Any change begins with a deep sense of acceptance. My work in therapy begins, continues, and ends with a gentle and ever-present acceptance of what is true in the moment. So much of the time we are taught to not cry when it hurts, to not complain when it does not go right, and sometimes even to not laugh when we encounter joy. Radical acceptance is a deep appreciation for and validation of the reality of the moment. When it is painful, it is painful. When it is joyful, it is joyful. When it is over, it is over. When one looks del inside and finds a dark and tenacious hate inside, there is a dark and tenacious hate inside. In order to change, we are required to validate and radically accept what is true in the moment: to be different tomorrow we must be who we are today.
Radical acceptance is not the same as agreeing with, approving of, or the judgement of goodness. Acceptance is not the method of change: it is the prerequisite. With radical acceptances comes to expectation of radical change--change in behaviors, attitudes, outlook, skills, and ways of being. At times, radical change involves learning to tolerate discomfort. It even involves learning to accept when we ware unwilling or unable to change.