Are you comfortable?

By Benjamin Newmark, Naples, FL
Essays 2017

MyLife Essay Contest 2017

I ask you a question: are you comfortable? are you comfortable where you are holding with your Yidishkiet?….your level of observance?….the progress you have made?….the Mitzvot and learning you have done?

What is comfortable? If we were playing charades how would we show what comfortable looks like?  Most likely a physical representation of being comfortable would be sitting perfectly still or relaxing, perhaps even reclined or snuggled up in a blanket.

Financially comfortable may be described as having enough to not work as much or so hard.

In a relationship being comfortable could be described as “just being yourself” or not having to put in so much effort yet still able to enjoy the benefits.

What is uncomfortable? The charade may look something such as this; someone not being able to sit still, aggravated or anxious, even wanting to run away.

Financial discomfort often causes a person to work harder toward success.

The discomfort in a relationship between people could manifest itself in many ways often causing an individual or both parties (preferred) to put in the extra work with focus on achieving a unity leading to a successful relationship.

The charade we mentioned above for physical comfort i.e. not moving appears on a larger scale closer to death, just wrapped up laying in the ground as opposed to the physical discomfort being closer to “being alive” i.e. moving, agitated, trying to get somewhere else. In the physical world we are tasked by the King with a job…perhaps comfort is loafing.

Financial comfort is known to be caused by a great deal of hard work with the exception of a person blessed to be born into wealth. People whom strive for financial comfort often obsess at growing their wealth, managing their investments and diligently redirecting their earnings toward greater success. Many never achieve the level of success they have strived for, however the hard work most often does pay off in the end, especially comparing it to where they started.

When people enter a relationship with success in mind they understand realistically there is going to be great deal of hard work involved. A certain amount of compromise will be involved in obtaining the desired result IE “the big picture.” Even if there is great discomfort or growing pains, if they are serious about success they hang in there and continue to put forth their greatest effort in obtaining unity with their partner. Occasionally there may be shortcoming or failures on the path of its growth, but with success in mind these can be mended and strengthen the relationship.

I ask you now to take deeper accounting from within and ask, “Are You Comfortable?”

If you are comfortable you are not growing, not moving forward, not making progress.

Perhaps life begins at the end of your comfort zone. A baby appears to be very comfortable in the womb.

Perhaps the feeling of being comfortable is tool of deception by the yetzer hara, possibly as an attempt to make you think “you made it,” you have achieved success.  An example of this is a pauper whom obtains a shack with a minimal amount of provisions and becomes content; he has forgotten his initial dream …to become a nobleman. Has he has found comfort….or has he settled?

Great news… as the caterpillar spins their cocoon, sometimes soft, sometimes hard, it appears content in a place of comfort…isolated, appearing withdrawn from its source.

With the help of Hashem and through very hard work the caterpillar is able to not only break out of the cocoon, but actually transforms into a greater and more beautiful life form … a butterfly. The caterpillar reborn in a greater form now must continue to vigorously move to keep their life momentum going, resting its tired wings just enough to forge forward on its mission.

May we take to heart the blessings that we are given each and every day and continue to give thanks to the Hashem for giving us the ability to continually break out of our own cocoon’s and have the renewed alacrity to spread our spiritual wings and never be content with where we are holding.