stripping away expectations

"Even after all this time, the sun never says to the Earth, 'you owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky."
~Hafiz

I found myself in several conversations last week that left me pondering a question, "what would happen if we all stripped away the  "should have", "could have",  and "ought to  have" filters from our thoughts as we interact with others in our lives? If we were left to look at people exactly where they are, as who they are in any given moment, all personal expectations of them stripped. What would happen?

I'll tell you what I think, I think I'd be left to face myself. It would becomes a test of my own character. Why? Because the truth about me would surface as I face whether I accept this other person for who they are. Here is a truth- it doesn't matter if I understand them or their choices. Their passing a test of my understanding is not required to legitimate them, they're legitimate by their own right.
Then I'd be left to face the truth that it is not their responsibility to behave in the ways that I think they should, to make the choices I deem as appropriate, or to be who I think they ought to be.

Then I'm left with the opportunity to accept this person, to be present in their lives without judgement. I'm given the chance to love this person, without conditions. That is the only real love there is.