January 21, 2021
Have you heard of radical acceptance? Maybe by your therapist or perhaps on social media? With radical acceptance, I overcame and heal from self-defeating thoughts, hurt, toxic relationships, anxiety, and depression.
Radical acceptance is when you stop fighting reality, stop responding with impulsive or destructive behaviors when things aren’t going the way you want them to, and let go of the bitterness that may be keeping you trapped in a cycle of suffering. We have all have thoughts on our past, present, and future, how we feel, our intentions, and how we would like others to act to and around us.
To truly accept reality, we must understand the past and present facts, even if they may be uncomfortable or undesirable. By examining the cause of events or situations that cause pain, we can be better equipped to move forward with a life worth living even when pain may arise. Once individuals can accept reality while simultaneously not approving of it is when change can be made.
Acceptance does not mean approval. We can still dislike, feel uncomfortable, uneasy, not approve of our reality, AND accept our reality. By choosing to accept the things that are out of our control radically, we prevent ourselves from becoming stuck in unhappiness, bitterness, anger, and sadness, and we can stop suffering.
Pain is part of life; radical acceptance allows us to keep that pain from becoming suffering. This does not mean we roll over and become helpless; instead, we acknowledge that denying the facts of reality will not change the facts but keeps us stuck in thoughts such as “this is unfair,” “why me?” and “why now?”.
Radical acceptance sounds like….“OK, this exists. This is happening or happened. How do I want to handle it?”
Practicing radical acceptance leads the way to problem-solving.
Radical acceptance takes lots of practice. And understandably, it might feel strange and challenging. As the old saying goes, nothing worth it was easy.
Here are the ten steps to practicing Radical Acceptance, according to DBT’s founder, Marsha Linehan:
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