It’s not always easy to be joyful, present, and positive. Joy is actually a muscle, and just like your other muscles, it requires training. Without exercising that muscle, joy is not our first reflex. I was recently reminded of this in my own life.
My husband enjoys playing guitar, and he has our basement setup as a little guitar studio. It’s not soundproof by any stretch of the imagination and our basement extends across our entire house. So when he plays guitar, I not only hear it, but I literally feel it vibrating through the floor. It was time to actually sit down and have a discussion because I found that with each music session, I was getting angrier and more frustrated.
The thing is, we often assume that others see things from our perspective. I was assuming that he knew how loud it was, how frustrating it was for me, and that he was just being thoughtless. But, he wasn’t, he didn’t realize the volume of it, let alone that it bothered me so much. So, if I had chosen to just “suck it up”, tolerate it, and “deal with it” instead of opening up a conversation around it, I would have begun to resent it, it would have stolen my joy, and he would have continued to be clueless about the frustration it caused me.
The same is true for any toleration in our life. When we take the time to face something, and be present with it, it puts us in a position of power in our lives – now, we’re now in choice around it, instead of simply reacting to it.
Not only can tolerations lead to great opportunities for conversations with others, they can also lead to fabulous conversations with yourself. Being present and bringing awareness to the things in your life that you tolerate can reveal what you really want. Make a note of the things you tolerate each day this week. At the end of the week, look back over your list and be present to it. Is there something that is standing out?
One of the temptations of bringing awareness to your tolerations is trying to fix it or change it. My challenge to you is, can you simply be present and hold space for that conversation with yourself? Can you consider the things in your life that you’re tolerating without attaching judgment or going immediately into “fix-it” mode? Allow it simply to show you with more clarity what you want out of life, so you can ask for it in a more beautiful way.
When you’re able to do this, you navigate life with more mastery, beauty, and joy.
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