The following is an excerpt from Understanding Modern Spirituality by Inna Segal which can be purchased here.
While most of us are taught to strive for comfort our whole lives, when we actually examine the times we have felt comfortable as opposed to challenge, we can easily determine that comfort leads to complacency, boredom and stagnation. You can see that clearly in every area of life.
If your physical health is good, then you have no incentive to learn about how to eat healthy, look after your body or understand the impact your thoughts and feelings have on your health. Thus, in your comfort you are likely to mistreat your body until it eventually becomes ill.
Why comfort can lead to stagnation.
In our intimate relationships, most of us desire a profound connection, understanding, sensitivity, love and a feeling of belonging. Many of us start from a place of neediness and some sense of brokenness, giving to each other what we have been missing and searching for. However, that phase can only last so long. After a few years many people become comfortable in their relationships, even if there are major challenges and aspects of the relationship where they are not connecting, listening, understanding or supporting each other. They become comfortable in what they know, yet lack of growth creates stagnation and a profound inner dissatisfaction. So of course, as time goes on, if we don’t put in the deep work, we notice less loving warmth and more coldness in our intimate life with another.
Rather than two individuals who are constantly growing, evolving, refining and inspiring each other, we stay together because it’s easier, we have kids, we don’t want to be alone, we don’t know how to make money, and so on. And more than anything we are terrified to let go of our comfort and open ourselves to something new. People then wonder why there are so many who are being unfaithful or why there is so much divorce.