We need a balance between healthy stress and healthy comfort; there is stress and comfort that is not healthy.
There is the type of stress that tears us down, and the type of stress that builds us up.
There is the type of comfort that enlivens us, and the type of comfort that deadens us.
Our subconscious tells us when we need healthy stress or comfort, but sometimes we have beliefs that translate these messages wrongly, and we bring the type of stress or comfort into our lives that does not cultivate us.
I often mistranslated these messages when I had depression. My desire to be comforted–to feel good–manifested as a desire to be loved. But, I asked for love from strippers and prostitutes. I received this comfort…for an hour or two. Short-term, it was a success. Long-term, it was a failure. I never received genuine love from these women, yet I continued returning to them hoping next time would be different.
I see this behavior in women who seek love by advertising their victimhood. They ask, but do not receive, because it is not genuine love for which they ask. Their behavior is markedly different from the behavior of women who advertise their survivorhood. The first are typically comforted, just as I was comforted by strippers and prostitutes, but the comfort is not love. It is hate wearing a love costume. It does not elevate them beyond their misery. Rather, it rewards it, because the women who advertise victimhood beg others for their love, and when “love” is provided they learn that begging leads to love. Begging is an act of desperation, and desperation cannot coexist with contentment. Thus, these women are rewarded for being desperate.
A woman can survive without being desperate. While being desperate, a woman cannot truly live. That is why rewarding her for not truly living is an act of hate.
When I lived in the Philippines, I saw a lot of women and girls on the street asking for money. One young woman begged so fervorously that she pushed my girlfriend with her fist when my girlfriend refused to give her money. She was desperate, and could not accept her refusal. In contrast, there was an elderly woman who I began to care for a great deal, who would simply sit on a step near the mall and wait for someone to provide. She clearly could not provide for herself, so I would give her food.
People who beg rather than help themselves avoid the type of stress that builds them up. The real victims who become survivors are the ones who ask for help while doing the hard work necessary to become stronger. The victims who do not get stronger demand to be comforted by others. They cannot accept refusal, yet they refuse to confront their pain. When they do not experience progress, they blame others for the failure, because they believe it is the duty of others to guarantee their contentment.
The only way to help them is to tell them the truth, yet the truth is not always what people want to hear, because the truth is sometimes painful.
But the truth is good.