How to Radically Accept Yourself!
Updated: June 15, 2021
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be truly free of your past? To accept and love yourself fully and not see your life through the lens of your baggage?
This is the liberation that’s possible with radical acceptance.
Radical acceptance means taking life on life’s terms. Surrendering to what it is without judgment – the good and the bad – and taking responsibility for the parts we need to work on. When you look at yourself and your life with this kind of honesty, you’ll experience true freedom and you’ll find the path to self-acceptance and deep self-love.
How to reach a place of radical acceptance in your life
The best way I tell you how to find radical acceptance is to share my story and my experience of finding it in my life. I first discovered this concept from a place of complete and absolute exhaustion.
Thirty-five years ago, I had a string of experiences that finally allowed me to take an honest look in the mirror and surrender to the fact that I was a drug addict and an alcoholic. This was the beginning of my spiritual awakening.
For a long time, I had been lying to myself. Always “trying” to quit, but never looking honestly at myself.
When I finally saw myself exactly as I was and not as the fantasy person I thought I would be one day, or the hurt person waiting to be rescued in the stories I told myself, I got really clear. For the first time, I was able to change my life.
You are worthy of unconditional acceptance
The really important thing to recognize as a human being is that you are not your conditions. There are circumstances and situations you have no control over, but they do not define your worth.
For me, this meant realizing that I was not my addiction. That I was a well of untapped potential and that God didn’t make junk. In the world we live in, it’s easy to assume that our identity is based on the conditions of our lives – our successes, failures, and accomplishments, where we are in society, – but this isn’t true at all.
You are a creation of the Divine, and when you start practicing self acceptance and looking at your life with radical honesty, you can see the places you need to forgive and clean up, but you can stop letting the limitations of your labels define you and prevent you from your future.
Radical acceptance liberates you to become and to contribute. It stops you from getting stuck in time.
Radical acceptance is about honoring all parts of your humanity
It’s nice to think that unconditional self-acceptance will just magically make you feel healed and whole, but the journey to self-love is a little more complex than that.
You can’t always only focus on the good. You get freed to do that once you become accountable to heal the things that prevented you from feeling good in the first place. Those things aren’t your fault, but they are your responsibility. You have to look at the patterns, pause, and honor them. You have to feel your grief and anger and pain.
This part might not sound fun, and honestly, it’s not always fun! But it is worth it.
The liberation on the other side and the depth, empathy, and compassion make it worth walking through the dark and meeting your shadow. In the end, you’ll see that you wouldn’t actually want to change a thing because everything you’ve gone through has made you.
Radical acceptance is deep inner-work
So many of us, myself included, spend so much time thinking what we need to do is change our outer conditions. The reality is, we need to look within. We need to change ourselves.
For a long time, I wanted to bypass this part because it was too frightening.
But I’ve learned that if you want to experience self-acceptance and self-love, there’s no getting around the inner work. This path can absolutely lead you to feeling happy, joyous, and free – but only once you’ve gone in to experience your grief, anger, and rage. Only when you’ve taken a real look in the mirror at the places where you have to take responsibility.
Now, I’ve reached a place where I can really love the part of me that gets angry, because I know that part of me was once told it wasn’t okay to feel those things. That it wasn’t okay to cry.
We have all these messages about who we’re allowed to be from when we were young. And radical acceptance is recognizing that those messages were true, they were given to us, but they don’t have to be what we build our lives on. They are not predictors of our future. Not if we wake up.
If you’re willing to do the work, you will have a better life than you’ve ever experienced. But if you’re wanting to bypass the inner work, you can’t reach that place.
Your healing isn’t going to happen overnight
When you start diving into this process, it can feel like a lot at first. There are so many things to unpack. For a lot of people, shame will come up. You might feel shame for things you’ve been participating in that you didn’t see before. And that’s okay, it’s part of the process. As long as you don’t wallow in it or define yourself by it.
You have to know that radical acceptance is the process of shedding all of the layers of stories, beliefs, and conditioning and getting to know yourself again. To know who you really are underneath all of those things.
It’s a process that starts simply with willingness. Being true to yourself means being true to where you are right now. And knowing that you can’t go from 0 to 1000 overnight. This journey gets to be an exploration. Lean on your curiosity.
Know that if you really want to experience spiritual freedom, it takes time. It takes meditation and journaling. It takes a genuine desire to see yourself as you are and take life on life’s terms.
This process can also be so much easier when you’re supported by community. When I first started my spiritual journey, I was such a solo person. But I learned quickly how much community helps in this process.
We actually have a really cool event coming up for the summer solstice where you get to meditate in a big community to celebrate the solstice.
The solstice comes twice a year and it is a celebration of radical change and of the relationship between light and dark. It’s a reflection of what you’ve accomplished, the inner work you’ve done, and a chance to reflect and welcome a shift and a change.
Think of this as a mystical opportunity to expand your consciousness, set your intentions and co-create something beautiful in honor of the greatest point of illumination and vitality in the whole year.
We’ll have an amazing guest astrologer, Jennifer Racioppi, who will share about the potential of this moment and how to take advantage of it. I’ll be doing a reading using my Enchanted Map deck, and we’re going to do a beautiful guided meditation together as a community. I hope you’ll join us! Get all of the details here…