Monday, September 17, 2012

Tolerance: Are You Tolerant of It?

Chris Newcomb, M.Div. 

As a young boy, I can remember certain family members talking up a storm about this political party or that religious group in a voice of disdain and disgust.  Most of the conversations flew over my head at the time.  I remember they would always look at me and say, "Christopher (my full, legal name also given when I am in trouble or something important is about to be said), there are two things in life you never talk about with other people: politics and religion!"  It left me thinking, "Well, who else do I talk to about them because I don't talk to myself about them?"  Always the literal thinker, I think I missed the point!  

I have a question for you today.  What do you think of when you hear or read the word 'tolerance'?  It's a word that we hear thrown around quite about in the public square these days.  

Tolerance is defined as, "a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own".  That is, you may not agree with someone about their particular view(s) however you are agreeable to their right to have differing views from your own.  This is called living in 'intellectual tension' or 'cognitive dissonance' and, while not always a pleasant feeling, it is the mark of a truly mature individual.  

Tolerance is a very important concept in recovery.  The main reason is addicts and alcoholics are famous for wanting things to go their way and for people to think and act like they want them to.  The problem with this tendency is that it often breeds resentment and bitterness which, when left unchecked, can lead people to relapse.

Are you tolerant?  Do you have a hard time letting people think things you disagree with or live in a way that you would not live?  Do you feel the need to judge, resent, or correct people who act and think differently than you?  All of us are tempted to do it from time to time.  It is a process to learn to let go and live and let live as they say.  However, it is worth it when you finally get to the place of true tolerance.  We are bigger than our beliefs, our thoughts, and our actions.  We all deserve love, respect and kindness.  This week why not practice tolerance to all whom you meet!  

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We practice an attitude of loving tolerance towards all our patients before, during, and after their detox with us.  To us, it's not important what you've done, it's more important to be who you want to be as a sober person.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

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