Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quaker Alphabet Blog 2014 - U for Uncomfortable

I'm running late according to my timetable for writing this blog and that makes me both uncomfortable and uneasy. The pressure to write comes only from within so you might say that I have only myself to blame, but that doesn't help to dispel the uncomfortable feeling.

Perhaps in Quaker terms it is good to feel uncomfortable, not to be complacent and content with things as they are. For myself feeling uncomfortable is often what pushes me into writing and also from time to time into spoken ministry. I know the feeling of sitting in meeting resisting the urge to speak until I feel so uncomfortable that I have to rise to my feet and say something. That is why the accounts of similar experiences of Friends in earlier times ring so true to me and are so helpful in my own spiritual journey. So many journals and spiritual autobiographies tell of struggles to remain comfortable and to ignore the nagging feelings of uncomfortableness, but faithfulness to the guidance of the Inward Teacher, the 'promptings of love and truth' in our hearts, brings ease and comfort - at least until the next time!

When early Friends spoke of having a comfortable time with others they were not talking of sitting in a warm room among people of like mind. They meant that they had been given comfort for their ills. The foundation of Quakerism for me is that if we are open to the Light we will be shown our darkness, those uncomfortable truths about ourselves that we find it hard to acknowledge, but that we will not be left there but brought to new life - challenged but also given comfort.

So eventually I became so uncomfortable that I sat down and wrote this and now I feel better - for a while at least.


Wendrie Heywood said...

I so recognise that uncomfortable feeling of being behind but knowing it is only yourself enforcing the deadlines!

As for feeling too comfortable in my own spiritual journey I like to remind myself of my favourite quote from A&Q - "Consider that you may be mistaken".

Sharon Langridge said...

Thanks for writing about this.
I find it difficult to tell the difference between uncomfortable because I ought to do something and uncomfortable because I'm restless/fidgetty/self-absorbed.