I was recently asked, “what is one thing you tolerate in your life?”
My first thought was, “well, I don’t tolerate much.” Thinking that tolerance was a negative thing. Meaning that I do not set aside my values in order to appease another. Of course, I had to check the definition. “Tolerate”, “accept”, and “being a doormat” are not the same concepts.
Then my mind went to “the man”. There is a lot of good there. A lot. And small bumps in the road have been handled with surprising ease and grace. And of course, there will continue to be “bumps”. This is the nature of two people attempting to grow and understand and mesh personalities, styles and lives. And I wondered to myself, what bumps do I “tolerate” what bumps are worth discussion, and what bumps will potentially end our friendship.
The sentence in definition two stuck in my craw. “They don’t have the best service, but I tolerate it because I love their food.” There are certain things that I will not tolerate. Abuse, racism, stupidity (as in low cognitive function), apathy and being an asshole are a few intolerable actions. But are there other behaviors, beliefs, or traits that I can disagree with, but accept or tolerate, because “I love their food?” And the answer, quite simply, is yes.
I find that in the world of online dating, people become disposable. One bump, and the knee jerk reaction is:
- “Dump him”. As if it human beings are bags of trash to be tossed from the back of my moving truck.
- Followed by, “The next one is just a click away” which is also true. I could have 10 dates this evening if that was my desire. It is not.
- And finally, “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” Oh, now that’s a philosophy that will lead to lasting love and happiness.
Looking at definition one. To keep going despite difficulties. “Athletes tolerate a lot of pain.” Yes, they do, so they can achieve a bigger goal. Life and the relationships therein, (romantic or other) will have difficulties. They will have pain. And I choose to bear and tolerate these difficulties and pain and carry on. I refuse to dispose of friends, lovers, partners, relatives, children, or students due to simple annoyances.
Please do not misunderstand, I am NOT willing to accept toxic or abusive situations or people. Those are intolerable. But to ditch or dump people over “annoyances”? What does that say about me? Or about the human condition?
So, back to the initial question. What is something I am tolerating in my life? I am tolerating a LOT. We all are. Or we all should be. There are so many things, behaviors, thoughts, actions that I just don’t agree with. This is the nature of LIFE. This is the nature of co-existing with other independent, sentient, individual souls. I tolerate these things in those I love for one simple reason. Love. I love my people. I know their hearts. And their hearts are good. Solid. So I tolerate small things in order to embrace the big picture, to embrace the big person.
And Lord knows they tolerate a lotta annoying shit from me.
Light and Love,
Big (tolerating and tolerated) Laura