169: Spiritual Principle – Tolerance (Sort Of)

We are exploring the spiritual principle of tolerance. What does it mean to be tolerant of something? Is it purely to be able to put up with it? Or is tolerance being open to it? Is there such a thing as too much tolerance? Billy, Caraline, Jason and Jenny try to figure out just what tolerance, or to tolerate, is, and also how to practice this spiritual principle. 

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Email: RecoverySortOf@gmail.com

Episodes mentioned:

Polyvagal Theory



Spiritual Bypassing

Spiritual Principles

Tolerance Quiz

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or Fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature


welcome back it’s recovery sort of I’m Jason a guy who is at times intolerant and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery I’m Jenny I’m also a person in long-term recovery I’m Caroline I’m a president of long-term recovery being really loud that was Extremely Loud I’m also sometimes intolerable which is a whole nother thing uh and if you haven’t figured out today we are talking about tolerance as a spiritual principle which is I guess one you don’t hear that often really I mean I I don’t remember it being like I don’t know I always hear the honesty open mindedness willingness you know humility surrender acceptance It’s like I don’t hear tolerance all that often yeah well I think that’s a skill that’s like a muscle that you build over time you know it’s not one that most of us come in with right away it’s more like it starts with like acceptance which I think Acceptance in the beginning for me was like just don’t get too mad or hate other people too much you know when I hear tolerance and Recovery circles it’s more like yo I drank 14. Miller High life’s in the woods I’m up there like yeah my intolerance is up there yeah drug tolerance yeah it’s just interesting because I feel like it is maybe I don’t want to say one of the more important spiritual principles but maybe it’s just one of the neglected ones fellowship-wise like I don’t I never heard about it much and I feel like it’s something we generally struggle and lack a lot maybe we should talk about it more maybe there’ll be more of it I mean in one of our the I say or one of the N A readings you know it says one of our critical problems could be an indifference or intolerance towards spiritual principles yeah so that I mean we talk about that part you know but the the idea of Tolerance doesn’t get brought up but it is mentioned as being a significant barrier to recovery if we are intolerant of spiritual principles and that’s relevant too so one of the things guys we said we were going to do this year was talk about the opposing defect and I was kind of thinking last night I I think I think intolerance is the opposing defect does that make it easy for all of them like honestly dishonesty willingness some of them yeah I mean what are you guys thoughts is intolerance the defect that we can apply tolerance to oh this is going to be an interesting discussion let’s get there in a second right so the the first thing I wanted to say about what Billy was just saying was like it almost reminds me of the idea of the removal of danger not equaling safety right like the removal of intolerance doesn’t necessarily equal tolerance it just means you’re no longer like intolerant it’s indifference yeah you know what I mean and there’s a big difference between kind of like this neutral indifferent feeling and maybe a tolerant feeling of course I I got some arguments about how tolerance maybe isn’t all that great either later on so we’ll figure that out let’s just let’s start with the definition of Tolerance right that’s a good place to start so the definition uh not the first definition mind you because the first definition had tolerance in the [  ] definition which is exactly what they told us not to do in school right and it pisses me off that like these big companies making money can get away with that [  ] um so anyway tolerance the capacity to endure continued subjection to something especially a drug transplant antigen or environmental conditions without adverse reaction which I thought was an interesting caveat at the end because my understanding of Tolerance does not fit that there is always an adverse reaction if I have to tolerate something because it’s [  ] bothering me are you truly tolerating it then though yeah absolutely not according to this definition but okay so to me if I just can be happy with something existing or be pleased or feel good in my body with something existing or going on around me that’s not tolerance that’s just oh hey this pleases me this is great so and I looked up a definition right before we came on today that’s slightly different than that that I liked better I hadn’t thought of Tolerance in the way that description defines it so this one was interesting a sympathy or Indulgence for beliefs or practices different differing from or conflicting with one’s own oh sympathy or Indulgence yeah which is more the way I think of Tolerance it’s like oh you have a different point of view for me let’s talk about it like I’m not just going to shut you down and call you stupid and walk away yeah open-minded I want to be like hey well I’m willing to hear you out let’s let’s use that definition for this because I feel like the one that I just read is more like uh the metal quality on this ship can tolerate the salty water in the ocean you know what I mean like this feels like it’s different kind of how much pain can you tolerate if someone starts punching you in the arm like Okay so let’s start over and I’m gonna read Billy’s phone so the the definition is sympathy or Indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own sympathy or Indulgence that’s interesting well an Indulgence implies that you’re actually securing it out right right you’re actually engaging with it and not just yeah Billy you’re you’re agnostic beliefs are actually interesting to me as a guy who believes in a universal power like please tell me more about that so I can learn how you and and which is exactly what this podcast has done I think for a lot of people we’ve learned Billy’s take on these spiritual principles being applied in a non-Christian way which I think a lot of people really like well thanks yeah thanks for tolerating me yeah we’ll tolerate you for that um so it’s not just like allowing it you have to like submerge in it that’s that’s not how I was originally thinking of Tolerance like I always thought it was like well you could do whatever you want just over there like I tolerate that just over there but so tolerance assumes that you have to also get into it to some degree well and for me that’s the difference between something being like an actual spiritual principle or a spiritual practice you know what I mean like it’s not just something that I’m enduring for the sake of enduring it’s something that how do I lower my defenses lower my anger resentment fear like how do I minimize that stuff and like actually engage in a conversation with somebody that has differing viewpoints or differing opinions I just can’t wait till I run into a group of people doing mushrooms so that I can be tolerant and indulge with them a spiritual principle because I want to be a good person right but you know it um I hope you find those people um but yeah it makes me think of so I mean this isn’t me or any of us here but people don’t tolerate homosexuality so Pride parades and stuff like really offend them you know like you don’t have to join the pride parade but you know you should be like tolerant of it you know I’m just trying to think of that example like walking through that interestingly enough I just watched a whole sort of I’ll call it a docu series on how a young lady got uh I’ll use the word brainwashed into becoming like a white supremacist by indulging in like being tolerant of it so she started dating this guy and sort of into their relationship he said oh by the way you know I’m a fascist and she’s like I don’t even know kind of what that is like I I don’t even understand what you’re talking about so she was like Wow look into some of these beliefs I’ll learn about them so that I can tell them how stupid that is and how wrong he is and then her tolerance in that eventually led to her turning into a fascist like supremacist you know so there some uh I don’t a danger maybe or some uh so that like that has to be careful of do they use the term Stockholm syndrome with that not in this case is that the right one Jason am I using the right syndrome yeah I don’t know sorry oh I was trying to do some lighting over here okay okay Stockholm Cinemas like the one time the woman was kidnapped into a terrorist group and then she became a terrorist is that Stockholm I gotta look it up well this story was slightly different thousand syndrome challenge my prophecy is when you do it to your kid I think yeah so how come is when you like empathize with your captor okay empathize with you so this one she wasn’t captured what happened was they they introduced ideas slowly so when she first got involved it wasn’t uh we’re white supremacists and we hate all the races it was like we think our European culture should be celebrated and we think you know it should be fine for us to have pride in our heritage and we think you know that Society is trying to push us away and she’s like well that seems reasonable and then they go to the next step and then they go to the next one and you’re like brainwashed into thinking that you know we’re not serious when everything else is bad but you know our version of recovery has just worked for us and it’s good we don’t we don’t promote it we just don’t pray that you don’t believe in God just try this yeah just just talk to him that is a fear and so it does maybe this is why tolerance is a better principle to have later on it’s like you know in the beginning as you said with with my tolerance I was exactly that I’d be like ah that medicated assisted recovery isn’t really a thing that’s just you know that that doesn’t work and you know these other fellowships don’t work none of that stuff really works you know and and it took some uh more deep thinking about things or being open to ideas to hear why things like harm reduction help or why these other programs might work like but I didn’t have that skill in the beginning so tolerance requires open-minded us yeah I think that’s foundational there’s also some sort of like self-worth and self-respect and self-esteem that comes along with it like yeah like you have to for me anyway I have to be confident in my beliefs that when someone starts saying conflicting beliefs I don’t immediately get into this defensive argumentative angry place like I’m confident enough in most of my beliefs that if you want to have a conversation with it I can disagree with you or or say oh I don’t feel that way you know and I think that’s why Jason and I communicate really well because we can talk about stuff and I don’t ever feel like I mean obviously we’re both trying to sway each other’s opinion you know our goal most of the time is to get the other guy to say that we’re right and he’s but we’re not so whatever happened stuck there that we have to butt hit well it’s funny we agree probably most more than we disagree it just doesn’t sound it doesn’t happen in the moment but if you listen to our episodes over time you’ll hear us start going back and agreeing with [  ] we used to argue about right so I think maybe one of the things that’s standing out to me is this idea of Tolerance and the definition of