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The Power of Radical Acceptance

Woman contemplating
Woman contemplating

Radical acceptance is the practice of fully accepting reality as it is, without judgment or resistance. It can be a difficult concept to grasp, as it requires us to let go of our desire for control and our attachment to how things "should" be. However, when we are able to embrace radical acceptance, we can experience a sense of peace and freedom that is truly transformative.

Radical acceptance is not about accepting things and pretending to be happy about it. It is about truly accepting things without judgement, including how you feel. This is perhaps the most important thing - to accept how you truly feel without self-judgement. This means you can accept something that really bothers you without trying to change or control it. It sounds like this... "I hate my boss. I feel so helpless and angry when she talks to me. I can handle this, though. It doesn't have to effect my work."

Examples of Radical Acceptance

Here are a few examples of how radical acceptance can be applied in everyday life:

Example 1: Coping with Illness

Imagine that you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness that will require ongoing treatment and management. At first, you may feel angry,

frustrated, and overwhelmed by the impact that this illness will have on your life. However, practicing radical acceptance can help you to come to terms with your new reality.

Instead of fighting against the illness or wishing that things were different, you can accept that this is your current situation. You can acknowledge the challenges that you will face, but also recognize that you have the strength and resilience to navigate them. By embracing radical acceptance, you can focus on what you can control (such as your treatment plan and self-care practices) and let go of what you cannot control (such as the fact that you have an illness).

Example 2: Dealing with a Breakup

Breakups can be incredibly painful and difficult to navigate. When a relationship ends, it is natural to feel a range of emotions such as sadness, anger, and confusion. However, practicing radical acceptance can help you to move through the grieving process and come out stronger on the other side.

Instead of clinging to the hope that your ex will come back or wishing that things had ended differently, you can accept that the relationship is over. You can acknowledge the pain that you are feeling, but also recognize that it is a natural part of the healing process. By embracing radical acceptance, you can focus on your own growth and well-being, rather than trying to change the past.

Example 3: Facing Uncertainty

In today's world, there is a lot of uncertainty and unpredictability. Whether it is a global pandemic, political upheaval, or personal challenges, it can be difficult to know what the future holds. However, practicing radical acceptance can help you to find peace in the midst of uncertainty.

Instead of trying to predict or control the future, you can accept that there are many factors that are beyond your control. You can acknowledge the anxiety or fear that you may be feeling, but also recognize that these emotions are a natural response to uncertainty. By embracing radical acceptance, you can focus on the present moment and the things that you can do to take care of yourself and those around you.


Radical acceptance is a powerful tool that can help us to find peace and freedom in the midst of life's challenges. By letting go of our attachment to how things "should" be and embracing reality as it is, we can cultivate resilience, strength, and compassion. Whether we are facing illness, heartbreak, or uncertainty, radical acceptance can help us to move through these experiences with grace and dignity.

Sometimes it is helpful to see a therapist in order to help you get to a place of acceptance. If you need some help processing your emotions, give us a call today. We can help you get to a place of peace.


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