Monday Musings – January 14, 2019
I sat there with a smug smirk on my face knowing I was super right about the topic at hand. I was right and the other person in my life was wrong and I wasn’t backing down. My friend looked at me after listening to me talk about the situation for longer than she probably cared to. It was then she said something that changed everything. “What if you stop being right about it and start practicing radical acceptance?”
After realizing she had blown my entire argument to smithereens with one perfectly offered question, I gasped as if to be offended… and then I got to thinking…
Soooo, lately I have been embracing the idea of radical acceptance. It’s basically acceptance but a drastic, far-reaching, wide-ranging version. To be super honest, it’s a new concept for me because, #TypeA #Perfectionist who also happens to sometimes think her way is basically correct… oops.
To say practicing radical acceptance has been a challenge is an understatement. To say the people who are closest to me probably like me more because of it, is not. Practicing radical acceptance has made me put down my pre-conceived notions about things (which apparently, I have a lot of). I have had to give up my judgements about things (which apparently, I also have a lot of). In order to radically accept things I have had to give up being attached to situations, people and outcomes and stop trying to control everything. I have had to let go of how I think things, people or relationships should be and accept them as they are.
A strange thing has happened since I have been practicing radical acceptance. While situations, relationships and people haven’t changed- something has… me! While I still may not like the way people are or situations that occur, I have found that accepting them as they are has offered a soul-settling peace around them. Like the Isaiah 55:12 kind of peace. Standing in this peace I am able to lay down my sword that screams #TypeA #Perfectionist #IamRiiiiight. With my hands now empty, I am able to outstretch them. I can offer my hands to help in situations that need understanding and not judgement. I can offer my hands to embrace others with love exactly where they are. I can offer my hands to serve and bring light into dark places.
Radical acceptance is one of the hardest things I have ever done and the moment I think I have it mastered the Universe offers me another test just to remind me that no, I definitely don’t. As I write this, I wonder what would happen if more of us started practicing radical acceptance? It would require vulnerability and understanding, sprinkled with mercy and grace. What do you think? Want to do something different with me? Want to let go of the way you think things should be and start radically accepting them as they are? It will be hard and maybe even a little painful at times, but what it could offer… well, my sweet friends, what it could offer could save a life, enliven our world, and maybe even impact an entire generation for the better.
Meet you back here next week, same time, same place!