it I I don’t think the way it is understood on a mass level in our society is the way we’re talking about it right like I I do believe a very healthy version of Tolerance is like some sort of indulgence or appreciation or or compassion towards some differing opinion but the way I felt tolerance was supposed to be practiced during my time in 12-step really was like it’s kind of just like putting up with [  ] you don’t like it’s just not being a dick about it mostly like and that is not a healthy thing I don’t think and so I it’s fascinating I think if we just said tolerance to most people they don’t think of it as like positive vibes towards the person they’re tolerating they think of it as like oh this is something I must endure so I can get to heaven at the end of it right it’s like a hardship yeah it’s fine it’s fine yeah so so tolerance assumes like a healthy self-esteem ah yeah I don’t know what tolerance assumes but I think our version of what we think tolerance is just putting up with people it’s not it’s not like a positive yeah maybe that’s what we need to change some you know like that’s again in most of these words when you look into any of these spiritual principles have multiple definitions you know as we’ve talked about with love and unconditional love and you know there are ways that you can apply those things that aren’t as meaningful for me so it’s important for me to figure out all right this is what I think this word means and this is how I think it should apply in my life and use that versus well Society thinks it means this so I’m going to live that way and and I don’t disagree with that but I don’t know that like any time in my first five to ten years I had any ability to think that way or or like I’m gonna go with what I understand tolerance to be and even when I look it up just like I did two days ago I’m going to get a definition and I’m like oh okay here’s the first three definitions let me pick one of them and none of them said anything about anybody’s beliefs so it was like you know what I mean I I think this is like spread to everyone in a mass way so much that even the dictionary definitions that I looked at didn’t include anything about the version you’re telling me you know what I mean so I didn’t even know that version existed to explore it is what I’m saying like I what I might not have stumbled across that even the way you’re talking about you know what I mean so is there Jenny our resident Buddhist practices person is there like a tolerance understanding within Buddhism or within recovery Dharma do they um is that expressed in any well there’s like um compassion and what that’s my go-to answer compassion yeah right I mean that is pretty much tolerant yes so but it’s compassion I get you know I compassion for everyone involved so it’s not just compassion for your audience but also for yourself if you can’t tolerate that you should not continue in the situation well and I think this is for me again goes back to like say the foundation of unconditional love so if the foundation of my life is built on this unconditional love for others then I can be more tolerant you know patient understanding with people if I’m starting from a place that yes all human beings have value all human beings have worth everyone has a right to have thoughts and opinions and exist on this planet you know some people have bad ideas some people aren’t that smart you know like there’s all those things too but if I can at least start from a place like I care that I don’t offend or hurt other people that gives me this Foundation to be more tolerant that’s what I kind of meant when I was like tolerance assumes a healthy self-esteem like to I think to properly Implement tolerance you have to be like Billy start from a place of you know I have respect for all life well let me just be clear I didn’t start there I got there after 20 years no and that’s the difference like in the beginning my understanding of Tolerance was very similar to what Jason said it’s like I will just you know silently sit over here and boil why someone says something in a meeting that I don’t agree with or they violate some tradition in a meeting and then almost feel a need to go fix it or correct things later now I see that stuff and I’m like I don’t know it’s not my home group it’s not necessarily my place I don’t who what [  ] gives me the right to run around and try to police the world because people have different ideas or opinions than me you know that happens in A2 like so um there’s a lot of like love and tolerance like they use that as like an excuse to like put up the stuff so something happens in a meeting and like somebody particularly a new person relatively new you know didn’t agree with it doesn’t like it like love intolerance just just keep coming back you know so they always use that as like that phrase tolerance like just put up with it you know but it’s not until like you know later years you you have a that 180 of about tolerance yeah I mean for me tolerance doesn’t mean that I agree with that stuff either like just because I am willing to listen to or be sympathetic or respectful to someone’s point of view doesn’t mean I agree with it I can be completely tolerant and then be like oh yeah I don’t I don’t think that’s a good way to look at that or I look at that differently or I don’t think that’s quite right so that seems to me like like an emotional maturity thing like I’m not going to change their mind you know I’m not going to do anything about it have a nice life yeah most of that is what gives me the right to be the one that needs to change everyone’s mind you know maybe my mind is the one that needs changed and I’m wrong no one thing that’s come up for me a lot with the that the talk of healthy self-esteem I think on the other end of the spectrum is there’s this perception of people who tolerate a lot maybe not I I feel like this is not coming out the way like codependence and people Pleasers right well or even like tolerating abuse right like there’s people who it can appear that you’re very tolerant but it’s it’s actually coming up from a place of low self-esteem where you’re willing to tolerate a lot of like just unhealthy behaviors from other people and and put up with it so there’s a spectrum and like in the middle is is where it’s healthy but both sides potentially can be rather unhealthy I think yeah and I think that’s where we come with a lot of these spiritual principles it’s like a rigid dogmatic practice of any one of these things can be detrimental to your life you know what I mean like unconditional love isn’t just I go out and just become a doormat to the world and let everyone walk all over me or take everything from me or abuse the [  ] out of me like that’s not unconditional love I mean I guess in some ways it is but that extreme of any of these principles becomes the defect that’s almost where that whole concept comes from it’s like if I’m so intolerant and I lack any sort of self-worth self-respect then I just become this doormat to people and and I think this is a huge point that I have loved about this spiritual principle discussion it’s this idea that like I always thought we were going for 100 spiritual principal practice in all Affairs right that thought that was the goal 100 honesty 100 open-mindedness 100 tolerance and to know that that’s actually not the goal and that might really be like the unhealthy um swinging of the pendulum to the other end of the spectrum when I first get in recovery and then needing to kind of slowly Meander my way back to Center but I think it also proves a second point at least in my mind from the therapy world when you describe that right which you just laid out Caroline was this idea that like really what we’re talking about when we’re talking about this practice of Tolerance along this spectrum it’s not really like any active choice or how someone was born you related it to their attachment type right are they somebody who needs to like put themselves down and accept anything to stay in a relationship to be fine Worth to find Value and then attachment types come from childhood and then childhood stuff comes from Pain and Trauma and it’s like when I look at it from that lens this I mean that doesn’t say specifically that we can’t increase our level of tolerance or change our place on the Spectrum through healing but it does take this whole thing back to healing in my mind and growth in more of a therapeutic sense and it makes me wonder how much the information I got in 12 steps of like just practice tolerance just just go ahead and practice that tolerance buddy like yeah come on come on you can do it come on right like that’s all the [  ] I got and that was useless because nobody’s saying oh dude you’re not going to be able to practice that tolerance as long as you’re all [  ] hurt still like you need to that’s gotta heal first and then you’ll just naturally be better at tolerance because you won’t feel so [  ] bad in your body all the time and it’s like I don’t know man the more I keep thinking of this kind of thing the more the the 12-step approach of like just [  ] practice these spiritual principles seems kind of off well I think the foundation of the idea of putting up with someone else’s opinions is good like I needed somewhere to start you know what I mean it I needed somewhere to get out of my self-righteousness you know and just sitting on my hands and not saying anything was a good place to start and then this tolerance that I’ve found now in my life almost came naturally just from continuing to work on myself work on my spiritual growth and spiritual awareness and then eventually like oh [  ] I can tolerate other people’s opinion like where did that come from right you know like it comes naturally if you continue to stay engaged in the work and and I totally agree with that to some degree right so if you can stay in recovery I do believe there is some healing that is going on just walking through the world not using the substances that used to control our life and make us do things that we didn’t like right because that’s causing its own damage in itself on top of what we already feel negatively about so yeah you get to recovery and and yes like just changing the idea of like oh wait there’s other core beliefs I could have I could actually like not yell at people when they’re doing [  ] I don’t like I think that’s a great thing to put in our minds early on right to start that process and yet nowhere down the line did anybody come and say to me hey if you’re struggling practicing these principles after a certain amount of time or after you’ve done some step work and you still find these are really difficult maybe there’s some more stuff that needs to be done underneath of that to make it easier for you maybe it’s not just a moral failing of yours right like I never heard that message and what I got was the same thing I got when I left my parents house I went into the world nobody ever told me that every [  ] adult and parent is confused and doesn’t really understand life and I went out in the world and I thought we couldn’t tell anybody that right because everybody else [  ] understands how they’re doing this adult [  ] and I’m the one who just doesn’t and there’s something wrong with me and I felt the same way in recovery when after five or ten years I felt like I was like oh okay I’m like the senior member in recovery now and I’m like I still don’t know how to practice this [ __ ] because nobody has said hey if you don’t feel good you might not be able to practice it ever you actually have to do some other stuff to get there [Music]

