If you ask those who know me well, “accepting,” is not likely a word that will make it into the conversation. Just ask my parents, who while I was growing up (and probably still to this day), might describe me as stubborn. So why am I the person speaking on the topic of Radical Acceptance? Well let me tell you a little secret…Radical Acceptance, by no means, insinuates that I like what I must accept. It is not passive, and it is not approval.
I, like many, have spent portions of my life feeling angry, resentful, and stuck in my unwilling to move past perceived injustices—because, “dang it, it’s just not fair, and I will remain fussy until God, karma, or the Universe makes it right!” For me, not merely acceptance, but Radical Acceptance, has been my liberator.
Whatever the painful or frustrating reality may be—chronic pain, difficult relationships with family, abuse, or addiction—until we accept what is, we cannot create change in our lives. Wanting my life, relationships, or circumstances to be what they are not, has created more suffering than change. The term ‘radical’, in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) means “all the way, complete, and total. Not until I stopped dragging my feet and fully accepted my life as it is, was I able to find freedom, peace, and even joy, in a life in which I want things I do not have and I feel things I do not want to feel.
My hope for you all is that you can find the same!