Radical AcceptanceEverything is as it should be.
Everything is as it is.
o Freedom from suffering requires ACCEPTANCE from deep within of what is.
Let yourself go completely with what is.
Let go of FIGHTING REALITY.
o ACCEPTANCE is the only way out of hell.
o Pain creates suffering only when you refuse to ACCEPT the pain.
o Deciding to tolerate (endure) the moment is ACCEPTANCE.
o ACCEPTANCE is acknowledging what is.
o To ACCEPT something is not the same as judging that it is good, or approving of it.
o ACCEPTANCE is turning my suffering into pain that I can endure.
Four Options for Painful Problems
- Solve the problem
- Change how you feel
- Accept it
- Stay Miserable
Serenity PrayerGod grant me the Serenity to ACCEPT the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Turning the Mindo Acceptance of reality as it is requires an act of CHOICE. It is like coming to a fork in the road. You have to turn your mind towards the acceptance road and away from the “rejecting reality” (“I don’t have to put up with this!”) road.
o You have to make an inner COMMITMENT to accept. The COMMITMENT to accept does not itself equal acceptance. It just turns you toward the path. But it is the first step.
o You have to turn your mind and commit to acceptance OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. Sometimes, you have to make the commitment many times in the space of a few minutes.
How to Practice “Radical Acceptance”“The curious paradox is when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” – Carl Rogers
In Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), the word “dialectic” refers to balancing and comparing two things that seem to be quite different – even contradictory. In DBT, this balance is between change and acceptance. For many people, there is a tendency to engage in behaviors that are self-sabotaging or causing unnecessary suffering. There is a clear need to change destructive or maladaptive behaviors while simultaneously working towards radical acceptance of yourself just the way you are.
It can be very difficult for many people to truly and completely – “radically” – accept themselves when they strongly dislike certain ways that they are behaving or otherwise living their lives. Radical acceptance is the key toward ultimately making lasting changes in your life. Radical acceptance requires that you look upon yourself, others, and the world in an entirely new way. You must be willing to let go of your ideas about how you “should be” and simply accept the way that you are… in this present moment. When you radically accept something, you are completely releasing judgment of it and avoiding any attempts to fight against or change it.
For example, if you were to radically accept this present moment in time, it means that you would acknowledge that everything that “is” right now is the result of a very long and complicated chain of events. You are responsible for some of this present moment and you are not responsible forsome of this present moment. Many events have happened to bring you to precisely where you are right now. McKay (2007) points out that “the present moment never spontaneously leaps into existence without being caused by events that have already taken place.
Imagine that each moment of your life is connected like a line of dominoes that knock each other down.” The idea is that this present moment is the complex consequence of many events – some caused by you and some caused by other people. It does no good to place blame on whose “fault” any of it is. The reality is that no matter who “caused” your circumstances in this moment in time, you have to deal with them nonetheless. It is in your best interest to accept this moment precisely as it is and then begin to make real behavioral changes.
When you radically accept the present moment, you are allowing yourself the opportunity to recognize and take responsibility for the role that you have played in creating the current reality. Things are rarely “all” anyone’s fault. When you are able to assume responsibility for the only things that are truly within your control – your thoughts and behaviors – then you are taking back an enormous amount of power over building a meaningful life that can enable you to feel happy, proud, and fulfilled.
Radical Acceptance Coping StatementsTo help you begin using radical acceptance, it's often helpful to use a coping statement to remind yourself. Below are a few examples:
“This is the way it has to be.”
“All the events have led up to now.”
“I can’t change what’s already happened.”
“It’s no use fighting the past.”
“Fighting the past only blinds me to my present.”
“The present is the only moment I have control over.”
“It’s a waste of time to fight what’s already occurred.”
“The present moment is perfect, even if I don’t like what’s happening.”
“This moment is exactly as it should be, given what’s happened before it.”
“This moment is the result of over a million other decisions.”