Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance is a little bit like forgiveness, but it’s a little bit different. Radical acceptance means that it is what it is. The things that you cannot change are just going to be that way.

My life coach calls it “it’s just true.”

Radical acceptance is about my willingness to accept who I am in the moment without judging myself—assuming that I am growing and changing and manifesting and becoming a new person every day. Radical acceptance is also radically accepting my past experiences, past life, and my past thought patterns.

Radical acceptance is not about thinking that I validate or affirm that what happened to me was good or bad. It just means that I cannot change what has happened.

If I have a bruise on my arm, it’s going to hurt every time I touch that bruise. Radical acceptance does not avoid the emotions that show up because of something that’s happened. It just validates the fact that I radically accept it and accept the feelings that show up with it.

I am learning how to radically accept the mistakes I’ve made, accept the place I am today, and accept my future radically. Now, this may sound like a little bit of a surprise to you but radically accepting my future means that I am not judging the things that show up that I have no control over.

I do have lots of control over how I am experiencing a moment because that’s my attitude. I love the fact that I’m learning how to become so nonjudgmental and so “in the moment” that it is allowing me the freedom to make choices that aren’t the best choice for me and still be OK with them.

For example, some days, I have a binge day where I want to eat sugar. You know those candy bars that you shouldn’t eat, right? Or I’ll eat more than I should on occasion. Or maybe even a little alcohol. Radical acceptance means that I move past those days and radically accept the fact that that is just how it’s going to be.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t have an accountable person to help me be accountable for what I’m doing. It just means I don’t judge myself as good or bad.

I am constantly moving toward the person I’m becoming. It’s just true. I cannot change the past. I hope you get what I’m talking about and grasp this concept. It was a radical transformation for me as I begin to think about radically accepting things that are just true.

Let me give you an example that may help a little bit. I don’t particularly like the bright color yellow. I was at a friend’s house a while back and a bedroom of theirs was brilliant yellow. I have an opinion about bright yellow, and I had said to them I don’t like that color in this room. I realized was I was asking them to think about it from my perspective. I was simply saying I’m not too fond of the color yellow in this room. It does not mean that I don’t radically accept it, or in other words, I’m not trying to change it; I’m just thinking about how I would do it differently. Radical acceptance is owning that “it’s just true”, but I can still have an opinion about it.

Not radically accepting would be saying something like this. “It would help if you had never colored that painted that room yellow. This is one of the worst-looking rooms I have ever seen. I wouldn’t say I like it and you should not like it either you must change this room.”

That’s not radical acceptance.

My body has changed dramatically. When I Look at the early pictures of myself being a nurse and look at who I am today; I am radically accepting the change as validating I am a new person. I love who I am. I radically accept the way that my personality works now and how I think about myself differently. When someone doesn’t accept this new person, I radically accept that too because I can’t change that. I’m willing to let things go because I want to be me without letting circumstances I can’t control affect me. I love this new me, and I love this process of radically accepting.

Margaret Matlock
Mindfully Simple Life