We are brought to the next topic in my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, and I will provide a definition of tolerance. First, the verse.
“I have the most difficulty being tolerant of others when I am feeling inadequate, insecure, and uncomfortable with myself.
Yet, when I am able to look beyond the imperfections of others, I discover great beauty and worth in them.
And, I discover that another’s value does not diminish my own.”
The definition of tolerance is allowing, bearing, permitting, or not interfering with another’s beliefs and practices.
This is a wonderful habit to practice… tolerating others, as it results in peace for the one tolerating another.
I think it bears repeating why we may be intolerant. For me, I find that I am intolerant of another’s ideas or beliefs when I am feeling inadequate and unsure of myself.
In that situation, I compare myself to another and fall short of them. That makes me uncomfortable and it intensifies my low self-esteem. I struggle with allowing another’s beliefs or practices because they threaten who I believe myself to be… or at least, that’s what I think in the moment.
On the other hand, when I am feeling comfortable about who I am and hold myself in good esteem, another’s different ideas or beliefs do not shake that self-confidence I have.
I think the biggest thing to realize is that just because another has value in who and what they are, that does not diminish my own value. Just because they have a valid point, for example, does not make my point any less valid or valuable.
We spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others… too much time, perhaps. Rather, if we can tolerate the differences in another, it enriches our lives, instead of detracting from it.
So, perhaps the real message here is to work on developing our self-esteem, feeling comfortable with who and what we are. Then, perhaps we can more effortlessly tolerate others. It sounds like an opportunity for practice.
We can also practice being more tolerant of ourselves and our quirks. If we see something we do not like, we can take action and change it, instead of being negative and intolerant of ourselves.
What is your definition of tolerance and how do you practice it? Do you find it is easier to be tolerant when you are feeling good about yourself? I invite you to leave a comment and let us know how you practice tolerance.