Zero tolerance policy

Try as I might, all too frequently I allow other people (as well as some events from the past) affect my emotions. It might make me "human," or whatever but damn is it toxic. Handing over my day-to-day wellbeing to outside sources gives others way too much power over my life and I'm putting an end to it. It's time to stop looking back and face fully forward. I've officially adopted a zero tolerance policy for all things negative. That which does not make me feel better, or become a better person, will be dropped so fast it'll make your head spin.

Just the other week, I spent an extended weekend with some of the best people I've ever met. I would, without a doubt, protect each and every one of them from anything that threatens to do them harm in any way. Seriously. They are my favorite humans and the world needs more people like them because they are small spots of pure, golden warmth in a world that often looks cold and gray. For the four days I was with them, I was happy. Really, purely happy. (Sleepy, but happy.) Through late nights, early calls, and long days of filming, I laughed and grew and felt good. Uncertainties were brushed aside and some thoughts I had fluttering around in my head finally calmed down. Things clicked. I was at peace with myself, with whom I was with, and with what I was doing. These feelings came from looking ahead at what could be instead of behind at what was.

The past has a way of dragging me down, big time. It weighs us all down when we dwell in it, and suddenly those old proverbs about "letting go" start to truly resonate. Because the idea of not letting (*insert your deal here*) affect us screams of newfound freedom. Who doesn't want to be free? When I surround myself with people who are good, and when I'm doing something that makes me feel my best self, all the small, petty drama of life falls away. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those people who say (with the best of intentions) that the only way you can find happiness/love/whatever you're looking for is if you can first find the happiness/love/whatever within yourself. It would be great if that were the case, but for some people, it's just not possible. I am, however, a firm believer that we should do as little damage to others as we can, with regards to our own baggage. Don't unload your problems onto someone else because they have their own problems to contend with and adding yours to their responsibilities only complicates matters. 

Everyone's shoulders are heavy with the luggage of the past that we're slowly trying to sort through, and we can only carry so much. But maybe we don't have to carry it all ourselves, all of the time. Maybe we can offer to help. When we're strong and doing well and notice someone struggling, maybe we can offer a hand, or an open embrace. Even listening to others -- really listening to them speak and not impatiently waiting for them to be done so you can jump in with your own struggles, like some kind of weird "who has it worse" competition -- makes a world of difference. Don't allow people who won't reach out to help stay in your life; even more, don't allow those who only ask for help without reciprocation to stay in your life. You're tired, too. Don't devalue your exhaustion.

We can find healing in others, as long as we don't grow a dependency. We can fix ourselves by fixing one another. Isn't that what love and friendship is all about?

Be kind, be gentle, and don't let the past decide how happy you will be today. Unapologetically cut those negative people out of your life; they are not worth the energy and you deserve better. Go get better and love those who are worth it.

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