The Paradox Of Comfort

The word comfort is rooted from the 13th century by the Old French language which means console or to cheer up. In today’s culture, comfort is known as something to expect yet bad to disperse from.

Linking “com” and “fort” combined from its etymological roots; comfort means “together with strength”, or spirit. However “being in comfort with” and “pushing past comfort” have two dualistic meanings on two opposing sides of the spectrum.

The Old French word for comfort, derived from Latin which is split between two parts. Com means with, together, or combination. The second half of comfort which is fort is self explanatory. Fort means “fortified structure”, or “fortress”. Fort in Latin also means strong, steadfast and spirit.

Com + Fort

“Pushing past the comfort zone” resonates to people who use the phrase, “comfort is a cage”. The idiom, comfort is a cage, is popular amongst the athletic community in which the majority feels the saying, “being in comfort with”, is a lazy utterance. Athletes deem being in comfort as a territory of least resistance which is hell for progression.

On the contrary, the majority of society constantly chase comfort like it stole from them. Coining the phrase, “pushing past comfort”, is a foreign language to the masses. The chronic urge to taste good food in abundance, binge watching Netflix, and sleeping long hours is considered to be the norm. Although there’s nothing wrong with indulging from time to time, Profoundly satisfying our vices can be detrimental to our dopamine levels, mental state, and overall health.

With this ideology of life, you can think of the “com” in comfort as obsolete since the first part of comfort does not mean much. All you have left is “fort” which defines strength, meaning that the fort turns out to be the cage, otherwise known as strength as the cage.

The paradox with comfort is that familiarity creates comfort. Once a person who seeks comfort has familiarity with discomfort, they tend to suffer. This suffrage is the cage or the fortress that prevents people from growing physically, mentally, and spiritually. 

Seeing comfort as a cage or a fort as a cage deciphers which path you wish to take your life. If you decide to see comfort as a cage, build a fort continuously until your forts becomes the cage. Finding peace outside the comfort zones that weigh us down is freedom. This is the freedom from our cage of comfort.

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