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Photo (c) Kimberly D. Miller - December 22, 2018

Kimberly D Miller – December 22, 2018

Has anyone ever said to you, “Try to be more tolerant,” or “Just let it go,” or words to that effect? While I very much appreciate the people who offer this advice to me and their reasons for doing so, I also believe that you cannot tolerate every situation or let everything go, or you would be getting walked on, stepped on, trodded over and downright used, all the time.

I recently discovered a quote by Henry Cloud in which he states, “You get what you tolerate,” which is so spot-on. Suppose you live in an apartment and share walls with people who turn out to be loud and inconsiderate...should you just tolerate it? Some would say yes...I say absoutely not!!! You pay rent just like everyone else does and you are entitled to live within the lifestyle that brings you comfort and inner peace, plus there is a landlord there for a reason and part of their job is dispute resolution. Maybe you live with or share a life with someone who exhibits habits that drive you absolutely insane. Are you supposed to say nothing and just grind your teeth every time they crop up? I can tell you from experience that it does terrible things to your teeth. Being tolerant will make you grin and bear it, but why? Why would you want to suffer in silence and feel miserable? Most of us don't want to “rock the boat,” as we fear confrontation. Confronting someone opens us up to possible rejection or pain or worse...the chance of hurting someone we like and/or love. You know the expression, “You can't love someone until you love youself first?” I guarantee you that if you are miserable, they will feel it and things will go downhill from there. Talk to them and work it out, even in the case of the noisy neighbors. If you approach them and let them know you can hear them (which they may not have been aware of), there is a really good chance they will be receptive and work with you to resolve the situation...if not, there's always the landlord and, worst case scenario, you can always move.

I believe that erradicating fear is the core component to utter happiness on this planet and I am a person who grew up very shy and has lived most of her life with many fears constantly rearing their ugly heads. Oft-times it can be literally debilitating. For me personally, patience and tolerance have never come easily...not for this ma'am.

Communication is the key, and if we have to conquer our fear of confrontation to get there, then we are all the better for it. Talking things out is how wars come to a cease fire, how grievances are settled in a court of law and how relationships are healthily maintained. Tolerate the things you think you can if you have reached an agreement with someone, but if you can't...change have the power and the right to do have the right to be happy and at peace.

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