For many years, I’ve been talking to people about the concept of radical acceptance.
Here’s Google’s definition of radical acceptance (attributed to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy):
Letting go of fighting reality. Accept your situation for what it is.
While that may sound simple, many people find radical acceptance challenging to understand, much less practice.
Here are some more attempts from me, to get at radical acceptance:
It’s acknowledging where you are, and being as aware as you can be about that.
It doesn’t mean approving or otherwise shifting how you feel about where you are.
And it has nothing to do with staying there, either.
Radical acceptance is allowing yourself to be as completely balanced and connected to where you are in this moment, no matter what the next moment will bring. (And the next moment will bring some sort of change, even if that change is imperceptible.)
I love talking — and writing — to people about radical acceptance, because I think it’s helpful and important.
One thing I’m realizing, in this moment, is this: When I think of radical acceptance, I usually think of accepting difficult things — those situations that cause pain, fear, and suffering.
However, I’m aware of a different kind of radical acceptance, right now.
Radical acceptance of love, which can be challenging to understand, much less practice.
It’s immediately obvious to me why it takes work to accept painful situations. I wonder why love and other good things might be difficult, at times, to accept, too.
I do find it easy to accept those things that inspire love in my own heart, including natural beauty,
No matter where those things show up, I usually notice them.
However, I often do not notice the love that is out there, coming back at me.
Sometimes, that love is more obvious. Sometimes, like this week, it’s difficult to discount or ignore.
Radical acceptance. I’m working on it, in all ways.
Thanks to Marsha Linehan, Monument Valley, Capybara Madness, my parents, Street Pianos, Luke Jerram, radical accepters everywhere, and to you, for reading today.