I had a big AHA moment this morning. Something has been unfolding for me starting a week ago today and just this morning I realized it is The Path of Toleration. My toleration specifically, but it may ring true for you too.
I am the product of two alcoholics, so let's just say I was born into a life of toleration. My parents were good parents, doing the "best they could do", which I have come to think is a cop out in parenting and living to a higher standard. We had a "normal" childhood with a stay at home mom who shopped and volunteered at school while my dad worked and supported our family. We most certainly didn't want for anything and for the most part I'd say our childhood was happy. Not until high school did things become dicier with my mom as she drank more and more, ultimately leading to her death 3 years ago from alcoholism.
I have been on a path of transformation, self-growth and expansion for the last several years as I searched for answers, but in reality I was searching for myself. My world was rocked and forever changed in 2008 when one of my best friends died of a heart attack at 36 leaving 3 kids behind, my 22 year old brother died in a car accident 5 months later and 3 days later the real estate and stock market investments we had worked so hard for went kaput and we had to file bankruptcy. If that's not enough to send someone searching for the meaning of life, I don't know what is. But I've been able to reveal what the beauty of life if for me and what I've discovered has become crystal clear. Here are a few gems...
Before we left for the 3 day event we stayed at Dana's house for a couple of days and in the guest bathroom is a quote by Janis Joplin. "You are only as much as you settle for." So this already had me thinking, even before the beginning of the life changing event we were about to embark on. Next aha came late in the first day of the conference shortly after I headed up to the room to grab something. I ran into the bathroom to fix my lipstick and took a look around. Dana had taken the time and care to set up a little makeup station using one of the bathroom glasses. Her pretty, quality brushes and pencils were arranged beautifully and looked special. She had a few other items sitting artfully next to the glass and the whole set said "I'm worth it."
Next to her nice little set up was my nasty, old, ripped, one-time-free giveaway makeup bag lined with half used kleenexes ready for another good blow. In that moment I realized that my level of expectations are exceedingly low, my level of belief that there is plenty more to come my way is only as large as my half used kleenex and the obvious belief that I don't deserve the best, just whatever trickles my way and hopefully it's free.
WOW! I started thinking about everything materially and physically in my life where I've set this bar so low. The majority of my underwear give new meaning to thongs, as in there isn't much left more than the thong portion, they have so many holes. My coffee cups that I've been starting my morning off with every. single. day. for years; broken off handles and chips all around. (I do have nice ones, but I "save" those for special occasions.) My spatulas; those who eat my cakes might just get a piece of rubber in it too, literally falling apart. My hand held cheese slicer; hasn't had a handle for years, but hey, it still slices. The aforementioned makeup bag. Gross. Half used kleenex, everywhere, even the shelves in my closet. My relationship with my husband; let's just say I cemented in a whole new level of no longer tolerables once I realized where I've been settling. I could go on and on! I am now declaring that I will no longer tolerate broken, chipped, ripped stuff that should've been replaced a long time ago. I will no longer tolerate allowing myself to be a doormat for anyone, husband and kids included!
I took myself shopping last night and replaced my mugs and makeup bag and a new wallet for my husband. I feel more empowered already! Picture of the goods above.
As you can see, this is all about self reflection and being honest with yourself. Once you set the thresholds on what you are worthy of, what you deserve, what you are going to tolerate WITHIN YOURSELF, you take back your power, because after all, you can only control yourself. It is liberating. It's exactly like riding a horse. If you are wishy washy on your ability to control the animal, he knows it and takes advantage. However, if you have 100% confidence in your ability to ride him, never faltering, he knows that too and
responds accordingly. Your level of tolerance corresponds directly to what you've allowed to surround you and be in your life.
I challenge you to take a look around and assess your life. Where do you let things get out of hand? Do you have any addictions or self medicating going on? Do you have others around you that are not dealing with life by addictions or self medicating. Is this tolerable to you? Take a look at your relationships. Are you allowing and settling for things you thought you never would? Take a look at your bank account. This is a great representation of what you've tolerated and settled for in your life, whether good or bad. Take a look at your health and physical body, another great eye opener to what you've allowed.
What I came to understand this morning after a full week of processing is that throughout our lives we shape who we are and what we become by what WE tolerate in OURSELVES. What have I (or you) been willing to tolerate and no longer will? That's really the only question you need to ask yourself. Once you become certain and firm in these convictions, unnecessary stuff, people, etc. will naturally fall away or step up to plate to be in your new level of greatness you are allowing for yourself! My chipped cups and makeup bag have already been hauled away by the trashman and are a beautiful representation of my new level of toleration. As always, a work in progress!
Perspectives of a college girl and her mom. Both are women in transition. Both are fashion forward ladies. Both are strong, confident women. Both are ready to inspire YOU! Stay tuned for college tips, school advice, surviving empty nest syndrome, style & fashion tips and good ole keeping it real posts from a mom and her college girl.