so that was never explicitly said to me but I think there there may have been a difference in the message that we were hearing and maybe it was the area that we were in but I don’t feel like pretty early on in recovery it became obvious to me that like therapy was another thing you could do to get better I wonder if that’s because you’re a female it could be it could be because in the male world there’s not a lot of like suggestions of like hey why don’t you seek some outside therapy Billy we’ll we’ll go talk about our feelings and [  ] could it also be like you know like the intersection of 12-step and institutions that provide treatment services like when you’re in rehab they’re bringing in 12-step meetings but they’re giving you therapy and I mean most rehabs you get therapy like most outpatient programs you’re getting some kind of you’re shaking your head I mean this is I got nothing that looked like any kind of real therapy well I was like okay but that didn’t feel like I might have got like 15 minutes sitting with a therapist but we were just talking about like generalized concerns we weren’t doing any therapy right right right right right but that’s that’s your introduction like that’s where it’s like okay this is a part of me becoming a better that’s where I’m still 100 wearing the mask because I am [  ] scared to death to not be on drugs I’m not saying you solve all your issues like my issues with drugs my issues at that right my issue was drugs right right right but for me me and I don’t know I can’t I can’t say like when when the understanding that therapy can be a part of that holistic program that helps you get to a happier healthier place I’m not sure where that came in I know it was discussed in meetings I know I heard that but I do feel like there had to have been some component of like every Treatment Center I went to therapy was a part of there was a therapist there was a counselor there was someone I was speaking to and that became a part of my perspective my my um yeah exactly exactly yeah well and I’m sure some of that is cultural as well um in at least in Cecil County my experience is that admitting that you have a mental health issue and that you might need some sort of outside outside help bro just the way that was air quoted every time it was said made me feel like it was it very much culture was looked at as a a weakness or maybe that’s a male like say maybe that’s a male culture thing but any sort of like I mean well even in my household growing up like my aversion to any kind of therapy or mental health came from my mom you know what I mean she’s like you’re not crazy you know you’re just a [  ] idiot like that’s the thing that feels cult and she’s like you know because intellectually like I got good grades in school and I understood what people were saying so the idea that I had some sort of Mental Health issue underlying my addiction like those two things in my world were very different you know I was fine my brain was fine I just like doing drugs and I couldn’t figure out why and and I want to go back to this idea that you presented Caroline that maybe we heard this different right and that could be different based on areas or or you know Generations or genders or any of that they could all be factors and another Factor could be going back to this idea of what our childhoods were like if I come in and my disposition is to assume that I am at fault for every [  ] thing and you come in and your childhood necessarily doesn’t have you operate with the world from that place of or belief right I’m not going to hear the information the same way which is really fascinating I’ve really been diving deep into this like especially as a parent what I give isn’t always what my my kids are receiving right and maybe I should check in with them and see if they’re actually getting what I hope I’m giving them sometimes but if we go back to that idea that we had different childhoods and that’s why we experience the information that we heard different that still doesn’t help all the people who had childhoods like me who don’t get the message in 12-step that it’s okay not only okay maybe highly recommended to like go at least check in with some outside help and see what they think about your place right maybe there’s some stuff to explore maybe there’s not but at least you know and I think that’s the thing if I didn’t know that there wasn’t more or that there wasn’t another option or that I couldn’t possibly practice some of these spiritual principles until I healed more how could I ever [  ] know and I think that’s a place where my beef would maybe the 12-step world is like coming more and more to realize that I feel like being there and being told what the help was I missed what the help could have been for me way way sooner and see I look at it slightly different like I don’t disagree with where you’re coming from but my experience kind of was slightly different in that I came around to 12 steps and and in the beginning it was like yeah some people get you know again the air quotes outside help and that’s okay and in my view it was like yeah that’s for like the weak people and other people but I’m supposed to tolerate that that’s supposed to be okay for them just not for me and then eventually I talk to more of those people that would say yeah I’m doing really well and I go to this outside help and then I go maybe there is something to this outside help maybe some people really do need that outside help still not me but some people need that outside help to getting to a point you know later where I’m like huh maybe outside help could help me and then now I go to a therapist so you know the gradual exposure to that idea is what brought me around wouldn’t it have been way cooler if like during one of those periods of your life where you were really [  ] trying to change a behavior and just struggling to change it whether you were struggling with actually making the behavior change or whether you were struggling with like the idea that you were doing something different but still miserable wouldn’t it have been so cool if somebody would have came up and been like oh man I had that same struggle and you know what what I found out was like my nervous system was doing this [  ] and there wasn’t actually any way for me to think my way out of it and I had to like go seek some help and do some healing and stuff for some of the hurt I’ve had and and you wouldn’t had to struggle I didn’t get it quite that deep but like with when I was more open about being sexually abused which came later in recovery met quite a few people suggested hey you might want to go talk to an outside person about that and I would just be like nah I’m good I’ve dealt with all that through my step work I’m good right okay sorry yeah but so some of the ideas that we hear in recovery like people had been telling me the same [  ] just my tolerance level for listening to it was very different you know what I mean like I was intolerant of you or totally on what’s the opposite of closed-minded I was gonna say unopened mindset I was totally close-minded to the concept of therapy for me you know therapy for anyone else might be okay for me no way well and I like that but I I find it anecdotal in the sense that one of the things I struggled with coming into recovery was my life wasn’t bad enough for me to be a [  ] heroin user right my parents didn’t even get divorced that was my main saying when I came in in my first month my parents didn’t even get divorced what the [  ] is wrong with me so if I don’t have any sexual assault in my background and and I am like many many in our society who think their childhoods were gravy and wonderful and their parents love them what could be wrong and can’t understand how damaging actually some of the ways my parents were just yet until after therapy and the exposure to it then people aren’t going to recommend that to me like I get it they did for you because you had a pretty big thing in your past but like for people who don’t necessarily have the big obvious one yeah that’s working a lot on a group of uneducated 12-step people exactly my point but it’s professional counselor but it’s uneducated people whose literature and writings we’re listening to that’s a [  ] problem for me that’s my point the big recommendation though was not necessarily someone directly saying you should seek help for this it was hearing members with time and appearing to have a high level of sanity and their [  ] together talk about how they had gone affected yeah exactly people that I could look at and say okay they’re you know they’ve they’ve they’ve been doing this a long time their life looks together they seem happy they seem like they’re not off their rocker when they share and they’re talking about they want to out you know get outside help at some point in their recovery process so maybe that’s the message right is that um you know for our listeners for us as we’re in various recovery programs speaking openly about your experience with what fully has helped you and I think that approach is probably more welcome in some meetings than others but maybe thinking about like is there a way that I can share my experience and if I can’t like am I in the right program for me I don’t know I think Billy just made a really amazing point in my opinion to say that we can’t count on a group of uneducated people who don’t have the professional skills to tell us that to me says well why are we listening to those same unprofessional people in the [  ] program they designed if we can’t trust on them like he said that was a tall order to ask the fellowship I don’t know what expectation you put on 12-step groups I don’t expect I didn’t expect to come into a 12-step group and then like I came because I had a drug problem and they told me they could help me stop using drugs you know the deeper I want to dig into my own mental health or Wellness like Narcotics Anonymous doesn’t promise me healing from my sexual abuse or mental health Wellness or any of that stuff but we have to talk about it people uh maybe you talk about as much as you want to talk about it I don’t know I think made a good point talk about it when you don’t we don’t but we also say yes we can help you with your drug problems but we say the disease of addiction which is what you have isn’t really about the drugs that’s just a symptom we want to help you actually get better and find Freedom from active addiction which if we’re not qualified to recognize when you need more help than we can give you we’re probably not qualified to [  ] help you yeah I I mean I hear you a lot I feel like you just put a very reason unreasonable expectation on a free support group of people that doesn’t make you come doesn’t ask you to come I mean we want you to come but if you don’t want to be here you don’t want what we have to offer that’s fine too so let me ask this Jenny and Caroline if you two were seeking help for a problem in your life whatever problem that may be today and you went and you sought a place that said they could offer help for that would you surely hope that if they found that they didn’t have the help that was enough for you that they are qualified enough to recognize that and send you somewhere else that would be my expectation well I guess I look at it yeah I don’t know that I would accept that I would think if it’s something I’m paying for if it’s someone that I’m going to that I know is certified qualified this is their business this is what they do that is kind of what Annie says certified or qualified though they say if you do what we do we can help and they I don’t want to say they Market themselves because they obviously don’t but 12-step is like our health Care’s best defense right now Against Addiction this is where we’re the professionals are sending people this is where courts are sending people right but right now we’re getting more understandings of like trauma and the understandings of how the brain works and like you’re talking about with the uh the the nervous system like all that stuff is fairly new information and still I would say not even mainstream information agree you know for uh like I guess I look at it more like a church if I walk out of here and go I’m a Christian and I go to a church and that church tells me what their beliefs and understandings of Christianity and the Bible are I can either decide yeah I’m all in for that or no I’m not in for that but I don’t expect them to to make the decisions for me about what I think about homosexuality or any of that stuff I go to the church I hear what they have to say and go ah I don’t think that’s for me but what if you got cancer and you were either court ordered or your doctor said go to the church wouldn’t you hope the church would say hey you’ve got something that’s too big for us to help you with you should probably go somewhere else because you’re just going to die if you keep coming here but I guess what I’m saying is I feel like I did get that message because and I promise it’s going to help or does any promise it’s going to solve the problem it says all the promises freedom from active addiction specific problem but we don’t say n a does not say that we’re going to help you treat your trauma no but you also can’t solve active addiction if the problem is that addiction is a coping skill for your trauma yeah oh well we have a differing opinion on that too so I don’t think that everybody that uses drugs or is an addict necessarily has trauma I think there are people that use drugs and abuse drugs that just because they like it and want it and I know you don’t agree with that I don’t think there’s a person alive that doesn’t have some degree or isn’t on the spectrum of trauma all right every single person in the world trying to debunks what you just said well that’s like a default that’s like saying everybody breathe there everybody that breathes there you know is a drug addict but I guess yeah everyone has some degree of trauma and our level of Tolerance of trauma is very different now we’re using tolerance in a different way I do think that uh I don’t know that was an eye-opening statement for me I get it that it doesn’t change your mind and maybe it doesn’t change anybody who’s listening to mine but to me the fact that medical places where we go for help and courts tell people to go to this program for help I don’t know man uh to me like especially because it’s part of my job like if I don’t feel qualified to help somebody I’m seeing like I damn well better in fact I’m like obligated if I don’t and some harm comes to them that’s on me for sure I could be sued so I guess operating from that standpoint of like to me in order to be qualified to help with something I have to know my limits to me says the 12-step world is kind of out of its scope around to begin with well and I guess back to I get what Caroline said like every Treatment Center that I went to always recommended some sort of outside counseling when I left that Treatment Center none of them said you’re good just go to 12-step meetings they all recommended some sort of you know drug and I guess for me this was the difference they always said drug counseling so in my hearing of that statement meant this is something that I just go to for drugs you know I guess I would expect a therapist to help me break down like maybe if I continued in drug therapy I would expect someone to help me get into the trauma and all that stuff but I was unwilling at that point he made another point that I found kind of fascinating when like one of your defenses for our debate right there was that all this stuff with the trauma and the harm and the nervous system is all really new and not as worldwide or spread as older information is which I think is a really valid point and yet it brings up the question for me if all this is the new research and we do believe it and we do think research is right then why aren’t we changing and adapting to the new information that’s the problem it’s not that there is new information it’s like okay well if we accept that why aren’t we doing something a little different that we know could be more useful that was slow yeah I mean I think we are at a turning point about understanding addiction it just takes so much so maybe this podcast will help move it away and it’s just like tolerance towards you know medicated assisted treatment I mean slowly I’m seeing that attitude change at least in the 12-step people that I am around you know what I mean like in this immediate area a lot of the people doing the harm reduction work in this community are Narcotics Anonymous based 12-step people and so that is a huge shift from earlier on in my recovery when that just was totally unacceptable you know what I mean it was legal drug dealing and all this other stuff so there is a shift I don’t know specifically I mean maybe there’s points of the program itself we could pick apart but as far as a fellowship most of this is just loose ideas of a group of people trying to come together to help one another and there’s so many different people that have so many different needs and so many different issues that it’s hard to design a specific program to deal with you know childhood abuse sexual abuse mental health uh some sort of mental actual mental defects you know like all those different things to have just a general free program that would address specifically every single one of those seems a little and I think is a little bit more responsibility sponsors than there is on the group the part of the program that’s not even official

