Radical Acceptance does not mean we accept as in approve of or validate every bad thing that happened to us but that we are okay with slowing down and accepting the events as being in the past without necessarily reacting to the intentions or bad effects behind the events.. a way of breaking down our memory to accept and watch with detachment instead of reaction. It is a way of reminding ourself that the event is in the past, we do not have to go into fight or flight mode.. we can accept merely that it happened and it is in the past and we have today right now to examine. It makes it easier to not bring the emotion and sometimes overwhelming emotional energy into the present to relive the past, but instead to slow down and accept and acknowledge it is past. Our brain in an agitated state, cannot always tell that feelings from the past are just feelings and not a current threat to us. So we use mindfulness and radical acceptance as a way of observing and telling God “You’ve Got Mail God.. I am sending this pain to you.. I trust you to deal with it and show me what I need in the present”. It curbs the tendency for bad memories, trauma, grief and pain to overwhelm us.
Radical Acceptance is a great way to deal with stress.
It is a way of practicing being passionately detached where we can train our minds to look at the decisions that we made and that others made and be quiet in the mind observing the decisions. It is a way of giving ourselves a pause, so that we do not have to put a value judgement on every bad situation that happened but we can slow down and not react to it, and not act out of intense fear, pain, anger or victimhood.
It is a way of just accepting what happened and giving it to God to handle and realizing we don’t have to solve that problem, or fix it or run from it. We can just acknowledge and accept it. Radical Acceptance ..it is a form of trusting God to take care of the details and taking our sense of over-responsibility out of the picture. Just accepting… not fixing, not running, not trying to kick or scream back at a past event. That does not mean that we might not set an appointed time to kick and scream and cry (such as in a therapy session with licensed trauma specialist or during a meditation where you are deliberately trying to identify and release a deep pain) .. but that we can use the skills of DBT and CBT and radical acceptance to acknowledge that God has this.. and we can slow ourselves down and not be tossed around by emotions… especially when we are triggered (such as when we have continued contact with an abuser in the family and we need to be calm and accept and get through our time with the abuser). Radical acceptance is one tool.. but it does not require “permanent stoicism”. Radical Acceptance is tool to help us give it to God. We can still set an appointed time to deal with heavy duty feelings. How nice to be able to choose when we will deal with the heavy duty feelings so we can heal.
There is a reference in the Bible that is applicable.. it says “That we no longer be immature like children, tossed to and fro, and carried away with every wind (of teaching), by the sleight of men and influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” (Ephesians 4:14)
Dr. Barbara Bachmeier describes her use of Radical Acceptance in therapy
Kati Morton explains how to break the self re-victimization cycle… so that we can temporarily pause or distract our brain to get out of the fight or flight mode so we can observe, and radically accept in order to use self calming and heal. This is one way to get un-stuck from our feelings, our past, obsessive thoughts and old hurts. It is a practice that when used along with other tools such as getting to know what you are storing in your subconcious mind … and learning to release pain, and accept and acknowledge buried hurts (sometimes called healing the little me, or chldhood wounds) that we can learn to shift out of a reactive mode where we can heal from old scripts of reacting to wounds from the past. This is one of the tools to use to live in the present.