I remember feeling very little of this towards myself or others when I was living in the dark. I was full of anger, judgment and disappointment. I looked at everyone and everything through that filter, and myself with that filter, and, magnifying glass. I never felt good enough and as a result looked to tear down others to build myself up, but that never worked, long term anyway, but if you had asked me back then I would have told you I had a lot of compassion, and I believed I did, but it was all part of the lies my head would tell me to keep me suppressed in that place.
When I made the commitment to get well and seek treatment I heard the words love and tolerance. Those words made my skin itch. My heart liked those words, but my head told me they were weakness, and would leave me vulnerable and in a place to be hurt. I had to learn to override my head and listen to my heart, that’s where my love and tolerance had to originate from and I would envision it there. The thing is, I wasn’t a bad person, I did feel for others and was compassionate when I felt good about myself, but it was my sickness that would quash any attempt to find or show tolerance of others, and certainly any for myself, because that let some light into the dark place I was living and I may have realized I didn’t have to stay there, or, that I belonged there at all. So, now, with this new knowledge, and a new plan for living, I set out to let the light in, and start to practice this new way of life.
It was easier at first to show love and tolerance to others. I could see how maybe they also were struggling or doing their best even if what they were doing wasn’t what I wanted or to my liking. I looked for the similarities in our stories and it helped me to relate, and, at times, even find some forgiveness there. I also had to learn to keep my nose out of places it shouldn’t be. My previous way of life had me butting in all the time, thinking I knew better or could solve other people’s problems because I was smarter than all of them… something that seems quite comical since my life was spinning out of control, but as is often the case, it’s easier, and more comfortable, to shine a spotlight somewhere else so that one can continue living in the dark and not look at your own stuff. So by not involving myself where I didn’t belong that focus shifted back to me. That word self-love was still difficult, and I still had little tolerance for myself, but I had found some as I found it for others. As I continued to look at how I related to those around me, and was able to find love and tolerance for those people, I started to find it for myself. I too was doing the best I could with what I had, and, was working to get better. I too was human. Wow, that was a big revelation, and the key that opened the door to finding compassion for myself and my own journey. I was human and allowed to make mistakes, and learn and grow from them. And if there was something I didn’t like about myself, I could work on making those changes, if there was something I didn’t like in others, well, that was none of my business.
Today I do try to go through life with love and tolerance in my heart, but, because I am human, there are times that fear, anger or a little ego might take over, but because I accept my humanness, I can let that go and return to a place of love and tolerance without it taking me out to the dark places of my past. Love and tolerance shines a light into the darkness and brings us to a place where we find the forgiveness in who we are, and those around us. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you have love and tolerance for yourself? How do you show love and tolerance to yourself? If you don’t, why don’t you? How can you bring some love and tolerance to your life? Do you show love and tolerance to others? How do you do this? How does showing love and tolerance for others affect how you show it to yourself? Are there areas where you can improve on the love and tolerance you share or show yourself? Love and tolerance softens relationships or situations that might have dominated our thoughts and feelings in the past, it allows us, and others, to be human, to make mistakes and find some commonality and understanding with those around us, and in turn, for ourselves.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you