I feel like it’s pretty official in in well the literature says it’s not official in nature I and I don’t know about other areas it’s very official in this area in Narcotics Anonymous but I do feel like like there’s there a key part of being a good sponsor is having humility and recognizing when my experience isn’t going to be enough for someone and being able to say that but I can’t recognize that when I can’t realize that my experience isn’t even enough for me yet because I haven’t gone and gotten the information to realize that the way I’m handling [ __ ] by yelling at my kids is wrong [Music]

thank you so the difference I think for me is like I’ve given horrible advice to people as a sponsor early in recovery with a year or two clean I can specifically remember telling people like you shouldn’t go to more than one program or if you do go to multiple programs you can only have one sponsor and I don’t know I mean there isn’t anything in any Narcotics Anonymous literature anywhere that says anything remotely [  ] close to any of that opinion that I had so for me I take personal responsibility for having that opinion I don’t blame the group or some friend of mine that spouted some [  ] for me adopting that opinion or point of view that’s my responsibility that I gave that bad information and it’s I I sometimes feel like that’s something that you kind of assimilate to the group’s attitude and to me that was my bad lack of knowledge and information I like I didn’t have a right to say that [  ] it was based in nothing you know it was no personal experience whatsoever so in N A isn’t it more common that people are sponsoring before they complete the 12-step process yeah but I would say that is your personal experience your personal experience was you went to one program and had one sponsor you were definitely definitely sharing your personal experience with them about how it had to be done because you believed that it had to be oh yeah but now I would say I’ve never done that I don’t really know or if I had even went to some other like I hadn’t even ever went to [  ] another I mean I’ve been occasionally been to an AAA meeting I think in treatment When I Was Made but I hadn’t even really went to other programs I understand that but you were doing what you were told when you came in and what you believed was working for you you were sharing that information and my question would be why are we putting people in a position to share really shitty information that they got early on as I don’t want to say leaders but like when I got here and had two days clean the guy with the year was a [  ] hero and I was gonna listen to whatever he said and why are we putting him in a position of that as a sponsor like I just you were sharing your experience you didn’t do anything wrong there you did exactly what would be expected of you the problem was you should have never been in that position I don’t know you shouldn’t have been dishing out advice I don’t agree like I I mean I don’t know how else you would give a free program out to people to share their like that’s the foundation of the program as we share our experience strength and hope we grow we make mistakes we support each other like that’s the whole basis of what we do well maybe that shouldn’t be the difference bad information all the time there’s all kinds of horrible therapy methods in the last couple years if I picked the wrong [  ] guy out of the phone book he could have me wanting to kill myself in a month and I’m paying that [  ] right very hard very very hard to find good therapists as well it’s very hard there’s not you know like especially when you get into insurance and all that crap yeah yeah um what I was going to say is I think I think you guys are both making Fair points but it’s a lesser of evils so if if we do so the the inherent issue with having this non-professional service where a bunch of non-professionals are doing their best to help people who potentially have really significant issues or trauma the downside is damage can be done and I’ve seen it I mean I had a friend who who was gay and was told by his sponsor that like being gay is an Obama Abomination Abomination yes and um you know that he needed to pray about it like like that’s really bad information um so bad things just like I’s experience was it though was he gay no no but it was experienced with it being wrong that’s what he was told that’s all he knew it’s a belief I mean I don’t know yeah I don’t know that it’s experience but uh the experience would be if he had been gay and he was able to pray it away and found happiness what his experience was I’ve been other things that are wrong and I’ve prayed them away or he knew somebody who was gay and it was bad how applicable is like how broadly applicable is is a specific experience right regardless I think so that’s the risk but the other side is we we do away with all of these kind of Community Based programs these free programs that are widely available to so many people and then all of the responsibility falls on on the Professional Services and there’s not enough or or this is another place where to continue doing the lesser of two evils keeps us from finding something that actually works way better like maybe if we can all agree oh okay maybe there are some [  ] places in this program where it’s a little goof fee maybe we can go in and either change that or we can go in and make it something else maybe we can adjust it and adapt it to where we do have people maybe it becomes a non-profit where like we teach people exactly how to to run a small group meeting and that’s what we do from now on and it’s much more effective because we don’t give out bad information like sometimes sticking with what so far has worked keeps you from opening up to something that works greater I think that and just roll back around to tolerance like that’s all what time like now we’re understanding things let’s say in the community with our laws like we realize we have a lot of racist drug laws that don’t work very well well you know what what do I do with that sort of stuff do I work towards a solution you know or do I just you know violate the laws and do whatever I want and suffer the consequences of that I think it’s the same within like 12 step groups like as a member of the group I can work towards change I can work towards having these discussions with people about things like medicated assisted treatment or or whatever other these ideas that we might need to come around and change but I’m not going to do that if I just get pissed off and run away and I’m not willing to have conversations or engage with people in some of these things that I think should be changed the other side of Tolerance is if I don’t get a seat at the table I’m never going to have any influence over you know any sort of change or progression or whatever if everything that I disagree with I just run away back to my home and ignore and well I’m not going to talk to those people because they’re [  ] and I’m not going to talk to these people because they’re [  ] and I’m not going to talk to these people because they’re [  ] then who’s going to do the work to try to change the things that need to be changed Point number one that is like the third time I’ve heard you bring us back to tolerance and thank you so much yeah they’re way off of it and you keep bringing it back and I love it thank you thank you you know you’re doing great um Point number two I agree with almost everything except the pissed off part because being pissed off the point of being angry is to set a boundary it’s to say nope you’re hurting people or me stop that [  ] right the [  ] now and then it goes away so I don’t I don’t think I think we are supposed to get pissed off a little bit when things always would agree she says that’s where a lot of like activism is yeah it has to it has to that’s the energy right running home is not the I the the thing that’s going to help I totally agree with that and this is my seat at the table and I am finally at 42 years old accepting the fact of my [  ] role in the world I was the problem child in my family home right and what that means from a family therapy standpoint is I was the person that was not willing to tolerate all the underlying dysfunction that was going on and so I spoke up right which did not go well for my childhood that’s still who the [  ] I am when I see something that feels like Injustice or unfairness or people being raw longed I [  ] speak up I am a mouthpiece I am a guy who’s going to get in your organization if you hire me and I’m going to point out where all the [  ] that is wrong is that [  ] bothers me and feels wrong it’s just who I am and I’m tired of apologizing for it right I don’t want to at 42 this is my role and look you play a really important role too you’re the guy that keeps us from doing all the [  ] crazy [  ] that I think we need to switch to right like I think both of us play a really important role and I just I accept mine well and again I’m the guy speaking up about it here so that people start thinking about it more so that the [  ] Fellowship changes that’s my goal yes I want to keep talking about it and I guess the I want to link tolerance with humility in the in the way that like it requires me to have some humility to go into some meetings and express my opinion you know it’s a in my home group or at an area service level or whatever to say like hey what do we think about you know possibly doing this different or what do we think about changing the way that that we’re approaching this particular subject you know I need to be understanding that some people are going to be stuck to this idea that this is just the way we’ve always done it and so that’s what we’re going to keep doing and I just slowly with compassion and understanding and hopefully from a loving place try to change that way like I I guess I worry that just running out and screaming at people how [  ] stupid they are and how dumb this is you know doesn’t work as good I mean it’s the flies with honey kind of thing and that’s been my Approach recently you know a thing came up with you know my wife and I are try to keep this vague but there’s an organization in the area that wants to put on a big recovery event right here in Elkton that is sort of anti-harm reduction which is against a lot of the things that Voices of Hope does it’s a lot against a lot of what mainstream science is starting to think hey this is how we connect people to recovery so like there’s a lot of information that says harm reduction is a good thing and yet there’s this community in a part of our recovery community that is very anti-harm reduction and so her immediate thing like my immediate response to her is oh are you gonna go are you going to send somebody from your organization to go and she’s like [  ] no you know and so I was able to talk to her about this idea of like hey we should go I was like I’ll go with you we’ll go hear what they have to say we’ll listen to their points of view I don’t think that they’re going to convert me to an anti-harm reductionist you know and if nothing else it shows like respect for them it shows a sort of of compassion understanding like Hey we’re willing to have a if you want to have a legitimate conversation about some of these subjects we can come here and be reasonable people that can have a reasonable conversation about maybe why some of your ideas are not so great Billy if you come back here talking about [  ] needle exchange we’re voting you off the pockets I’m just telling you don’t don’t get brainwashed he’ll probably be single too yeah

