Food for Thought: What does Radical Acceptance Mean?

Perhaps the answer is radical acceptance…

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to suffer a lot while others seem to bounce back? Those who bounce back always seem so much stronger for it. Have you ever thought about it? How does that come about? What makes that happen? How can suffering make you stronger?

Radical Acceptance
Source: Dominic Melton via Flickr

Think about it for a minute. Is there a problem in your life that is causing pain and suffering? How are you responding to that problem? What is going through your mind?

Do you solve the problem? Do you change your views or how you feel? Are you just miserable? Or do you accept it?

Think about that last question for a minute. What does accepting a problem mean for you? What are your options when you really look at it?

Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance means you choose to accept the reality for what it is right now. It does not mean you have to like your reality, it does not mean your reality cannot change, it also does not mean you are stuck or giving up. It simply means that this is how things are right now and instead of fighting it and wasting energy you’re going to accept it, live with it, and move on with the rest of your life.

Radical acceptance is a way to achieve inner peace and balance. It comes from within you. It frees you from a negative perspective and allows you to move forward, maybe even become stronger for it. When you’ve accepted something it gives you a sense of letting go. Moreover, you are no longer burdened by the struggle or problem. Inside of you, yourself, you feel centered.

Radical Acceptance
Source: Gabriele Diwald via Flickr

Processing Grief

This moment can be bittersweet because, while it is freeing it may also be sad that you cannot change things. It’s a process of grief that is very natural since you are experiencing a type of loss. However, this type of loss is for the better. It relieves you of pain, agony, emotional energy and suffering. Radical acceptance is a way to turn extreme pain into just normal, ordinary pain. It puts you back in control and in power. You can choose to overcome the suffering instead of letting it destroy you.

There are three steps to radical acceptance:

  1. Accept your Reality
  2. Accept the Event or Situation
  3. Accept that Moving Forward Despite the Pain is Worth it

Despite the sadness, when you’ve radically accepted something, then you are well enough to move on with your life and become stronger for it.

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