The First Step to Lasting Serenity
Ever since I “accidentally” stumbled upon this fundamental practice to serenity, I’ve had massive, life-changing revelations in the span of a few days. What is Radical Acceptance? Simply put, it’s the practice of accepting everything in your life the way it is.
“It is what it is. Until it’s not”
Raphael Cushnir, Surfing Your Inner Sea: Essential Lessons for Lasting Serenity
At first, this may not seem like a radical practice at all, and it may even seem counterintuitive. I certainly met some resistance. Accept everything? Accept the bad? Accept the unacceptable? It went against everything I believed.
But here’s the thing: prior to learning about the principles of Radical Acceptance, I unknowingly wasted a lot of time and energy not accepting almost everything about my life situation. As Cushnir so adequately put it, I wanted to “leap with joy and wail with grief. I wanted to fight the good fight.”
Laying down my arms seemed like a betrayal to my very core. But the radicalness of this practice lies in the Gandhi-like belief that arms (even mental arms) are not needed to fight the good fight and live a fulfilling life.
The wisdom of this practice didn’t come to me right away. I “got it” only mentally at first. But once the seed was planted, my subconscious went to work. In the days after I read Surfing Your Inner Sea, I woke up in the early morning, my mind racing with new things I was ready to accept. At night before I dozed off, I went through a rapid-fire checklist of what else I could accept.
The best part? Once I got how it worked, the process was effortless.
I started to accept the nuisances of everything that I fought so hard to look away from, and nothing was untouched: my perceived shortcomings, the nagging problems in my new marriage, the current city I was living in, the color of my carpet, the rate of my business growth, my inability to reach my toes and do a forward fold, my family dynamic, toxic friends... the list went on.
As I accepted each item that rose to the surface, something strange happened: little by little, the weight of the world that I didn’t know I was holding (like some kind of twisted martyr badge), started to drop off, piece by piece. My energy was growing; I literally felt my energy and space expand. I started to feel power in places where I had previously felt powerless.
Once I accepted what I couldn't change, I was free to get on with leaving or changing what no longer felt right to accept. Those toxic friends? See ya.
Practice Radical Acceptance. It is the very first step to serenity, the first step to freedom and living the fulfilled life that I know you are capable of achieving. Let go. I promise, miracles will start to happen.
Put it Into Practice
It is what it is. Until it’s not.
Ask that the Universe unfold the wisdom of this statement to you in the coming days. Trust that you will realize everything you need to realize at the right time.
Pay special attention to your thoughts in your must intuitive hours. Be patient with yourself, and know that radical acceptance is a process that cannot be forced.