“I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.”
Charles Dickens. Great Expectations.
Expectations are the breakers of happiness, the destroyers of relationships, the wreckers of lives and the minions of discontent.
Nothing takes the jam out of the donut of life more expertly than unmet expectations.
I expect my children to excel and behave at school, I expect my body to look the way it did when I was 25, I expect all members to achieve the results they want. I expect, I expect I expect. I expect my life to turn out the way I expected it to.
Expectation is a potent poison, yet this alluring but dangerous elixir can be counteracted by an even stronger antidote. Acceptance.
I accept my children for whatever they achieve, I accept my body the way it is, I accept some of our members achieve results and others will not. I accept. I accept. I accept. I accept my life turns out the way it has, and what a wonderful life it is.
Accept as is, don’t expect another way. Enjoy what is.
Few truths align with logic, emotion and spirit as perfectly.
Yet, and yet.
For most of my life I have been too scared to ‘accept’ – despite my soul crying out for it to be so. Too fearful that acceptance will stand if front of me and slay my ambition and halt all progress.
I still fear this.
Yet, and yet.
In my soul I know acceptance to be the path that leads away from the darkness and into the light.
I see two paths in front of me. Perhaps you see them too. One path leads to my expectations. It is dark, it is lonely, it is dangerous. Yet at the end of it I see expectations fulfilled. I know when I reach them, they won’t be enough, but like a lemming blindly following its companions to the edge of the cliff and beyond, I am biologically compelled to journey on.
The other path leads to acceptance. I know not what sits at the end of this path, but it is bright, it is warm and it is safe.
And then it strikes me.
“Eureka!” He cried.
Why can something be so obvious, yet so overlooked.
I can walk the path of acceptance, continuing to strive for the better world. For in the experience of striving towards a better future we can take the greatest satisfaction.
The journey my friend, maketh the life. The destination is just the view.
Accept the destination, expect the journey.
What journey are you going on today?