Monday, January 14, 2013

Toleration - in Moderation

There are so many things in life that we have, for our own sanity, learned to tolerate.  These are those aspects of our everyday life we have learned to overlook and step around to ease our frustration...
  • endless line ups
  • warm chai even when we've asked for 'extra hot'
  • commutes
  • constant road repairs or roads never being repaired
  • bad service
  • service people who can only promise 'sometime between 8am and 5pm
You get the idea.  To rail against all of these frustrations would create too much negativity and angst in our lives.  Instead, we learn to 'go with the flow', learning to accept (if not to also expect) and tolerate these frustrations.  My concern is not with many of these elements, I too have learned to cope with most of them.  My concern is with the 'habit' of toleration, the habits that lead us into unconsciously tolerating and accepting those things in our life that we should not.  There is a line that needs to be drawn in the sand that many miss, tolerating too much and compromising the quality of their lives and their happiness as a result.

As we enter this new year, we might want to consider introducing the new slogan of Toleration - in Moderation.  Learn to tolerate the small, petty annoyances... they will only drive you crazy otherwise and, in the grand scheme of things, likely don't have an impact on the quality or nature of your life.  However... do NOT continue to tolerate those that DO have an impact upon your life, work, happiness and esteem.  You are better than than and deserve better.

What should we stop tolerating in our lives?
  • Being unhappy at work.  Find work that brings you fulfillment and joy, work that stretches you, challenges you, allows you to contribute.
  • Staying in relationships that drain you of your energy, happiness, and sense of self.  Whether a friend, family member, lover or spouse.  Get out.
  • Anyone treating us with less than the respect we deserve.  Any time.
  • Negativity.  Surround yourself with those will lift you up, not bring you down, that help you to be and do more, not that make you feel like less.
There are, of course, elements in the world around us that are intolerable also that we must learn to stop accepting or expecting.  However, I believe that if we tolerate too much mistreatment of ourselves then it is logical that we would expect others to be mistreated.  Learning to set boundaries for ourselves, and to enforce them, helps us to develop and strengthen a voice that we can then lend to others, helping them to also find theirs. The movement starts with you.  Expect more for yourself, accept nothing less.  

Toleration...  in Moderation

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