In 1966 I was born into what is commonly known as ‘Middle England’. For those who are not familiar with this term, it is not a geographical location; Middle England is used to describe a particular class of people in England. People in ‘Middle England’ are characterised by the fact that they are neither rich nor poor, they are what is known as ‘comfortably off’. In fact, not only are they ‘comfortably off’ but they are ‘comfortably everything’. Comfort is a defining factor in nearly every aspect of life in ‘Middle England’. There are of course exceptions to the rule, but I shall talk about what makes up life for the majority of the people in Middle England, for I am one of them.
We tend to be well educated, not boffins by any stretch of the imagination, but our parents instilled in us the importance of doing well at school. A good education, a good job and a good life are all intrinsically linked in Middle England. In fact we see ourselves as ‘good’ people. We have enough money for it to not be an issue. We can afford family holidays, school fees, clothes with ‘labels’ and a couple of cars.
Middle England is a very cosy place, very cosy indeed, and therein lies the problem – when something is so comfortable there is little incentive to question it, let alone leave. We settle into comfortable jobs, comfortable friendships, hobbies that bring us comfort and comfortable marriages. What adds to our idea that comfort is a goal of life is that we compare ourselves to the majority of the world’s population who are struggling with the day to day basics such as food and water and we feel very privileged and lucky to be living the way that we do…
But what if life isn’t about being comfortable – what if life is about evolution?
Ah, now that changes… everything!
I have spent many years feeling what is commonly considered as ‘comfortable’. However what I now know is that feeling ‘comfortable’ actually took a considerable amount of effort because my body did not feel naturally comfortable at all. In fact my body was pretty irritated and uncomfortable most of the time, but due to the array of medications that I chose to administer myself, I rarely got to feel the full force of my discomfort.
I drank coffee to pep me up, I exercised strenuously to take the edge off my gnawing irritation, I ate sugar to rev me a little, I smoked marijuana to stifle my anger – oh, and my anger was to stifle my sadness, I had boyfriends to cover up my low self esteem, I overate to dull my awareness, I watched a lot of really crap telly to simply zone out and I partied hard in order to completely and utterly obliterate my ability to feel anything other than high. There is nothing that I have listed here that is unusual, in fact all of this is considered very normal for people who consider that they have a comfortable way of life – how else do we maintain the facade of comfort?
Repetition goes hand in hand with comfort. What is it that we repeat? Well, we repeat everything: we say the same things to the same people in the same way, we behave exactly the same with the same people, we do the same things at the same time in the same way, we eat and drink the same things, we smoke the same things and ingest the same things, we move in the same way, we think the same thoughts that we have always done and very often all of these things are actually very similar to the way in which the generation before us chose to do things.
We may kid ourselves that we are branching out by trying something new, but often that ‘new something’ has the same flavour as pretty much everything else that we’ve always done.
For example, I replaced strenuous gym work with strenuous yoga, thinking that I was bettering myself, oblivious to the fact that I was replacing one medication for another. I replaced marijuana with meditation, again thinking that I was doing something better and missing the fact that they both served the same purpose and that was to prevent me from feeling what I was feeling.
The Truth was forever inside me but comfort lay like a blanket of fog over the top of truth, obscuring my ability to feel it clearly.
Getting out of comfort is not easy: there is an inertia built into comfort that means that extracting ourselves from comfort has the same momentum as running in quicksand.
But the truth of the matter is there is no place for comfort in truth and no truth in comfort.
Living a life of comfort is to live a life of reduction and that is nothing short of a tragedy.
It is a misconception to think that living a life of comfort is actually easy – it takes a huge amount of effort to give the appearance that nothing much is changing. If you look at a man walking in a wind tunnel, it may appear as if he is not moving at all but he is actually having to work very hard at staying where he is because he is working against the force of the wind. We are all getting pulled up to constantly evolve, that is the natural order of life, therefore to keep repeating the same choices year after year takes constant commitment to resist the pull to evolve.
Comfort is a form of mummification, one that we have chosen for lifetime after lifetime, which begs the question as to why we continuously choose comfort over truth. Deep down (whether conscious or not) we can all feel the same unbearable fact and that is, that this bastardised version of life is the culmination of every single choice that we have ever made. If we owned up to this fact then we would all be called to account, and that is something that most of us aren’t prepared to let happen, therefore we often choose comfort because it feels much easier to simply put the telly on and have a beer: avoidance is our default setting, and although it muddies our perception, it can’t actually prevent us from feeling the truth of all things.
I am forever grateful to Serge Benhayon, the Benhayon Family and to the Universal Medicine Student Body for their commitment to both the truth and to love. I have been continuously inspired to make different choices, and those choices have led to an increase in awareness, a deeper understanding of life, and to begin the process of dispersing my own fog of comfort.
By Alexis Stewart, Dedicated Student of The Way of The Livingness, Partner to an amazing man, Mum to a beautiful boy, Yoga Teacher, Disability Care Worker, Sydney