DISCLAIMER: I may have gone off the rails somewhere in this post – please forgive me if it gets a little sideways. (< 5 minute read or listen)
Have you ever taken a look at the things your tolerate? Those things that you just accept as normal, things you put up with; or say “oh that’s just the way it is”? Have you gone deeper to think about why your putting up with those things in your life? In the past few months, I’ve started taking a look at the stuff I tolerate and ultimately why. I was amazed at the behaviors and attitudes I tolerated both from myself and others. Something as simple as choosing to stay on the couch instead of getting some exercise or not speaking my truth. The bigger ones were apologizing for speaking my truth or accepting that we’re teaching our children to struggle, be less than, and accept their “situation”. Other things folks tend to tolerate might be accepting the negative stories you keep telling yourself, misogynistic comments, closed minds, apathy, or other more divisive attitudes like racism, sexism, or homophobia.
The reasons why we tolerate certain things are just as important as what we are tolerating. The deeper digging often reveals a story of fear we’ve told ourselves or a story we adopted for ourselves based on our growth through the years. I want to explore what we’re tolerating these days and mostly, why.
We rationalize (a lot) things we tolerate by saying we’re choosing our battles or we’d rather avoid stirring the pot and pissing someone off whether they’re a stranger or a sibling. I believe we give people too little credit. I often rationalize by thinking I’m avoiding upsetting someone for no good reason – they don’t need this right now or they won’t be able to see what I’m talking about.
I believe if we approach the situation with love and compassion and speak our truth the same way, most people will understand and whether they say it or not, be grateful to know how we feel and that we pointed out something they couldn’t see themselves. I know, I know – there’ll be those hard headed, stubborn or downright mad folks who’ll pitch a hissy fit* because they weren’t ready to see what we had to tell them. Some people are so blinded and closed minded by their fears nothing you say will seem to reach them.
*NOTE: For those who may not be familiar with that Southern term: a hissy fit can be like a temper tantrum, a tirade, or for some, violent reactions.
Most people, if approached with love, may even be taken aback at the attention called to that bit about them (because they already know about it and may even be addressing it – they just thought it wasn’t so noticeable and may be embarrassed someone noticed before they could fix it). I’m guilty of this reaction – I just need a little time to process the embarrassment.
SPOILER ALERT: I’m going into perhaps some sticky areas next – you know the world view of things – how we tolerate them.
With the turmoil and uncertainty in the world right now, tolerating even the small things can create conflict within ourselves and may eventually extend to others. Living your truth (IMHO) means examining those things and speaking your truth about them – keeping your side of the street clean. If you’re tolerating what is going on in the world, in your country, in your state, in your city, in your house, in your mind – examine why. Examine the reasons you’re tolerating. Is it worth it to have the turmoil? You may be saying “what about the whole politics and religion argument? We shouldn’t bring that up.” Yes, those topics are divisive these days. Sometimes it’s simply about seeing things through the light of love instead of fear. (Yes – this is HARD. I will avoid the insane amount of topics I could talk about here.)
It’s our fear of the unknown, of others, of being less than, of war, of dying, of others decisions, of disagreement, of overwhelm, of not knowing what to do that keeps the cycle of toleration going. All I’m saying is take a peek at what you tolerate in your life. Figure out why and then decide if you’d like to continue to put up with the thing or if you want to speak your truth about it. And always – keep coming back to love. (Even if you react poorly – come back to love.)
I’d love to hear what you tolerate and if you want to share why. Acknowledging the fear takes away it’s power.