The pathway to radical acceptance is a fine balance between change and acceptance. We work towards changing harmful behaviors while simultaneously radically accepting ourselves just the way we are.

It can be very hard to truly and completely “radically” accept ourselves when we strongly dislike certain aspects of how we are behaving or how our relationships have worked out. However, by working towards radical acceptance, we are able to make lasting changes in our lives.

Radical acceptance calls you to look within yourself and others in a vastly new way. Often we are deeply fixated on what we think we “should be” and find it impossible to simply accept the way that you are. When you radically accept something, you are completely relinquishing judgment and avoiding any attempts to fight against or change it. You stop wishing things could be different and so the attachment to that desire is dissolved. It means acknowledging what you are and are not responsible for, and then accepting that lack of control.

In order to take steps towards radical acceptance, you can ask yourself the following questions:

What events led up to the distressing situation?

What role did you play in creating this situation?

What role did other people / another person play in creating this situation?

What did you have control of in this situation?

What didn’t you have control of in this situation?

What was your response to this situation?

How could you have changed your response to this situation to lead to less suffering for yourself and others?

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 only one person’s fault. When you are able to assume responsibility for what is truly within your control – your thoughts and behaviors – you take back an enormous amount of power over your life. This allows you to build a meaningful existence where you can feel happy, proud, fulfilled, and connected in your relationships.

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