“Peace begins when expectation ends” – Sri Chinmoy, author, poet, artist, spiritual teacher
Sometimes I have long philosophical conversations with my mother. We talk about the nature of love and she often challenges my perspective. I’ve had similar conversations with other people debating the notion that love and acceptance mean giving people a license to walk all over you.
This is not what acceptance means.
Acceptance is how we free our mind. Through acceptance we find liberation. We are not captive to the past, to the future, or to anything that anyone has done. We free ourselves from all emotional shackles. That is acceptance.
From that place of freedom we find remarkable clarity.
Acceptance is the bedrock of inner strength. Whether it’s a challenging business predicament or a personal conflict, we can examine our expectations and accept the situation exactly as it is. From this position of clarity, we are free to engage fully in the constructive pursuit of change.
We spend so much of our energy caught up in expectations. We expect things from others, we expect things from ourselves. Frustration is a product of expectations not being met. It stems from our desire for things to be different than the way they are. We become emotionally bound by our circumstances. When we respond from this state, we do so from a position of weakness because we’re not operating at our full capacity.
I’m not saying it’s easy. Acceptance can feel impossible and downright unjust at times. But acceptance isn’t an ethical judgement. It’s the internal process of reclaiming our identity. When we don’t accept a situation, it owns us. Our energy is consumed by an external factor outside of our control.
Liberation happens when we identify the underlying expectation in each moment. Why does it exist and why is it not being met? Love offers the recognition that our energy and peace of mind are far more important than any external circumstance. It is through acceptance that we find the fruition of our full potential as human beings. The hardest part might be accepting ourselves.