Tolerance...What does it mean to you?

The definition of tolerance goes as follows:

1.      the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with:

"the tolerance of corruption"

synonyms: acceptance ·   toleration    ·  open-mindedness ·

broad-mindedness · forbearance · liberality · liberalism · patience · charity · indulgence · understanding

The word tolerance can be a bit confusing. On one hand it implies that you put up with something despite your personal convictions. If this is the case are you quiet on the outside but frustrated and carrying negative emotions on the inside? Or are you really showing understanding and allowing yourself to be open minded?   Perhaps you find yourselfto the point of keeping quiet when you would like to speak out or even go so far as to turn away from the situation so you are not tempted to act out. There is a fine line between showing strength by respecting the view points of someone else or your inner fear of confrontation. Are you being patient and accepting or attempting to ignore the situation silently hoping it will go away?

There will be times when you will need to take a stand against those things you feel are not for the higher good and times you can agree to disagree. When the lives of other people and yourself are put at risk, when your right to speak, choose, worship in a way that you feel is true to you are threatened or when there is a lack of respect given to each person as a living and valuable being on this planet then it may be time to step up and speak up. There may be times when you will need to speak or act for those who cannot; a time when tolerance is not a choice.

It can be challenging not to be sucked into the fight. Rarely does this help your cause as you end up feeding the negativity that you are trying to avoid. It isn’t easy but it can be done.  Others may see you as being someone who is being walked on but remember you have to pick your battles, act from a compassionate heart and live your faith not just talk it.  Most often the judgment of others is fear based on their lack of understanding and plain ignorance. Perhaps you can even think of times when you were quick to judge the ideas and actions of someone or a group before totally understanding all the facts. Ego will often get in the way of your accepting of a new idea or way of doing something. Fear of being wrong, fear of being punished or fear of the unknown and what others in your peer group will think of you too often block you from trying new things or at least listening to another’s point of view. Being tolerant does not mean you are trying to be right or change another person’s point of view nor does it mean you are giving into their way of doing things either. What if it means stepping out of your own space just long enough to see where the other person is coming from, listen, respect them for their soul’s choice and then with your free will deciding how what they say or do will affect you. After all, you cannot control what they say do or think but you can control how you allow it to play out in your life.  Perhaps it can be as simple as stating, “That is an interesting point of view” and leaving it there.

You will find in this game of life that not everyone will share your desire to reach out and learn about your journey like you are and that is okay too. That is the time to step back and send them light, love and healing (even if they don’t want it) remembering that we all have the Divine within us…at least that is my point of view! Strive to listen to your heart and allow your intuition guided by the Divine to give you the words when you need to speak, the wisdom to know when to remain silent and the courage to act when action is necessary.