May 2015

Tolerance

ToleranceLet us first look at the word tolerance which wears many hats – There is an outdoor sculpture in Israel near the Goldman Promenade – The Tolerance Monument. It forms a visual broken column which stands divided but still very much linked – So are they tolerating each other? It can be the study of accumulated and variation within mechanical parts and assemblies. There is the tolerance of drugs or alcohol, simply because the more we use or drink the more our bodies deal with the substances we consume or afflict. Pain tolerance is also very much up there, oddly it seems that the longer we live the pain our tolerance increases. Before I rattle on here in danger of sounding very much like a dictionary, let’s move on to something that we neither would nor could think would sit right within the middle or that word – Abuse tolerance.

So how do we make this distinction? I have mixed it up – Turned it over – Beaten with a stick – Along with juggling all of the parts within this puzzle. But still I am not wholly aware of why we would do so? So I am going to stick my neck out here, and make a guess to the best of my knowledge and past experiences. If we were to crawl around amongst every word sitting here right above us at this time, then maybe we could find the answer to my ever burning question. Why would anyone much like me tolerate abuse? The entire variables above stand fast in our every growing effort to make our lives have meaning.

Let’s first look at the Monument – Over many years it has stood there trying it would seem to break away from the base that holds it together. Each part seems to want to leave the other behind, but unable to make the final splintering at the base to make that possible. Are we not splintered that way whilst we still hold on to our abuse? No matter how far the pillars move away from each other they are still only bending not breaking.

Mechanical – If we were to think about the working parts of our bodies are we not in essence a machine? All parts needs to hold fast working within our tolerance. We do this every day with our abuse. The problem is that no matter how hard we try these parts will always fail never tolerating this intrusion into our bodies and minds. Until we take over the maintenance because we are the only ones holding on to the tools to alter that part of us.

Pain – Pain tolerance is something I can vouch for. After having an accident in 1998 in which I injured my back it’s been a challenge. As time passed I became drug/pain killers tolerant – Result I had to increase the dosage. On reaching the ceiling of that pain killer I could no longer increase the dose safely – where was I to go? In truth it has almost become a part of me.

Drugs or Alcohol – This comparison is very different because we already have the key in hand to stop the continued use. Please don’t think that I am saying – It’s your fault – You are doing this to yourself – Why can’t you just stop. In all honesty I could never say those words to you because I used one of those props for so very long. I never went down the road of drugs, but alcohol was very much where I went to hide from the world. If I am being even more honest it was also where I went to find myself. Yes we may be able to see the drink in our hand or the particular choice of drug sitting in front of us, but that only means that these props are visible. The other three comparisons I have used are just as accessible to us when we learn to look within. Within our minds eye we can repair break away and alter every part of our being, it doesn’t need to be seen with the naked eye.

So why am I here today? It’s to share with you the oddest thing that I may ever encounter within my life – Although it’s taking me a while to get to the point – Sorry.

There is knowledge deep inside of me, which recognises that for so many years I was totally tolerant of my abuse along with its memories. I guess that everyone needs an anchor of sorts somewhere; to feel a connection to this world. It pains me to say that for so many years my anchor was my abuse. It was all I remembered as being the largest portion of my life. As sure as hell it was not the anchor that I would have hoped for it was the one I was stuck with. I was in a position of needed an anchor in life to feel that I was on solid ground, whilst trying with all my might to leave behind the abuse that I had suffered. I tried many times before I succeeded, but the point to make here is that in time I did – You will also.

So there was I – a plan in hand, intent on moving forward; but time after time I was left holding a spanner in hand ready to throw it into the works. Once thrown each time it caused my best thought out plans to crash and burn. The mental effort I had thought through so carefully giving it my up-most consideration. I was left with the remains of a car crash with myself being the only mechanic in town. The truth was that I was the one applying this outcome each and every time it happened. Why? It was natural for me to hold on to an anchor for stability, but I was burning my hands with every touch. I needed an anchor in my life, but the one I had was only destroying me.

An anchor is something solid it gives us the strength when necessary to hold on. Without it we would find ourselves flailing around unable to make a connection to anyone or anything. The end result deep down inside finds us thrashing around vigorously, aimlessly crashing around like a puppet with broken strings in an endeavour to find solid ground. Everyone needs to feel a connection to the world and our place within it. The one thing that dominates our lives is a structure implanted as we have grown. Something put in place that had or has an overbearing affect; if you like we can even call it our shadow. It’s always there but unless we are standing in a certain light it’s just not visible to us. Given a situation where we are standing where our shadow should be visible and it’s missing, it’s a very unnerving situation as we really cannot fathom its departure. Never in a million years should we tolerate our abuse. But we are so very unsure of our place within the world without it. Quite simply it’s all we know. It has been our anchor which sounds so completely off the wall and it’s been a heavy weight to carry.

Just like the picture depicts at the top of this piece we are somehow shacked to its longevity. So I should not need to tell you that for those of us that have or are still suffering abuse it’s by far one of the hardest things to overcome. We are left with nothing more than cause and effect. We need solid ground – The only solid ground seemingly available to us is our abuse. I know all this astounds but that’s where we will stay until we realise that there is another way. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just obliterate our past – Remove it completely leaving no trace – Wipe it out – Destroy every memory? I admit it sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But choosing that path is never a sure bet there could come a time where it will be back with you biting at your ankles. Suddenly tolerance seems the only action that can be taken.

But there is another action that will bear far more fruit; we should never feel that all we ever had through life was our abuse. It took me many years to be able to pull back the curtains just to take a little peek beyond my abuse; that’s where I found to my delight that there were good memories to be found they were simply lost within the circus. From that day forward I began looking for solid ground that I could build on. It’s a little scary out there because for a moment within that time, you find yourself without the anchor that everyone needs to feel safe. The reality check is that you were never safe because the ground beneath you has always been rocky; it seems at times we feel that what we know is safer than the unknown, no matter how fearful the right there and then may seem.

There is a metaphor that comes to mind here quite readily – Keep both feet on the ground – Have they ever tried that when the ground beneath you is so unstably…………