Hall K. defines Radical Acceptance as the ability to accept situations beyond your control without judging them, thereby reducing the suffering caused by them.
Although both are unpleasant situations, the terms pain and suffering are frequently used interchangeably. While pain is a physical or external unpleasant situation over which we have no control, suffering is primarily our reaction to the pain we experience; it is internal and under our control. When faced with a particular type of pain, we may choose to ignore it, struggle with it, live in denial, or allow ourselves to sink into self-pity, then depression.
Suffering is a choice we make; it is internal, but the pain is external; we have no control over it.
Because pain is unavoidable as a part of life, there will always be opportunities to practice radical acceptance.
The Buddhist belief that suffering is caused by one’s attachment to the pain inflicted on such a person is the foundation of Radical Acceptances. In other words, the appropriate reaction to pain is to acknowledge it but not become attached to it, because the pain is not our responsibility, but how we deal with it is. Marsha Linehan, a psychologist, proposed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in 1993 for people who have been diagnosed with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and are gradually drifting towards depression. He taught them how to practice tolerance of their situation by accepting it but not dwelling on it in order to alleviate their suffering.
Radical acceptance does not imply that one does not feel the pain; rather, it is an intentional act of refusing to allow the pain to result in suffering. It is not an act that can be completed overnight; it takes time to reach the point where pain is accepted but suffering is rejected. As long as there is pain, which can take many forms, not getting caught up in it is always one step closer to overcoming it. This is extreme acceptance.
Radical Acceptance does not imply approval of the painful situation; rather, it indicates that you are not in denial but do not approve of it. When you reach this point, you will want to do something other than wallow in your misery. Acceptance is not the same as approval. For example, instead of dwelling on the loss of a close relative, someone who has gone through grief may want to seek professional help.
Radical acceptance does not imply giving up on yourself. A 2019 meta-analysisTrusted Source demonstrates that cancer patients who accept their situation have fewer psychological issues than their counterparts. This is due to the fact that those who accepted their situation feel more relaxed and at ease while undergoing treatment.
Forgiveness is not the same as radical acceptance. Pain inflicted by another requires you to forgive the person who inflicts the pain on you, but radical acceptance requires you to forgive yourself so you can move away from the situation rather than dwell on it until you suffer.
If you have thoughts like the ones below when confronted with pain, you know you need to practice radical acceptance.
-I don’t think I’ll be able to get over this!
-This is totally unacceptable!
-This should never have occurred!
-This does not seem fair!
-Why do bad things keep happening to me?
-I’m sorry this happened to me.
-This has never happened before to anyone
-This is not right
In a situation over which one has no control and which elicits strong emotions, radical acceptance is required. Mind your thoughts, take note of how the situation is affecting you, take a deep breath, go for a walk, and accept that pain is an inevitable part of life. Recognize that you are not perfect, and forgive yourself if you believe you contributed to the occurrence.
Radical Acceptance should not be practiced in cases of harassment, abusive relationships, extremely dangerous situations, situations where you have control, and so on. It can be used in situations such as divorce, loss of a loved one, painful pasts, job loss, and so on.