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Unwillingness + Disrespect = Intolerance

The story I'm about to share is precious to me, because it began my journey of "coming to myself" (see Luke 15: 17).


At the age of 14, my oldest daughter started to express a dislike for the religion that we had raised her in.


I wouldn't hear of it; I insisted she just needed to try harder.


Age 16, she insisted that she would no longer attend Church activities and Seminary.


I took it as a personal rejection and was hurt and angry about it.


But one day I was reading through The Articles of Faith, which are important statements of the doctrines and principles of my religion - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - and one in particular caught my attention in a way it never had before...


The 11th Article of Faith: We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.


I immediately felt the truth of that statement and realized that it includes our own children. "Allowing all men the same privilege" included My daughter.


And that was FAR from the approach I had been taking.


I was so afraid of her leaving our Church, that I was unwilling to feel the discomfort and I was unwilling to listen to her. I was not respectful of her difference of opinion. I could not tolerate a difference of opinion.


It felt too terrifying.


And that brings us to the final quadrant of The Contentment Grid - Intolerance.



When you are unwilling to face your discomfort (avoiding any obligation on your part)

AND you are refusing to respect others' opinions, beliefs, feelings, actions etc. (Motivated by expecting and directing others)

You are creating, and acting from, the emotion of Intolerance.


You are essentially saying, "This isn't my problem, it's yours. I don't need to change, you do."


Intolerance is ignoring, avoiding or denying that you have any part in the problem; This is rarely the case.


The appropriate times to be intolerant of others is if their opinions or actions involve hate speech, discrimination, abuse or harmful behavior, or threats to public safety such as breaking the law or human rights violations.


She was not doing any of these things.


When I "came to myself" and realized how my intolerance was affecting my relationship with my daughter, I moved closer to acceptance.


Acceptance of my daughter and acceptance of my part in the problem.


Don't let me fool you, this was NOT easy and things did not get easier right away. Over YEARS, We have had hard conversations, disagreements, been vulnerable - and asked for, and offered, forgiveness.


The process of honoring, respecting, allowing, and accepting helped me to let go of the tight grip I had on trying to control everything and only then was I willing to face my fears.


My daughter has chosen a different way through life than the religion she was raised in. She has different opinions than me.


it took some time for my brain to believe it, but that's not as scary as I thought it was.


She is brilliant and caring. Hard-working and funny. She is a wonderful sister and a thoughtful daughter. She is happily married and the best dog-mom you've ever known.


Focusing on her in these ways feels so much better than the Intolerant way I was fixated on before. But you know what? I've had to learn this process with each of my daughters.


It makes sense that I want my kids to be safe. It makes sense that I'm willing to fight for them.


Because I love them fiercely.


But sometimes my brain gets confused and thinks that if I don't tolerate things, I'll be able to control them. Silly brain.


That just isn't how it works.


Xo,

Meredith


P.S. Remember to join me next Monday, June 3rd at Noon MDT on FaceBook Live for further discussion on Why You're Over-Commiting and How to Stop by using The Contentment Grid. Follow the link to RSVP and make sure you're following me on FB!




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