Practicing the Art of Radical Acceptance

words & design by Brian Thompson.

Any hate that you might feel for a person who has done you (or the world) wrong, is made from the identical negative emotional energy that caused that same very person to do whatever harm they have done.

While your hate may not be of the same intensity as theirs, its base ingredients are certainly the same. Hate is an extremely hazardous and highly explosive emotion—one that should be healed rather than expressed.

Forgiveness, not hate, is the only path to a peaceful heart and a peaceful world.

By hating a wrong-doer, we only perpetuate the cycle of suffering. We only make matters worse, both for ourselves and others.

As Gandhi once reportedly said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

As long as we maintain an inability to accept one another, peace will remain an impossibility. The paradox of life is that we’re more alike than most people could ever possibly imagine, so whatever quality I dislike in someone else is a similar quality that already exists within me—it’s just of a different degree.

You see, it’s the selfish in me, that dislikes the selfish in you. It’s the anger in me, that detests the anger in you. It’s the lack of patience in me that is perturbed by the lack of patience in you. My disgust at your violence is the same seed from which your aggression was sprouted. If I get frustrated at your inability to comprehend something I presume to know, then I am only angry at the very same thing that’s already within me—a lack of understanding.

And this is the death knell of peace—our ignorance. In other words, ignorance hates ignorance. Wisdom on the other hand, loves, accepts and forgives ignorance. Compassion is the cleansing agent that rids us of our common suffering.

To abide in the truth is to realize that I can do nothing about another person’s ignorance, other than accept it.

This unbound, unfettered love is always within us—it is our innate essence—we only need to discard our unruly and unaccepting thoughts that obscure it.

Whenever you feel a blockage of non-acceptance arise within you—regardless of whether it’s towards another person, towards yourself, towards "the system”, or towards a particular situation you find yourself in—lean into your sense of unease. Observe your non-acceptance. Question it. Realize its true source is from your interior world, and not from the outside world. Accept your non-acceptance. Heal it, don’t resist it— cure its darkened clouds with compassion, kindness, love and understanding.

The peace and happiness you seek can only be found by accepting everything you perceive, in every passing moment—including such simple and mundane things such as doing the chores you deem to “hate”.

Accept every moment you can. As long as you continue to resist the natural flow of life’s seemingly oppositional forces, your tension and upset will not only remain, but it will deepen and cause you to grow more weary.

Practice the art of radical acceptance and feel the inner stress of resistance dissolve into peace and understanding.