well I guess just back to the the n a thing like or I’ll say 12-step thing I have I am starting to cease changes within the community are they slow and cumbersome and maybe not as Progressive as we need yes but if I just get frustrated and fed up and walk away it’s never going to get to where we need to go no absolutely and and the way you laid that out of how you’re trying to show up for these people who aren’t open to the idea of change right now is how I feel like I’m trying to work on people slowly over time through this podcast right just let me just keep presenting it in enough different ways to wear one of them like kind of starts to sink in and make a little sense like and yeah I am the guy who’s out there like ah [  ] it we all need to just stop working and just do what we want live in our backyards or something and and I need people like you to be like Jason I don’t think you’re going to be happy doing that either like I’m not going to have a backyard if I don’t start working soon right right right so it’s it’s uh we need all of us people huh and I guess I’m just more embracing the fact that I I’m supposed to come here and get a little feisty and wired up about this like like 20 minutes ago my [  ] nervous system was lit the [  ] up I literally thought I was gonna have to walk outside like I was trembling inside I was that’s why I was like we were still sitting having a conversation but I could tell I was like Jesus Christ I am like really activated by this conversation I don’t know it’s just interesting but that’s that’s my role and see I think though that’s what helped like it helps sometimes I have to recognize that stuff too like I I’ve learned to recognize it myself like once I get to a point of being like defensive and argumentative my tolerance goes way down and almost out the window and so I’ve learned that about myself even in like stuff with my wife like if we’re talking about marriage issues or whatever like in all these areas like once my defenses start to go up and my nervous system gets way up my tolerance goes right out the [  ] window and sometimes there is a need for me to say to her hey we need to stop for a couple minutes I gotta like get my [  ] together or you’re being a little bit attacking like I need you to kind of back off because I’m getting too defensive you know and I’m not going to hear anything that the [  ] you have to say once I’m in that super defensive place and going back to that polyvagle Theory episode we did right that is the nervous system so all spiritual principles are going to be higher level thinking they’re all Concepts and ideals that like a typical animal or mammal based in the world is not gonna you know Ascend towards they’re not working to try to be like honest in the [  ] world my dog is very tolerant of my puppy I don’t know so so like these are all going to take prefrontal cortex level thinking in order to enact and when the nervous system gets activated there is no conversation with your prefrontal cortex anymore there is no higher level thinking so yes anytime you get uh defensive is a word we will use that’s a survival skill right that’s something that comes from a survival place in your brain you’re not going to have access to tolerance or love or or anything open-mindedness willingness they all go away when we get activated in our nervous system yeah and I think in recovery they always described it as the the halt hungry angry angry lonely tired right like for me those are all indicators like on those days like if I know I slept four hours last night my tolerance is going to be off that day like and I it’s it’s important for me to be aware that like my ability to tolerate bad drivers or you know people disagreeing with me at work is going to be way different if I’m not taking care of my physical and emotional needs you know I’m I’m not in a good place to be tolerant that acronym was super helpful to me in the beginning because it was like one of those early steps towards mindfulness like oh I should pay attention to if I’m angry or lonely I think 12-step programs this would make me a lot happier if we had some introductory video right that you sat down and watched that taught you about nervous system States and what they felt like and how in them you’re probably not going to be able to just practice air quotes uh these principles you’re not going to be a better person and like ways to calm nervous system triggering that you can start practicing if we had that as like a sort of disclaimer to understand better when we’re falling short on practice in our program I would love that I feel like that would take so much shame off of people in our program I’m totally down with your video idea let’s do it um here we go we’re going to do an introduction let’s do it listen to this before you start your [  ] recovery Journey that’s actually genius let’s do that we’ll get product producing right away but can we go back to the word practice so of course it’s not tolerant today so the 12 Steps want us wants us to practice the spiritual principles that doesn’t mean do it perfectly right away because don’t we learn more by [  ] up like so you know like start toying with the idea of Tolerance and you are going to mess up and realize it and then you will know then you will know your level so you know in defense of the 12 steps they don’t say all right let’s go perfect the spiritual principles they say practice they don’t but to beat up on the 12 Steps again one of my beefs with these these spiritual principles is that every month I search the basic the basic text which is you know Narcotics Anonymous main literature I usually end up looking through it works how and why which is another piece of literature from Narcotics Anonymous and this month I even did the step working guide because I was grasping at strolls and they mentioned spiritual principles by name many many many times it’s beautiful how many times they mention them and yet they don’t say a [  ] thing about them every sentence is you’ll be amazed that you have more tolerance than you had before when you show up in this place at the step eight or uh when we practice tolerance in this situation that’s going wrong it’ll do this and it’s like it never [  ] gives you any tips about what that looks like how to things that might get in the way of being able to like there’s like literally [  ] nothing about how to practice it so it’s just name dropping yeah but I think that’s on purpose though I I agree and we had that discussion and I don’t I think you’re right and yet at the same time it gives us nothing right like at least throw some real General loose ideas in there to have something to start with you know that bothers me I don’t know that would be helpful I mean and I well don’t they do that a little more at the end of it works how wide there’s a section about spiritual principles I’d have to read a little deep that’s the only one that I know specifically gives you like a spiritual principle and some Direction but that’s getting very specific into Narcotics Anonymous literature I don’t know that that carries across other 12-step programs and that’s that’s only in the tradition section if it works out why and the step working guides does have a section in each step about spiritual principles at the end of each step too so they’re there and yet they still don’t really say much about right what it looks like how to start and I feel like as a program based on the idea that spiritual principles are going to make our life better as we replace our Character defects with them not telling you how to do any of them is a weird [  ] way to explain it yeah and I mean another important thing to kind of piggyback off what Jenny was saying too is like I am never going to do any of these perfectly you know as much as I can come on here and talk this [  ] good game about how tolerant and understanding I Emma everyone’s ideas on any given day I’m like yelling at something on the radio that I heard or mad at somebody at work that has a different opinion than me you know and cut you off in the car right like all that stuff so these are all things that I am consistently trying to pay attention to and work on and it’s like the nuances are what help like realizing like oh [  ] I only got four hours of sleep last night no wonder my tolerance is way off today maybe I ought to just walk through this day kinda tiptoeing through hoping not to get in any conversations with people about [  ] I don’t agree with because I’m probably going to say things I regret later or from a therapy standpoint instead of just ignoring that part of you that doesn’t feel well that day and trying to push it aside even though it’s a good place to