The discomfort of desire

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    • #10408
      Louise
      Participant

      I posted this a while ago, but thought some new members might like it, if they haven’t come across it already. It’s from an article by the journalist Oliver Burkeman. Although his examples of discomfort don’t relate to eating, I think it describes really well the feeling I have when I have addictive desire, and how I now work through the discomfort, letting the desire rise and fall again, instead of ignoring it, resisting it, or satisfying it. When you do that, it’s really not so bad and it even gets easier:

      The capacity to tolerate minor discomfort is a superpower. It’s shocking to realise how readily we set aside even our greatest ambitions in life, merely to avoid easily tolerable levels of unpleasantness. You already know it won’t kill you to endure the mild agitation of getting back to work on an important creative project; initiating a difficult conversation with a colleague; asking someone out; or checking your bank balance – but you can waste years in avoidance nonetheless. (This is how social media platforms flourish: by providing an instantly available, compelling place to go at the first hint of unease.)

      It’s possible, instead, to make a game of gradually increasing your capacity for discomfort, like weight training at the gym. When you expect that an action will be accompanied by feelings of irritability, anxiety or boredom, it’s usually possible to let that feeling arise and fade, while doing the action anyway. The rewards come so quickly, in terms of what you’ll accomplish, that it soon becomes the more appealing way to live.

    • #10409
      Gillian
      Moderator

      Louise, you are a star – I so appreciate all of your posts on this forum.

      And, I did find the entire Burkeman article so fascinating I thought I’d add the link again:

      https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/sep/04/oliver-burkemans-last-column-the-eight-secrets-to-a-fairly-fulfilled-life

    • #10412
      Renée L
      Participant

      Thanks for posting this!

    • #10416
      Jessica
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing Louise and thank you for posting the full link Gillian! I loved so much of the advice in this article.

    • #10437
      Shahana
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing this, found it really helpful.

    • #10438
      Mo
      Participant

      Thank you for sharing this.

    • #10486
      jodi b
      Participant

      Thank you Louise for posting this and to Gillian for the link. Very helpful indeed.

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