The following is a definition from The Concise Oxford English Dictionary © 2008 Oxford University Press:
• 1 allow the existence or occurrence of (something that one dislikes or disagrees with) without interference.
Why are we such spectators to the things that bother us? Are we afraid of being wrong or overreacting? Do we fear being perceived as “pushy,” not nice or argumentative? Are we overwhelmed by the sheer number of things we feel forced to deal with that they just start stacking up? When we were small children, we had little ability to tolerate anything that we disagreed with. Does that mean it’s a sign of maturity that we have given up on the idea of voicing our objections and acting on our most basic desires?
• 2 endure (someone or something unpleasant) with forbearance.
The literal meaning of forbearance is “holding back,” according to Wikipedia. Why are we holding back? How have we become so out of touch with our own feelings that we unconsciously agree to endure something unpleasant…repeatedly?
• 3 be capable of continued exposure to (a drug, toxin, etc.) without adverse reaction.
So, can someone be continually exposed to something unpleasant, disagreeable, or toxic without adverse reaction?
Wikipedia describes toleration as “the practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves. One can meaningfully speak of tolerating, i.e. of allowing or permitting, only if one is in a position to disallow.”
This is the key. Tolerations in our daily lives are entirely within our power to eliminate, or “disallow.”
Some common and oh-so-draining every day Tolerations:
check engine light; dripping faucet; missing remote; messy house; undone paperwork; broken sprinkler head; billing errors; and unpaid tickets.
POWER. CONTROL. DOMINANCE. ACHIEVEMENT. PERFECTION.
These words are part of our everyday experience of school, work, sports and even our relationships. We are internally and externally driven to excel. How is it that we can simultaneously exhibit such complete competence and extreme passivity? I think it’s because we face so many complex and draining situations during our work life, that we are absolutely worn out by the time we get to the mundane responsibilities of our daily existence.
When you go to work each day, you have to be on time (if not early), creative, positive, proactive, effective, and cooperative. You must be tech savvy, yet a people person; a team player, yet a take charge kind of guy; an innovator, yet someone who plays by the rules; competent, yet not overshadowing. The list goes on and on. By the time you get home from work, you are not interested in being the cook, the repairman, the cleaning lady, the mechanic, the nanny, the shopper, or whatever. Isn’t it interesting that all of these things are now something we hire someone else to do for us (if we’re fortunate enough to have the money), because we don’t have the time or the energy to do it ourselves?
Perhaps it’s time for you to reprioritize your life and eliminate the tolerations that are dragging you down. The worst part about tolerations is that they’re a constant reminder of what you haven’t done. They erode your confidence and sense of wellbeing. It’s time for a clean slate. Contact any one of our fine counselors on our team to learn how to clear up the backlog in your life.
To Contact: TherapistKimMurphy@gmail.com