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Tolerational Love

Mini-Love-Lesson # 283

Tolerational love is full of benefits.  It can bring acceptance, leniency, the possibility of forgiveness, flexibility, the allowance for imperfection and the maintenance of connectedness in bonded, love relating.  Tolerational love is great for avoiding arguments and other conflicts over inconsequential and less than serious areas of dispute. Tolerational love also is responsible for keeping a great many couples, families and friendships together, for facilitating reconnecting of those disconnected and for getting past troubles which otherwise would split up relationships.  Tolerational love also clears the way for much more appreciation, enjoyment and the teamwork of constructive love relating. All the time and energy spent in stupid, little disputes, contention over minor factors, unimportant slights and all the other small stuff is freed up for happier and more constructive interaction when there is sufficient tolerational love.

Love adds a lot to tolerance.  Love motivates all the behaviors that show and demonstrate toleration.  By adding the kindness and empathy that is so representative of love itself, toleration is amplified.  When we love someone special, or some group like a family, or even when we love altruistically and for humanitarian reasons, toleration is empowered by that love. When we have healthy, real love for someone, we tolerate their less pleasant aspects -- unless that tolerance supports harmfulness, as in tolerating a physical or substance abuser.

Toleration without love, never-the-less, is a positive attribute.  Often it is more like putting up with something or enduring and just getting past a negative.  Tolerance by itself can be part of being fair and just, minus the feelings of kindness and empathy that love brings.  None the less, sympathy, empathy and pity sometimes may be present within tolerance.  Another difference between tolerance and tolerational love is tolerance, by itself, frequently is short range focused.   For example, we may tolerate loud music for a short time but not day in and day out.  Tolerational love tends to have a longer range focus.  For instance, tolerational love is exemplified by the forbearance given in the long term care of a loved one with a chronic illness.  In short, tolerance lacking love can be done without one’s heart being in it.  Tolerational love, in contrast, magnifies the quantity and quality of the benefits involved.

Intolerance is antithetical to love.  Intolerance sets the stage for disharmony and conflict, robbing us of peace and security.  Intolerance communicates rejection and exclusion.  Intolerance can be seen as narrow minded, prejudiced, biased, dictatorial and unforgiving (“Parenting Series: How To Love Your Child Better” see #6). Intolerant people often are lonely people because their actions tend to exclude and push away others, or they mostly associate with the like-minded and consequently have a narrow societal experience.  A concept to consider about intolerant people is that they may come across as egotistical and arrogant but, in fact, they may lack healthy, real self-love.  It is clinically thought that if intolerant people become healthfully loved, their ability to be more tolerant grows.

Walking in another’s shoes, seeing through another’s eyes or empathetically feeling what another is feeling all speak to understanding, both mentally and emotionally, where another person is coming from.  Having a tolerant, heart-felt approach to humankind, especially to our loved ones, is a best practice in love relating.  

If we can fend off taking things personally, wearing our heart on our sleeve or easily taking offence, we can avoid a great many interpersonal battles.  Tolerational love helps to keep the peace and grow our chances for mutual harmony.

There are some modern enemies of Tolerational Love to watch out for.  Feelings of entitlement can foster intolerance, so can any form of authoritarianism.  Cancel-culture mindsets and behaviors can be filled with intolerance.  That is where meanness and hypercritical blaming are filled with intolerance   Anything that inhibits or censors free speech may involve intolerance.  Intolerance can be seen as imposing one’s own values on another.  Tolerational love can require learning to lovingly listen to things you do not want to hear, at least for a while.  Too long can be detrimental if it is abusive.  Usually, this kind of listening gets easier with more self-love and really owning our own OKness (see “Listening With Love”).

The development of appreciation helps make toleration easier because the more things we appreciate about another the less we focus on the negative.  If we look for what to appreciate in the many ways we are different instead of looking for what to criticize or disdain, we can improve our lives and the lives of others.  An appreciative, love environment fosters everyone’s well-being and happiness.

One more thing

If you talk-over the ideas in this mini-love-lesson with another, it will help to implant them in your own head and maybe in their's which is a good thing, we think. If you do that, please mention our site as the source of a whole lot of ways love can be done and done better. Thank you.

As always – Go and Grow with Love

Dr. J. Richard Cookerly

Love success question: Can you listen to intolerance long enough to try to lovingly affect it?

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