Begin with acceptance; then follow your heart.
Acceptance is a beginning, a point of departure, as well as the culmination of Heartfulness.
Imagine that you are a refugee fleeing your homeland with no more than what you can carry with you. What will give you the strength to carry on? There is nowhere else to begin than with acceptance of where we are right now. We begin by seeing ourselves and our circumstances accurately, seeing things as they actually are in the present. With conscious consent to what is at this moment we can know that this is the center of true beginning where infinite divine Mercy meets our finite self.
If we see that we have been running through a maze of distractions and desires and have not been content at all, then this is still where we begin. Contentment, acceptance, is possible from the moment we wake up from that maze of manufactured desires and distractions; in that moment we may find that contentment begins with consent to our own being in this moment. Because what we truly are is sourced in an Infinite Source, sustained and embraced by the Source of Life, we can sense at least the possibility of desirelessness, contentment, consent to the moment.
57: (20) KNOW that the life of this world is but a play and a passing delight, and a beautiful show, and [the cause of] your boastful vying with one another, and [of your] greed for more and more riches and children. Its parable is that of [life-giving] rain: the herbage which it causes to grow delights the tillers of the soil; but then it withers, and you can see it turn yellow; and in the end it crumbles into dust…
89: (27) [But unto the righteous God will say,] “O you human being that hast attained to inner peace! (28) Return unto your Sustainer, well-pleased [and] pleasing [to Him]: (29) enter, then, together with My servants – (30) yes, enter My paradise!”
We should ask ourselves, then: Have we given the world and its attractions undue importance? And if our desires lead us into injustice, corruption, dishonesty, and cruelty there will be an accounting. This ayat continues:
…But [the abiding truth of man’s condition will become fully apparent] in the life to come: a great chastisement, and God’s forgiveness, and His goodly acceptance: for the life of this world is nothing but an enjoyment of self-delusion.
And for those who give consent in this life and reach contentment:
98: (8) Their reward is with God: gardens of perpetual bliss, through which running waters flow, therein to abide beyond the count of time; well-pleased is God with them, and well-pleased are they with Him: all this awaits the one who stands in awe of his Sustainer!
This divine love is longing to be known, to be experienced, to be recognized. This is the whole purpose of life on earth, that the human being will rise to the purpose for which it was created, that the divine beauty and generosity will be apprehended, that we will recognize that we are being guided, nurtured, supported, and loved.
Whether amidst the harshest realities of this life, or amidst the surfeit of abundance that distracts us from our own being, rida, consent, opens us to the same state of heart-full presence.