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What Are You Tolerating?

by Kim Ades January 20, 2017

toleratingI received a lovely tube of body lotion for my birthday a few years ago – Soothing Leg Lotion with Wild Mint aroma.

From the moment I opened the lid, I found the odor offensive. I like mint, but not in body cream. It was overpowering and didn’t provide the therapeutic effects that one expects from menthol. And it reeked. It had been sitting in my makeup cabinet since the day I got it.

I rediscovered it a few weeks ago when I was hunting for something to ease the dryness of my skin that typically comes with our cold Canadian winters. Then I smelled it again.

It still reeked, but it was a gift. Why waste it?

So I used it. Every day. As soon as I would get out of the shower, I would slather it on my legs. The more the better, I thought. Why? Because the more I used, the faster it would be gone! I did realize on some level that my actions made no sense.

Every time I put the stinky, minty lotion on my legs, I would ask myself, “Why do I keep doing this?

It got me thinking about how many things we hang on to or tolerate that are far less than ideal. We come up with good reasons for doing this. In my case, I kept using the cream because I didn’t want to waste it.

We hold onto our “stuff” for a variety of reasons. Things may sit in a closet, in a drawer, or on the floor for years, getting ignored, just in case one day we might “need” them. We may live with a broken laptop or a phone that no longer rings because we believe that the effort and the expense to upgrade are too much to even consider at this time.

broken laptop

This is not only related to the stuff we keep. We quite often continue to do things that are detrimental to us as well. So many of us stay at a job we can’t stand, keep a commitment that is sucking the life out of us, or remain in a bad situation because we “can’t afford” to leave.

The interesting thing is that the cost of tolerating something is much higher than one might expect…

Each time you tolerate a negative experience, especially one that you have the power to change, your mood becomes adversely affected and you shrink just a little bit. Over time, paralysis sets in, leaving you feeling that things generally aren’t going your way and you are at the mercy of whatever life throws at you.

So here’s what I did:

1. I took a picture of the minty lotion so that I could post it with this article.

2. I threw out what was left.

3. I bought new lotion!

Think about it. What are you tolerating? What belief has you trapped? And what action can you take to release yourself from your paralysis? Here’s an action you can take right now: assess how your thinking may be holding you back. Click the image below.

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