The Moth’s Mistake

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This is about the deceptive nature of comfort. We are all searching for happiness and we often seek it through forms of comfort. Off course for each of us comfort looks different. For some it is found in food,  alcohol or intimacy, for others it is found in work, shopping or entertainment and when we reach for these remedies there is often instant relief but pleasure is fleeting and the lure of comfort can deceive us.

Consider  the way Moths tend to fly towards a flame. To the moth the flame represents the captivating sensation of light so they fly to the flickering glow. But this is clearly not a good choice. The moth seeks comfort but the flame actually causes suffering. And this is what we do. We are pulled towards what appears comforting but it is in fact harmful. We go an a alcohol binge and it feels enjoyable at first but the next day we pay the price. When we are angry at someone we begin to yell at them.  This too might feel good momentarily but it creates a wider rift and deeper hurt.

So it is up to us to use the skills of mindfulness and pay attention to how we respond to this comfort or agitation. We must ask ourselves what do we reach for as comfort and then notice, does our habit actually brings us comfort?  And if so, for how long?  Does that comfort comes at a price of long term suffering?

As Jeff Olson said “your habits operate at the unconscious level. You are not normally aware of them. It’s only by bringing habit into your conscious awareness that you can observe what it is doing. How it empowers and serves you or doesn’t”.

Ultimately we want to bring awareness to the impulses and urges that accompany unease and discomfort. so rather than unconsciously reaching for that old comfort or vice, we can consciously choose actions that serve our deeper happiness and well being.

 

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