start like okay I don’t want to take it out on Jenny or Caroline right that I’m having a rough morning but maybe I could even go further and like tend to that part of myself right like like the parent that never showed up like like damn Billy what do you need today is it a hug is it a hot tea is it a little more to eat is it a little more rest like what can that ideal version of a parent show up and try to comfort that PCU that’s not feeling well that day like that’s the you know I don’t know self-care yeah self-care part that’s the part that might help heal it instead of just getting through it or managing it I guess right so where you might not need to in the future as much we have a quiz we do have a quiz and we’ve also got some tips and maybe we should start getting into that let me try to race through these These are apparently eight tips they’re from the website chopra.com I don’t know sounds Buddhist it sounds yeah sounds Buddhists I’m gonna be inclined to believe that all these are actually real and factual just without any verification uh it says own your feelings um when something bothers you about somebody else it’s good to remember that it is bothering you the other person may not even be aware of your feelings let alone be prepared to change because of them good point uh look within check your ego meditate we’ll always say meditate we got an episode on that remember change is imminent the universe is always changing always happening and as such everything has its moment to be you also can change from one moment to the next this dynamism can be seen as a blessing when cultivating tolerance uh use your power keep perspective and practice patience which it also doesn’t help you tell you how to do it

um apparently there’s a secret to being an exceptionally tolerant person and one of the things that stood out to me about this idea of being tolerated is not a fun experience on the other side of it like we talk a lot about tolerance and tolerating people and yet the experience of being tolerated is actually pretty shitty it makes you feel pretty awful about yourself um so going back to this idea that we kind of raised when we first started trying to Define tolerance that like being tolerant is not about putting up with people right it’s about entering every interaction with an open-hearted mind it’s a whole different concept it’s much bigger it’s more like unconditional love which does bring me back to this idea of like do we even have different spiritual principles are they all just really versions of this one thing we’re practicing this this open Spirit of lovingness and compassion and empathy towards people like is that really the only spiritual principle that is real yeah I think that definitely starting at the uncle again my understanding of unconditional love is more in line with that like I’m approaching the world with an open mind and an open heart and I started a place of love and then I build out these specific skills needed you know in different situations tolerance being one where people have things that I don’t agree with or maybe even ideas that I find offensive and how do I want to deal with those things I think this is what it is I think this is what I’m seeing as the the disconnect from me I think these were ideas that before we had a real understanding of what was going on for people which in my mind we do now maybe we don’t but in my mind we do in my mind the research says people are hurt they get behaviors modeled for them and then they turn out that way like that’s just how the [  ] it works right and again that’s not like [  ] verified information that’s what I believe but I think spiritual principles like you said you like start with this unconditional love idea and build out to these specific skill sets to me that sounds like how you would design a program to solve our problem of acting on Character defects if you didn’t understand that all the acting on Character defects came from a place of being hurt when you were younger like if you didn’t understand Character defects to actually be coping skills covering up ways you are still in pain then yes you would design this program of like well let’s attack these skills by putting the Opposites in their place that’ll just fix everything right but when you kind of start to understand that there’s actually pain underneath of it well the solution then just becomes healing the pain and then unconditional love is the only one you need because when you have that Spirit you don’t actually need minor skill sets to handle each individual thing you just come with the right Spirit yeah that’s trying to go back a long way but I think I don’t know that I connected those dots in that way but I sort of was given the message that my Character defects were my coping skills for life in a basic gist of my first round through the steps I don’t know that I connected it back to trauma and you know that was conditioned from my childhood I don’t know that I made that connection but I did have someone explain to me like these these Character defects are your coping mechanisms for life that don’t [  ] work by the way so uh yeah we should do the quiz I like the quiz I do want to thank you guys for having uh I really feel the grace of everyone’s tolerance today so thank you for tolerating we don’t have to do the question if you want to keep talking I want to do a quiz okay okay quiz it’s nine questions I’ll send you the link so you can put it in the show notes all right folks you have suggested an initiative at work but no one has signed up for it you a wish you hadn’t mentioned anything because some people are choosing not to speak to you B organize a meeting so that you can explain to everyone what your attentions are C Let It Go people are too self-absorbed to take any notices or D talk to people individually to persuade them and succeed in getting all the signatures you need what about e withdrawal and hate everybody and assume they all hate me or I was gonna say e withdrawal and then talk about all those people behind their back that’s included in a different workplace what was C again then see Let It Go people are too self-absorbed to take any notice no no no no no I’m definitely not letting it go I’m e I’m like completely in my lower nervous system disconnected withdrawn not answering text messages like [  ] all those people they don’t like me yeah but that I mean c is it’s Let It Go but not from a healthy place it’s like Let It Go because these people are oh let the action go yeah yeah like you’re dropping the initiative and you have a resentment yeah oh that’s me that’s totally I’m going with D um yeah I would say probably d d two that’s my manipulative self I’ll get what I need so I don’t even know how to rate this who are we going to go with we don’t have really consensus I guess that all three were D yeah yeah go with the consensus okay all right next question but that does explain why y’all don’t understand me very deeply but nobody else would just go home and cry and say [ __ ] other people I think I understand I think I follow you sorry I didn’t pipe up but I’m just taking it um all right two you are queuing up to see a film this is I think this issue yeah you are queuing up to see a film when your friend criticizes Woody Allen you love him uh you love his films you a find their remarks very interesting and start to see the director in a new light B listen carefully before giving your point of view C let them have their say but secretly wish you could give them a Slap D get get in a temper and leave none of those I’m not going to listen very carefully and I’m going to give my point of view I mean this is a really tough one because Woody Allen is not the most well uh liked person he’s controversial what do you think Billy I’m gonna go to immediately I went to like oh art stuff is so way over my head I usually don’t have any opinions about art stuff because I’m an idiot when it comes to interpretations of art I’m listening I’m listening I’m a listener you’re a listener you’re not an idiot yeah I listen um I know what my strong suits are interpreting art like I look at a picture you know a weird looking piece of fruit I’m like it looks like my seven-year-old did that and messed it up like I probably am not I’m gonna cut them off like I just know myself so okay I don’t know I think I would probably listen to their I would probably get persuade because I tend to forget that Woody Allen slept with his stepdaughter and married her I don’t know I mean Woody Allen’s sleptaughter also slept with her stepfather we don’t say that portion of it just saying well she was she a child when this started though oh okay never mind I completely withdrawal

