Most people would agree that it is good to be tolerant, and I am not here to disagree with that thought. But I would like to point out that being too tolerant of pain, discomfort and strain can lead to chronic ailments, because tolerance is not as powerful a tool for peace as is transmutation. Or in simpler words, it is healthier to change your thought than to accept or resign to a difficult situation.

Let’s take an example.

You have an unpleasant family member or colleague or boss.Their behavior bothers you but in your judgment you cannot fight or quell them, so you tolerate their behavior. Every time they shout or do whatever it is that bothers you, and you tolerate it,  the unspoken words, the unexpressed anger or pain, the unacknowledged truths of the situation  are not completely silent. There are chemicals in the body that are secreted, messages given out by the brain, that lead your body to battle the stress rather than refresh or renew your cells. This can lead to premature aging of the cells resulting in chronic aches, pains,  or even acute conditions such as stroke or heart attack.

Chronic body pain – if someone comes with that, to a healer, both have to realize the layers of emotions, thoughts, and toxins that have caused pain to become chronic. The same tolerance the person has exhibited to life’s problems, will prove a challenge to removing the pain. It can be dealt with, but the motivation of the person to get better is paramount. That means, the ending of tolerance for the pain.

At some stage, usually when the pain is unbearable, the person decides to stop tolerating. There will be fits and starts, but the start happened because thought changed.

Now if the thought can be changed before the pain becomes chronic, how wonderful life can be.

Here’s one thought. Take the unpleasant family member as a touchstone, whose biting ways are gnawing at the false self, the ego. Then instead of feeling you’re tolerating, you are feeling satisfied at your spiritual journey, grateful to your guides for sending a touchstone in your life. Something that can turn the dross of ego into the gold of pure self.  If this works, well and good. You can go on with your serene inner smile.

But if it doesn’t work?

spiderweb copyright compThen change your thought: you have as much right, actually a duty, to express yourself so that the other person does not get out of hand, does not get an incorrect perception about the world. It has happened with me, when the one who I tolerated showed me how it was hypocrisy on my part to show tolerance when I was in pain, because then the other did not get a correct assessment of the situation, did not have right relationship with others.

To establish right relationship is more important than to tolerate something that is wrong. It does not help the other person’s development, and we all need the checks and balances of each others responses in order to grow. We are not islands, as is famously said, we are inter-connected in the web of life.  In order to express yourself harmoniously, you will need to develop and use your skills of communication. This way, you really are progressing on your journey to wholeness, and without either tolerating or causing a pain to become chronic.

Now you will be able to tolerate not just the other person, but also your own expressiveness. And this time, you’ll be doing the healthy thing.

Think about it!

Then breathe. Take in a light breath, full of the peace you are seeking.
In the pause between breaths, allow the light to fill your self.
Let it illumine the toxic tolerance and allow the tolerance of harmony to flourish.
Then breathe it out. The tolerance and peace that is within you. Breathe it out to the world.

©2013 Meenakshi Suri. Permission is granted to share this article freely as long as this copyright notice and the website link is kept intact.

2 thoughts on “Tolerate…tolerate..tolerate…ouch!

  1. I love this! You write so beautifully. I definitely agree that tolerance shouldn’t be confused for suppressing your true feelings. However, I also believe that when we react to others, we react to a part of ourselves that we haven’t yet accepted and loved. So I think it’s equally important, before we start expressing ourselves, to look within and understand why we’re so irritated by that other person’s behavior, what link it has to ourselves, and how we can give that part our love first. And however we choose to express our opinions, it always has to come from love – which is impossible while the ego is still running the show. Thank you for bringing light to this!


    • Laura, you’re right: to understand where that irritation or pain is coming from, specially if it happens again and again. Thank you for taking the thoughts in this blog further… It is such a gift when we connect in this way.


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