If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the trials and tribulations of the past several years, it’s that life will bring you what you make room for. And will meet you where you are.
We are all responsible for the energy we bring to—you name it—a dinner table, a party, a meeting, life. I think more and more of us understand this and try to bring our best selves, wherever we are in our journey. Maybe that’s the Pollyanna in me, but I’d like to think more of us are heading toward enlightenment than not.
Most of us can own the energy we bring. Are you the screaming meanie in your family, berating those around you for not serving your every need? Own it. Start where you are. Make it better. For many of us, this is not easy, but it’s a concept we can easily digest.
The difficulty comes in realizing that some of those around you don’t deserve to be at your table—your party—your meeting—your life–because the energy they bring takes you nowhere good.
Some may suck you into a huge negative vortex. Those are usually easy to spot.
But it’s the others that are sometimes hard to identify. The ones who instead of supporting, envy you or get their subtle digs in. The person who points out all the negative you still have to deal with—how far you have to go—rather than helping you celebrate the baby steps you continue to take against a tidal wave of to-dos. The artificial smilers—“Oh, we simply MUST have you over for dinner soon”—whose lip service does nothing but remind you of how insincere they really are.
These are what I like to call tolerations. And they’ll suck you bone dry, bit by bit, over time. Not only that, by continuing to make room for them, you lose out on a better present. By not accepting that perhaps your paths should no longer cross, you’re keeping your life full–full of less than ideal energy. Perhaps if you made a little room in said life, those who are meant to support you and celebrate you at this time would find their way to you. And vice versa.
It takes energy to meet the people in our lives. If yours is eye level, but you must meet them at knee level, guess whose energy takes a nosedive? Guess who is depleted when that interaction is done?
I’ve come to apply this principle to most areas of my life. It’s harder than I thought. But schools, grocers, coworkers, cleaning people—all matter. You think your five-minute interaction means nothing, but energy is exchanged. And the more of those interactions you have per day where you are at a deficit, the more likely you are to be cranky and exhausted at the end of a day. Who you deal with matters. Period.
Not every relationship is meant to last. This is hard for some of us to accept. Not every family is meant to be close. Not every friend is for life. And while these words may roll off of our tongues, the actual acceptance of a closed door is tough. Chances are, if you’ve communicated to someone and the situation has not changed, his or her lessons aren’t going to be provided by you. You need to release them to learn what they need to learn elsewhere. Misery with a purpose is bad enough to endure—but misery without a purpose? Ugh. Not for me.
When we whittle away at our tolerations, we find an amazing store of energy. A lightness of being may return. There may be sadness, sure, but also—relief. Usually. And instead of a list of tolerations running through our heads before we go to sleep or at the red light, we begin to feel gratitude for the wonderful beings that surround us.
And they will. Oh, they will. We just have to make room.