ignore all the facts yeah my bad yeah he’s a douche all right um I’m not slapping anymore those people were b b okay thanks I thought a was listen father marks and see the director in a new light it was getting Careful by their opinions ah I mean I’m open to it like if if I don’t know like like just now I didn’t know she was 14 right I’m open to y’all giving me new information and being like oh wait a minute my [ __ ] opinion is wrong never mind so I I’m I’m an a I think not that I’m definitely going to be persuaded but I’m open to what they’re saying this is you you listen carefully and you see okay you find them remarks interesting and start to see them in a new light okay go would be then see them in a new light doesn’t mean you’re buying it right you might be like oh God this person is stuck why have I been seeing movies with them I gotta get out of this queue

all right number three your partner wants to go on holiday to Iceland but you want to go to Morocco how do you resolve this a decide that Iceland’s a great idea after all B discuss it each of you describing what you’d like to do C debated at length trying to put your point of view across D decide to go to Morocco whether your partner is in agreement with you or not e put that [  ] in the randomizer [Laughter] I would be B I’m a b discuss it all right you know what though admittedly though I can probably see try to persuade like I want to say I’m a b but I probably would be say oh we got two C’s I’m probably gonna try to persuade while I discuss it yeah I mean I can I can discuss it yeah yeah all right see it is I don’t even think but like traveling I’m like I’ll [  ] go anywhere especially places

I could too honestly I don’t really care that much what is tolerance oh my a is it holding out your hand to others be is it the ability to listen see an Open Door or D is it taking a firm line B I don’t think any of those are mutually exclusive no I could definitely take a firm line and still listen and be open that’s a shitty question I was going to pick one I would say B now for me I was going to go with the ability to listen go with that one I like a I wouldn’t have come up with a on my own but I like it maybe my instinct probably would have been more B B it is it’s one in the morning and a noisy party is still going on next door you a keep quiet about it for the sake of peace B go join them C go and remind them what time it is D circulate a petition to the whole block of flats to get the noisy neighbors evicted the police yeah I would tolerate it for a little bit we have that periodically and usually I’m like all right I’ll give a reasonable amount of time oh if it’s like after 10 I’m calling the cops what do they call the police in the in Britain don’t they have a name the pad I don’t know I thought they had a special name police oh that might be it yeah anyway there’s sirens sound different God what was A and B I know a was keep quiet about it for the sake of Peace B go join them which is what I thought Jason would say hey keep quiet about it for the sake a piece and that is what I do my neighbors still partying yeah and they wake me up and I’m like uh [  ] but then is that because you know they would know it was you no I think I’m really stuck in a place I know my neighbors are sick people and I’m just like well this is how they are I used to be the same way I kind of go that way yeah well we had to deal with that a lot while we were doing like the campground stuff and usually I would tolerate it and then if there were people that I saw I would go talk to them when they were not drunk you know and be like hey you guys are up too late being too loud I got kids can you keep that [  ] down yeah peace though like so you know I’m just like but is it peace I mean how do you know your kids aren’t highly disturbed by being woken up by that regularly I don’t know and how do you know they’re not taking that to mean oh this is just acceptable and we should tolerate the rest of our lives too now I did go over so one of their guests ran over we something in our like you’re gonna say like your cat or something an inanimate object and like one of their guests were intoxicated and ran over a piece of our property like and I went over I was like yo I was like we’re cool you know but when this happens we’re not cool and he’s like I’m really sorry Miss Jenny you know like so I kind of I don’t know scared them for the next couple months I guess what happens again does does Buddhism talk any bit about the idea that when you don’t do what’s best for you in that situation how it cultivates uh negative feeling towards the person because you’re not actually addressing the pieces that they’re bothering I’m sure somewhere in there you could catch a little story to imagine right right Dave’s probably got one better about a fig leaf or something yeah like I think the Buddhist recovery Community does want you to stick around for yourself yeah I just start thinking of that idea like I just personally believe we should always be doing what’s best for us and that will turn into what’s best for everybody at some point right so like maybe what’s best for you is calling the cops and maybe what’s best for them is getting in trouble with the law to find treatment I don’t know like I’m not saying it is for sure but I well here’s also my experience for the police in Cecil county is you call them and they’re going to come maybe in the morning two hours drive by and like I mean my neighbors have had the cops called on them so many times so I know that’s not an effective solution so it’s not even on the table um so yeah it’s keeping the piece it’s almost it’s political it’s like all right so I could piss them off now I’m not really worried about them retaliating you know but um I just don’t think it’ll do any good my solution to this was just to buy a [ __ ] ton of property so that I would move no one’s parties bother me at all anymore quiz quiz all right so what are we doing we’re going to keep quiet about it we’re going to find them what time it is no we’re all keeping quiet I think that’s what everybody says okay mostly I don’t know what I would say honestly whatever A1 we call the cops I know that 100 properties

I did call the cops it depends one night maybe not but if it’s a regular happening yeah if it’s a regular happening yeah but if it’s once you know every couple weeks or no no that’s regular I mean once like literally wrong they get a freebie for me and then that’s it all right so you’re on a friend and it’s clear they are feeling depressed for no particular reason you a you say you feel sorry for them but offered to ring them back for a chat about it another time V right offered to go over for a chat C go over with a comedy to watch D take them to a party to cheer them up I’m C I’ll probably bring a comedy come over and try to cheer him up I mean it wouldn’t be party of course in recovery Circle I think meeting so I would say probably D was a d was take them to a party I’d probably take him to a meeting or just get together hey you want to go get something to eat or you want to go hit a meeting or you want to you know get out like to me getting out man you sound depressed buddy why don’t you come out to this whoopee party and we’ll talk about our wives I’m sure that’s the core of your problem anyway wait Whoopi parties are not about pie I’m doing some version of of B personally I it might not be go to their house it might be pick them up and get coffee it might be them come to me but there’s some version of me trying to talk to them yeah probably it’s offering a distraction like a comedy less than I just I think we should just laugh I guess to me that’s like dismissing of their feelings it’s the spiritual bypassing yeah yeah okay Jenny got a f for that one Caroline we need a buzzer all right whoops two in a row for me that intolerance [Laughter] all right we’re up to seven you’re Broad and a local family invites you to share their meal it’s on a communal plate and you all use your fingers you a have a little bit to eat just to make them happy B are pleased to be participating in a local way of life see Hope they’ve all washed their hands before eating D are glad that you don’t have to eat like that every day see I’m C also that doesn’t even take into consideration whether I can eat this local fair somewhere else in the world as a selective eater that’s kind of important sorry I need to know this information I’m assuming I can eat it I’m all in yeah where’s the option that’s like you don’t eat because that’s disgusting you you were with them an hour before you know they didn’t wash their hands yeah yeah it depends on what it is this quiz is assuming where people Pleasers already like all the options are you’re going to please these people yeah what’s the way you’re going to do it that’s interesting I might not eat it I’m definitely eating it if I can eat it I mean I would probably take from the part that like no one else had touched yet I am literally bending over the table and taking the food off the tray with my mouth [  ] it let’s do this let’s all just bury our heads in this place no it just doesn’t bother me my hands aren’t that clean I don’t give a [  ] yeah I’m probably B or C but you wouldn’t touch it Billy uh I mean it depends on what we were doing like if it’s at like a fair or something that’s one thing but if we just all went like horseback riding or like we’re at a farm or some [  ] where I’m like dude this is gross I get a little bit immediately involved animals because that’s I think that’s Billy’s like remember when we got drunk around horses remember when we used the horses uh you know stuff all right next question one of your friends is pregnant but continues to have the odd cigarette you a don’t want to upset her so you steer clear of the subject B suggest trying relaxation techniques instead C put together some information for her on the dangers of of the dangers for the fetus of smoking during pregnancy D find her behavior so unacceptable that you don’t feel you can see her anymore all right here’s my fail here’s my fail here’s my urn okay I see a person that was pregnant uh the the baby’s here at this point but they they smoked during their pregnancy lightly and yet they made the comment in session like you know I have my cigarette here and there but that’s not bad for him and I totally let it go I didn’t [  ] challenge it or nothing and that is so unlike me and I knew it and I was like oh but you were in your professional role it’s not your job to manage totally my job is it okay absolutely I mean how can I see something in somebody’s life that I know is unhealthy and not give him at least the factual information about it like that’s a disservice I’ll name any names I was married to someone who smoked during their pregnancies

