Quite often in life, the things we want to do and the things we must do will be in conflict with one another.
If we are upset about this conflict, if we resist it and fight back against it, it will not change the things that we must do.
We still must do them.
It will only make us less happy in the process.
Our unhappiness will, in turn, make the people around us less happy as well.
This will inevitably cause us to be in conflict with people who we otherwise may not have been.
If, on the other hand, we accept that the conflict between our desires and our responsibilities is actually inside of us, that it is a conflict between our us and reality not between us and the people around us, we give ourselves the opportunity to adjust our perceptions, our expectations, and attitudes to meet reality as it is instead of how we wish it to be.
This does not mean that we should not have desires, that we should stop hoping or wishing for things to be other than they are.
Rather, it means that change begins by first accepting and addressing what is.
Inner conflict only slows us down.
It creates friction inside us and around us that makes our lives and everyone else’s more difficult.
We are much more likely to create the change we desire in the world by starting from a place of inner peace instead of inner conflict.
No one else can create this place for us.
We must seek diligently and unrelentingly seek it within ourselves until we have ceased fighting anyone or anything, especially ourselves.
From this place of internal non-violence, we can then face ourselves and the world with compassion, graciousness, and gratitude for all of the opportunities for growth we are given from moment to moment and day to day.