I recently had my car cleaned and my mind was blown. I realized I had been carrying around this underlying tension every time I got into my car and it wasn’t as clean as I wanted it to be. I was actually a little ashamed of it. I pushed away that tension and shame and said I had other things that were more important to worry about. I labelled it as a tiny problem, and one of privilege because I was lucky to even have a car.
But despite my best efforts I still beat myself up for not taking better care of my possessions. I told myself it would take too much time to clean my car. And when I did clean it, it took no time at all to go back to disappointing me.
Do you have anything in your life that you can relate to this? Something that just doesn’t meet your standards, despite your best efforts? Maybe it’s an overstuffed closet or your junk drawer. Or maybe you have a constant layer of grime in your shower tiles, and the thought of deep cleaning overwhelms you so much you don’t even start.
I know. It feels really hopeless. Which then becomes a spiral of bad feelings.
Having my car look brand new made me realize all the bad feelings I was pushing away. I was just tolerating. And I didn’t even know how much energy and effort it took to tolerate. I had to have the problem go away completely in order to realize it was pulling me down and draining my energy (and I spend a lot of time in my car, so this was actually a constant issue).
That’s the thing about tolerating. When we put up with something we don’t really like, we actually end up wasting a lot of energy and we still never really get what we want. It takes a lot of energy to try to be okay with something that is not okay.And then we spend energy pretending we’re ok, ignoring the problem, hiding it from others and ourselves, and lying to ourselves. Tolerating is the same thing as settling. It’s saying you’re ok with eating bread crumbs instead of saying what you really want is the whole loaf of bread.
I had always been an advocate for #wholeloaf living when it comes to dating. I used to accept the smallest gestures from the men I dated, and I was ok with it. I was making excuses because at least I was getting something, and something is better than nothing. Right?
Crumbs are not going to satisfy your hunger, and tiny gestures in dating are not going to satisfy your heart.
My very wise coach Sandi Amorim said recently, “Contrast leads to clarity. It’s in acknowledging what you don’t want that you realize what you do want. It’s valuable information for creating a new future.”
I want to reframe these experiences for you. Next time you feel a pang of pain because something isn’t the way you want it to be, notice that pang. Don’t ignore it or push it away. It’s a signal that you want something that you don’t have. Sometimes we need to acknowledge that pain of the absence of the thing we want because that is how we identify that something is missing. We learn through contrast. We have to know what we don’t want in order to learn what we do want.
Tolerating avoids the pain, but it doesn’t help us get what we want either.
What are you willing to stop tolerating? Maybe you’re done with tolerating expired food in your fridge. Or maybe you’d done dating men that aren’t interested in marriage and kids someday. Stop tolerating. And it’s ok to allow the pain to come. It’s the first step to figure out what you really want. Let that propel you forward.
Your turn. Tell me what you’re done tolerating. Hit reply and tell me what’s in your life that you will no longer tolerate.
Did you find this blog post helpful? Do you want to increase the love in your life? It all starts with yourself, which is why I created a simple self love meditation. Claim yours here and get more love immediately.