I’ve been thinking what tolerance means for me. The dictionary defines tolerance as:
“The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.”
“The capacity to endure hardship or pain.” (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=tolerance)
There was a time not too long ago when I was sick of living in the UK and wanted to live somewhere else. I figured that moving to another country would bring me the peace I so craved. The more I hated London the more depressed I got. I’m still living in London but I’m now at peace. What changed? The practice of tolerance.
I have lived in house-shares and on my own. To share with others means you have to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs and customs. I travel a lot by bus and it’s a case of if you’re looking to have a peaceful journey, you’re not going to find it. There are people speaking on their mobile phones or having discussions in general. There’s the ongoing traffic noise and so on. Tolerance in this case is about endurance. There comes a cut-off point, a threshold, when you think, this far and no more. How far can you take tolerance?
Tolerance for me has involved moving through different levels to the state I am in now.
First of all it was a case of tolerating other’s beliefs. As long as they didn’t infringe on my beliefs, I’m alright Jack. Then I became very sensitive to different environments. I could sense other’s people’s emotions and knew their thoughts. I also ‘suffered’ with a phobia of shops. The moment I stepped into a shop I felt queasy and would have to come out within 5 minutes or else… Food shopping was a nightmare. Some people might say that my body was going through a transformation and couldn’t cope with other types of energies. That’s one way of looking at it.
Then I shifted to another paradigm, a way of seeing the world, when I learned how to control my environment. This involved either changing my thoughts and beliefs which changed my outer experience; or I would consciously project energy then intend that the energy take a particular reality. For instance I would bless a space with love or peace and it seemed to work. The only snag with this method is you’re forever opposing other thoughts and beliefs. The moment the energy has dissipated, it’s back to the old environment. It was a waste of time.
I found the only way I can achieve peace is to be in the place of Inner Silence. In that space nothing can touch me. I can now be in a noisy environment, even one that is aggressive and be untouched by it. Nor do I feel the need to change others, I can accept them as they are. What usually happens is that the environment is naturally transformed to mirror my inner world. If the outer doesn’t change, it matters not to me because I’m ‘safe’ in my inner world.
So I’m still in London and I am at peace. One thing I now have is the infinite capacity to make choice. I can now choose what area I would like to live in, not based on the false belief that moving to a particular locale will bring me happiness, but knowing that wherever I am, I am. I may choose to live in another country out of experience, but I’ll certainly not choose to live in a war zone area. Wherever I live I do so knowing full well that I am Peace regardless.
For me, tolerance is about accepting other people’s beliefs from a place of Love. Love can endure all things. Love enables me to be in the world but not of the world.
I am Love