I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about acceptance as part of the grief process; it’s one of the stages of grief. Did you know that there is something beyond acceptance? It’s called radical acceptance, and learning to practice radical acceptance will transform your grief experience for the better. Promise!
Acceptance is the act of acknowledging and accepting something as it is, without trying to change it or resist it. It can be a difficult process, but it is an important step in coping with and navigating the grief process.
When we talk about acceptance around the death of our loved one, it involves sitting in the new reality of what is.
What do you do when that’s not good enough? What do you do when you accept what is, but your life is still so hard?
Understand the power of radical acceptance
Radical acceptance is a concept that comes from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). It is a form of acceptance that involves fully embracing and accepting all aspects of oneself and one’s life, even the parts that are difficult or painful. It involves letting go of the struggle to change or avoid certain things and instead finding a way to live with them in a healthy and positive way.
In practice, radical acceptance means accepting things as they are, without judgment or resistance. It involves acknowledging and embracing all of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, even the ones that are unpleasant or difficult.
It involves a willingness to be present with and open to whatever arises in our lives, rather than trying to escape or avoid it.
Overall, the main difference between acceptance and radical acceptance is the degree to which they involve embracing and accepting all aspects of oneself and one’s life.
Acceptance involves acknowledging and accepting something as it is, while RADICAL acceptance involves fully embracing and accepting everything, even the parts that are difficult or painful.
This year, I have COVID at Christmas. I’ve lost an irrigation well. My crop was destroyed. Acceptance tells me to accept it, but I’m still angry. Radical acceptance gives me the opportunity to embrace it fully as a part of my human experience, and to sit with the painful and difficult parts.
You have a choice, my friend. You can allow what happened to you, the loss of the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with, to destroy you or make you stronger.
You can lean in, utilizing the principals of radical acceptance, or you can choose to sit out the rest of your life. Either future will come to pass.
There is tremendous power in practicing radical acceptance.
Me? I’m choosing life and embracing the very the human experience that gives my life depth and meaning; even the messy parts. I’m choosing how I will manage my thoughts, regardless of the severity of circumstances. I’m chasing the path of radical acceptance.
And you can too.
Blessings my friends,