any bugs and you don't get sick, but, the fact that your immune system hasn't been stressed for a year means that it gets weaker.

Babies get sick all the time. My boy, Gray, literally picks up every single little bug that is going around. At first I thought that there must be something wrong with him, but when I spoke to our doctor about it, it turns out that getting sick is the only way for their new immune systems to develop. Their systems need to be strained to get stronger.

The same is true for our muscle growth - we only get stronger by bearing a load. We lift weights at the gym that strain our muscles, and the result is growth. If we don't stain our muscles, the result isn't equilibrium, it's atrophy.

This principle seems to span across all areas of our life. Our mind wants comfort, but our coding calls to be challenged.

This is especially true for our psyches. We need meaningful challenges in our life. We need to bear a load. We need to feel a weight of responsibility on our shoulders. We need to feel out of our depth at times. Of course these challenges can become too much to bear, and we can tear a proverbial l muscle if we take on too much too soon. With wisdom, we need to gradually increase the load in proportion to our current strength.

We need to stop chasing safety - it's an illusion. We either get stronger and more capable of dealing with the inevitable curveballs in our life, or we get weaker and less capable of dealing with the many tragedies of the human condition.

Do you choose temporary comfort, or do you choose growth?


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