At risk of sounding cliche, life is a rollercoaster. Our journey is filled with twists, turns, ups, and downs and everything in between. We all get to experience the joy of triumph and the frustration of failure. We don’t get out of this life without challenges and facing moments of disappointment or loss. Today I want to introduce a concept that has been a transformative tool in my life—radical acceptance. Radical acceptance has enabled me to find stability in chaos and discover strength in being vulnerable.
What is Radical Acceptance?
The foundation of radical acceptance is acknowledging reality as it is—without judgement, reluctance, or denial. It’s falling into the present moment, even when it’s not what’s expected or wanted. Radical acceptance has roots in mindful based practices and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and reminds us to let go of our incessant need to control the uncontrollable.
There is Power in Letting Go
I’m going to be crystal clear here; acceptance DOES NOT mean approval or resignation to every dreadful and unwanted outcome. Rather, this tool empowers us to let go of the emotional baggage attached to things out of our control to change. When we learn to accept the current reality of the situation, we are creating space to grow and heal. We free ourselves from the inevitable funk attached to situations we cannot change. We are then free to control how we respond and our feelings toward external events.
Embrace Your Humanity and Find Peace
Friends, do not fall into the trap that society has set for us. Perfection and control are the greatest lies ever sold en masse throughout generations. Radical acceptance shows us the virtue of imperfection. There is freedom in being authentically you; embrace your flaws, messiness, and vulnerabilities. Your imperfections do not diminish your worth, instead, it’s what makes us magnificently human. It is in our imperfections where we uncover our resilience and strength.
Cultivate a Practice of Self-Compassion
Remember to practice self-compassion. There is nothing more self-sabotaging than reviewing your limitations and setbacks with self-criticism. Give yourself kindness, understanding that many of us are riding the struggle bus as well. Ask yourself, “what would I say to my best friend if they were in the same situation?” Pay that same kindness to yourself.
Putting Radical Acceptance to Use in Daily Life
Here are some tips to use radical acceptance to navigate daily challenges.
Mindfulness-Based Practices: Stay in the here-and-now by grounding yourself with deep breathing or meditation.
Let Go of Control: Recognize what you can and cannot control. Identify situations and outcomes that are beyond your control and consciously choose to let go.
Practice Gratitude: develop a practice of finding things in your life to be grateful for. When you shift your focus to what’s going right, you avoid dwelling on what’s going wrong.
Self-Compassion: Offer yourself kindness. As much as we want to buy into the myth of “tough love”, harsh judgement of yourself will not do you any favors. Treat yourself with patience and understanding, especially during hard times.
Embracing Radical Acceptance
Radical acceptance is not a magic bullet, nor is it a one and done tool. This blog is a simplistic breakdown of a complex yet useful practice that I have implemented in my life to manage anger. I sincerely hope you all take the time to cultivate in your own lives. If you are venturing into unknown territory, this will be a journey of self-discovery and, hopefully, inner peace. Fall in love with every part of who you are, your flaws tell your unique story. Choosing radical acceptance means acknowledging uncertainty and living more authentically, irrespective of the situation. Relinquish control of the things you cannot not control and no longer be a slave to unchecked emotions.