I would assume I would assume that the person already knows and is struggling with it and probably doesn’t need me to flash it up in their face if they brought it up I would probably do the relaxation suggestions yeah I wouldn’t bring options I mean I can tell you exactly what I did was made my argument got pissed off about it and then let it go that was your baby though so that’s a different I have a funny story I’m glad I didn’t have to be the one to stopped smoking because I don’t think I could that’s all I’m saying I fortunately I quit um so it wasn’t an issue so back when I was a drinker I went to the uh one of the local bars and the bartender was pregnant and then her there was a big chalkboard and all the regular patrons were it was like a fundraiser like you pay a dollar to guess the weight and so they had like whatever like five through ten with all the ounces there too and you’d sign up for a name pay a dollar and then the dollar went to like her baby shower fund or something like that well she’s smoking she’s a bartender this is I guess she was smoking in the bar could we still smoke in bars then um and I was just laughing at all the low birth weight

wow tickets for the low birth weight wow let me guesses like Jesus and look that’s our society though we’ll all know and nobody says nothing um right yeah and that’s I mean little though because I feel it oh she was full on pregnant no no no I mean like was she a big woman or a little woman she is on the taller side yeah okay but actually I might not even remember closely like I might have restructured it in my head because it’s so funny to all the low weight votes anyway Jenny just picked a low birth weight with her entry oh I didn’t even play I was like I I it kind of it’s super judgy but it kind of disgusts me like I mean lucky me I quit smoking before I had you know my babies but well that was just made me depressed is that the ninth question one more um hopefully it’s happier okay can we not talk about rainbows and unicorns at the end you take rainbows and unicorns to Disneyland for a day how do you tolerate it this is an interesting one of the following what is the most important thing in life knowing how to be conciliatory conciliatory God I have to look that word up respect knowing when to trust people or having a strong character what is the most important thing in life having a strong character to get along with people okay intended or likely to placate or pacify oh that’s a little different than getting along yeah that was what knowing how to placate respect knowing when to trust people having a strong character respect I’m gonna go with respect as well really I don’t even think it respects a real word well I mean like in that context and it’s not a placating respect it’s about like I see you I see you I see you you know we’re all in advance that kind of respect right like you have a right to exist and have an opinion I have a right to exist and have opinion you know is that what respect means when this context out of those four words that I get to pick from you the other one that’s the way I’m interpreting it there C Is Knowing When to trust people I kind of like that and D is having a strong character I kind of like that but what I think of when I think of strong character isn’t like somebody who’s loud and takes over the room it’s Integrity it’s somebody who like knows who they are and does that regularly like they’re they’re consistent they show up the same pretty much all the time I put that on me I don’t necessarily put that on other people what is the most important thing in life yeah I mean it doesn’t say in your life it just says in life so yeah and and some of these definitions work for me of respect even though I don’t think the idea is real but do regard for the feelings wishes rights or traditions of others I like that feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities qualities or achievements I don’t like that yeah I don’t like that one should not be about their abilities qualities or achievements just be okay I’ll agree a consent I’ll tolerate you guys long episode yeah anyway yeah your your result you’re a good listener you listen to others without judging them excellent well this is your level you know like this is what they’re I’m not going to read you the whole page what if I can tolerate things more when I hear them than I can visually like what if I have a hard time tolerating visual disturbances in my environment but not audio disturbances I wonder if that relates to how you learn I feel like mine is actually the opposite I feel like I struggle with audio disturbances in my environment whereas video disturbances are like people moving doesn’t bother me as much it still bothers me though sometimes when I listen to like Dharma talks I have to shut my eyes because I just want to listen because I can’t have too much visual distraction sometimes when my kids are talking to me I can’t think it’s like too many [  ] words or something my brain well that’s sort of what I thought with tolerance is sometimes I hear stuff in the moment like I have to like almost walk away from a conversation or be separated from something to like the next day to sort of fully like process yeah like process and make sense of it especially when I’m like talking with the wife or the kids and there’s a lot of emotion involved when I can step back out of some of the emotion and like all right let’s think about what she was actually saying without all the emotion attached to it it allows me to to be more tolerant without the nervous system activation yeah all right that’s it anybody got anything else yes I do so one thing that so um one thing that helped me with tolerance um besides trying to practice tolerance which I don’t know um that that necessarily helps so much yeah so which would say doesn’t work one thing that inadvertently helped me with to to build tolerance for other people was was my sixth stop I thought you were going to talk about the memes no the memes I thought that audio versus visual reference was in relation to my not tolerating the meme but tolerating the the the audio comments no I was literally thinking of like sitting in my household environment and what activates my nervous system the most and I feel like there is a different level of activation like I can do with movement better than lots of noise TV up too loud freaks me the [  ] out just like I’m like we I neither need to leave this room or we got to turn that yeah I don’t like that do you think there’s any relation to how you learn are you an audio learner visual learner do you think it’s any relation to that I I don’t know if it’s any relation to that I think it’s in relation to like what I saw in my house like the audio cues were the things that were disturbing and scary right there wasn’t a lot of like that always happened first the visual stuff was was later down the line you saw that coming by then but the audio one signaled oh [  ] there’s been a shift in this house and I better get my [  ] together and be on point is it just not the though that like when it’s something visual you can move your eyes away from it but when it’s audio it’s much harder to get away from it um I’m I’m not sure but I will say that like the peripheral like my my son is a [  ] bouncy little guy and the peripheral still like I mean I guess it’s easier to close your eyes than it is to try to close your ears but yeah I don’t know I do think the audio just gets me more it’s like instantly activated have you seen those they have those like earbuds now for people who are over stimulated by have you no I haven’t but I was also thinking the other day that I need [  ] like it’s become a very real thing ADHD thing I need hearing aids I don’t know that might be the opposite worse I see somebody with hearing aids and I’m like I don’t hear real well either and I never get this checked out but you already have an issue with noise

is there a way to like amplify the noise I want anyway uh what was your point of your statement here I was just saying that oh yes yes no the sixth step I would think was super valuable even though I didn’t have the ability to fully conceptualize the practice of it because I hadn’t done the healing yet I do think just being aware of all the places where I do make mistakes or I’m human that I couldn’t see before because my defense mechanism for that was to cover it up right it was to blame the people around me for why things went wrong that was the only way I knew how to survive and so seeing that I also screwed up quite frequently did make me feel a little more compassionate for other people yeah and to me the tolerance now comes from just like the idea of you know information I might have said to sponsees early on realizing how what terrible information that was what makes me think that the information I’m giving right now isn’t equally as [ __ ] terrible because there’s information that I don’t have or things that I don’t know or a perspective that I haven’t thought of I could be as equally giving bad information now and thinking that I’m so much smarter whoa that it just gives me the ability to not have to be right all the time or feel like it’s my job to fix the world and the opposite end of that Spectrum I think for me one of my I don’t want to say it’s a fear but one of the things that comes into my mind is that if I believe that there’s something better way that we can help people coming into recovery that I can’t can sit around and just be tolerant that we hold on to these old beliefs or programs or ideals that haven’t changed and I don’t I feel like might be actively keeping us from finding the help we need right so for me to to just tolerate that and think that is not healthy for me so I got to know my Line in the Sand of like where is the place where I need to stop tolerating things and I need to speak up for them because they seem wrong or not okay to me and and I think that’s a thing we need to ask ourselves when we’re talking about tolerance is this even a place I should have it or is this a place where I need to make a stand yeah or looking for opportunities where we can express our ideas and opinions openly right right so thank you all for the ability to do that here yes I love it this has helped me tremendously here before we go this is our first episode all four of us too is it yeah hooray for us yeah and we all tolerated each other all right go out there and practice we did no we did tolerance The Way We Believe tolerance exists which is entering every interaction with an open heart and open mind all right go out there and practice that version of Tolerance with the people around you see you next week [Music] [Applause] [Music]

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