What are you tolerating in your life?
A while ago I was introduced to the concept of "tolerating" something.
Mostly, what comes to my mind is the annoying little things your family does that piss you off, but you love them, so you just live with it. Right?? Well, there is so much more to tolerating than just dealing with irritating habits. Things you aren't paying attention to that are adding tiny little bricks for you to carry around in your everyday life. Who in the heck wants more stuff weighing them down? Not us.
When this word came up, I totally understood the concept, but never gave thought just how many things in my life I was tolerating. Everywhere I looked, I could find examples of things I was just tolerating. Things that made my life that much harder and less fulfilled, but that I wasn't giving any effort to. "It's fine!" I would say. (Pro tip: The phrase "it's fine" is a classic word people use when they are tolerating something. Pay attention to it.)
Here are some real-life examples of things I have tolerated and pushed off instead of taking action and addressing them.
- I noticed a while ago that I had slight discoloration on my forehead. Instead of making an appointment with the Dermatologist, I just let it kind of bother me when I saw photos of myself. For two years! TWO YEARS. Once I finally went, my skin got better within a few weeks. Why did I push it off for so long?
- I went weeks without a lightbulb in my (already dark) bedroom instead of adding it to my shopping list. It was annoying, but not so annoying that it felt like it was ruining my life. Just that "oh yeah, I definitely need to get a special little lightbulb for this, hopefully I remember that next time because it sucks to get dressed in the dark."
- I have clothes in my closet that I will never choose to wear. Instead of purging and donating the items I know I won't wear, I simply just pass over them in the morning. It takes less effort to ignore them and be slightly bogged down than to just put them in a bag and give them away. I'll just hold on to all this crap for a few more years......
Other examples of things that get tolerated: Letting dishes pile up. Continuing friendships with people you don't enjoy. A coworker that always does like 60% of what they were supposed to do and expects you to pick up the slack. That light that is on in your car that isn't an emergency but you should for sure get it checked out. Your couch cushion that is missing so much filling that you could have re-stuffed but you just don't care that much... except every time you go to sit on it. A crack on your phone screen. A messy desk. Socks with holes in them. Leaving that heavy thing in your trunk. Not being able to take pictures because you have so many pictures on your phone but no desire to plug it into your computer and deal with it. (I can go on and on....)
As I thought about this topic, I looked around my life and saw all these opportunities to make myself happier. This is a perfect place to start if you are interested in upgrading your life. Write yourself a list of all the things YOU are tolerating and put some effort behind changing them.
You might not be ready to change professions, move across the world or revamp your diet, and that is okay. There are probably a hundred little things in your life that you could improve just by dealing with them.
What would happen if you started there?
How would you feel if you organized your kitchen cabinets, or started your taxes earlier, or took your pain-in-the-ass cat to the vet even though you know he hates it?
I challenge you to think of 3 things that you are tolerating and take action toward resolving them.