What Are You Tolerating?
Written on August 25, 2009 by Dr. Laurie
For every undone project and every jam-packed clutter zone, we pay a price. A tiny bit of energy drains out. If you are tolerating lots of things, your energy deficit may be larger than your energy credit.
Every morning when I turn on my computer and boot up my e-mail, a lovely post appears from a fiery woman named Danielle LaPorte. Her blog is titled White Hot Truth and I never know what will show up — a song, a quote, a poem, a musing.
Today it was a simple question written in large script across the page:
What are you tolerating?
Isn’t that a great question?
We tolerate so many things, letting them accumulate on the edges — and sometimes even in the center of our lives. Unanswered letters, cluttered desks and drawers, cars that need to be fixed, freezers that overflow so we can’t get one more thing in them. All of these are irritating tolerations that distract us a hundred times a day.
Then there are the larger, more insidious tolerations. We tolerate thoughts that eat up our precious energy: “I can’t, it doesn’t matter, it’s not worth the effort.”
We allow ourselves to tolerate relationships that don’t support our growth, less-than-ideal self-care, and work that is dead-end.
We rationalize this — but we let so many things stay in place because we’re … what? You fill in the blank.
We don’t put forth the effort to make a change.
I learned a long time ago that our tolerations actively sap our energy. For every undone project and every jam-packed clutter zone, we pay a price. A tiny bit of energy drains out. If you are tolerating lots of things, your energy deficit may be larger than your energy credit.
When you live with a chronic illness, this is an expensive way to go. You need your energy, your initiative, your sense of power and control.
You can take that energy back. It is a simple process.
Start eliminating those tolerations.
I suggest people begin with a list. Don’t worry about how many items there are — or how minor they seem. Every one counts. Write them all down.
Look for the easiest ones to eliminate.
Decide what you can do today and tomorrow. Do two or three. Then pick five to cross off by next week.
I once worked with someone who needed new glasses and hadn’t taken the time to go to the eye doctor. She also was out of checks, and got behind on bills, and her daughter was toddling around in shoes that were too small. Then there were minor things like a car inspection, and a hall closet where you couldn’t hang up anything because it was full of coats no one was wearing. She had a longer list, but this was where she decided to start.
Three weeks into the project, she was feeling stronger and happier and more in charge. She even felt that her arthritis was improved.
I think it had a lot to do with not feeling so overwhelmed and stuck.
What are you tolerating? What will you do about that today? This week?
When you get rid of them, I promise you will feel better — in lots of ways!