Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Comfort

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In hard times, we often crave our word for this week: comfort.

Comfort: the easing or alleviation of a person's feelings of grief or distress.

But if you are like me, comfort is a word I usually associate with an experience of sickness or grief. Mac and Cheese anyone? Chicken noodle soup? Big fluffy socks and a soft blanket? These things can feel and taste so good. For in a moment of receiving such, we might forget our troubles and soak in the kindness of the person offering us care.

Yet, I've been thinking lately a lot about how comfort can actually be a more transformative experience than a temporary balm.

If we stick close to the definition of the word: the easing or alleviation of a person's feelings of grief or distress, we realize that in offering a comfort is an defiant act of re-writing a story.

For, the experience of comfort for the long haul CAN take what has happened to you and place your life on a completely different path. Not that what has happened to you is ignored or belittled, but through comfort your soul can be restored. Restored souls can move forward.

But what does this look like you might wonder?

I hear all the time from those in distress, simple gestures mean the most. Someone who says, "come ride me." Or who answers the phone when you call (and then again). Or who says, "Come sit with me" at a meeting. Or someone who says "Let's grab dinner-- I want to hear about your week."

For to give and receive comfort, you must stay put, invest in people for the long haul and love those in your circle big.

Let me add this: comfort can't transform us if we don't allow it in regularly.

Remembering, showing up, and staying connected: these are the simple tasks that comfort is built upon-- acts that tell a person they are valued, acts that tell a person they belong, and acts that help a person know they are loved just as they are (not as they wish they were).

This is where the power of comfort begins to change lives. How might you open up your heart to give and receive comfort this week?