Acceptance of what is is a wisdom which most of us have difficulties to swallow. Desires are built on the assumption that the surrounding reality is not satisfactory. We become spellbound to constantly long after our objects of desire. In the best case, we become aware of the fantasies projected by desires. So, what if there is some grain of truth in the spiritual teachings of accepting what is?
When we don’t get what we want
Desires can have good and bad benefits in our lives. Their ultimate effect depends on how aware we are of our yearning.
The positive side of desires is that they give the dynamic touch to life. Desires are about improved lives.
We set goals based on the wishes of our hearts and we try hard to reach them. We are happy that the best time of our life is just around the corner.
The less positive side of being in a longing state of mind is that we get stuck with planning the future, which may be a hindrance to living in the present.
Not to mention that when things don’t turn out the way we want them to, the feeling of being a victim of life appears.
Spiritual teachers such as Nirmala and Eckhart Tolle argue that acceptance of what is, is the way to sustainable happiness. Yet, for some of us, this spiritual wisdom may be difficult to understand, let alone to practice it.
For example, someone may think, “What kind of nonsense is that, to accept that I can’t make as much money as I want?”
Why do I want so much what I want?
When things don’t turn out the way we want them to, it may help to go to the root of the problems and ask ourselves, “Why do I want to be rich?”
A general answer would be, “Money brings happiness”. The next question is to ask ourselves why we think we would be happy if we were rich.
We may afford a bigger house or a more expensive car.
We can buy a higher value health care insurance.
We can afford to travel more.
We may be better treated by others.
We would be more covered in case of any unknown event in the future.
We would be successful then.
All these answers are assumptions about a future time, which can’t be controlled by any human being, poor or rich.
Life has its own flow, which shapes our destinies in other ways than we can possibly imagine.
As hard as it sounds, try to silence the desires for a day or two
Instead of becoming obsessed with the discrepancy between the perceived reality and our desires, maybe one day we’ll be inspired to listen what life has to offer.
Based on that, take what we feel it is in alignment with our inner being and live today.
The first exercise of acceptance of what is
Have we accepted our origins? Can we honestly say that we love our parents and siblings the way they are? Despite their faults?
When the answer is yes, then we have the first sign of acceptance of what is. From this moment on, we start building enriching relationships with them.
Enriching interactions with family members require humbleness and awareness to what happens around us. And gratefulness for the upbringing that we received.
What do we get when we have learned acceptance?
Eventually, I believe it is less important to get what we want. What counts for sustainable happiness is to know how to be at ease with the present despite that we may not have what we want.
After all, how can we know that what we want is really good for us?
What kind of effects do desires have in your life? Please feel free to share with us in the field below allocated for comments.