Radical Acceptance

"Radical Acceptance reverses our habit of living at war with experiences that are unfamiliar, frightening or intense. It is the necessary antidote to years of neglecting ourselves, years of judging and treating ourselves harshly, years of rejecting this moment's experience. Radical Acceptance is the willingness to experience ourselves and our life as it is. A moment of Radical Acceptance is a moment of genuine freedom."
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

Fear of Being Flawed

"Feeling unworthy goes hand in hand with feeling separate from others, separate from life. If we are defective, how can we possibly belong? It's a vicious cycle: The more deficient we feel, the more separate and vulnerable we feel. Underneath our fear of being flawed is a more primal fear that something is wrong with life, that something bad is going to happen. Our reaction to this fear is to feel blame, even hatred, toward whatever we consider the source of the problem: ourselves, others, life itself. But even when we have directed our aversion outward, deep down we still feel vulnerable."
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

Compassion towards Neutral People

"Even if we don't push others away with anger or hatred, we can easily overlook people and unknowingly withhold our kindness. This can be most striking in relation to those whom Buddhist compassion practices describe as "neutral" people — those who evoke neither a negative nor positive response. They might be the postman, children in the carpool, the spouse of a friend, a distant relative. In teaching compassion practices I sometimes ask students to choose someone they see regularly but are not personally involved with. When they have brought this person to mind, I invite them to consider, 'What does he or she need?' 'What does this person fear?' 'What is life like for this person?'
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

The Task of the Spiritual Warrior

"To recognize [the] basic goodness in everyone takes courage. Trungpa calls this the task of the spiritual warrior, and says that the essence of human bravery is 'refusing to give up on anyone or anything.' This can be especially hard when we're trying to see the goodness in a murderer, the CEO of a corporation that pollutes the planet, a child molester. Basic goodness can be buried under an ugly tangle of fear, greed and hostility, and seeing it doesn't mean overlooking harmful behavior in ourselves or others. To radically accept life depends upon clearly seeing the full truth of it. Novelist and mystic Romaine Rolland says, 'There is only one heroism in the world: to see the world as it is, and to love it.'"
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

A Sacred Pause

"Choose a time when you are involved in a goal-oriented activity — reading, working on the computer, cleaning, eating — and explore pausing for a moment or two. Begin by discontinuing what you are doing, sitting comfortably and allowing your eyes to close. Take a few deep breaths and with each exhale let go of any worries or thoughts about what you are going to do next; let go of any tightness in the body.
”Now, notice what you are experiencing as you inhabit the pause. What sensations are you aware of in your body? Do you feel anxious or restless as you try to step out of your mental stories? Do you feel pulled to resume your activity? Can you simply allow, for this moment, whatever is happening inside you?

”You can weave the sacred pause into your daily life by pausing for a few moments each hour or as you begin and end activities. You can pause while sitting, standing or lying down. Even in motion — going for a walk or driving — you can pause internally, eyes open and senses awake. Whenever you find you are stuck or disconnected, you can begin your life fresh in that moment by pausing, relaxing and paying attention to your immediate experience.”
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha

Appreciating Ourselves

"Sometimes the easiest way to appreciate ourselves is by looking through the eyes of someone who loves us. A friend told me that when he sees himself through the eyes of his spiritual teacher, he remembers how deeply devoted he is to seeking the truth. One of my clients realizes he is lovable when he remembers how his grandfather used to delight in his boyish curiosity and inventiveness. Sometimes seeing ourselves through the eyes of a close friend can help us to remember our good qualities. Our friend might love our humor and warmth, our passion about saving the environment, our honest willingness to say what's really going on in our lives. We don't have to limit our appreciators to the human world. I once saw a bumper sticker that said: "Lord, help me to see myself the way my dog sees me." We might ask ourselves what makes our dog happy to see us. Even if the answer is that he just wants to get fed or walked, our animal's appreciation of our constancy reflects an aspect of us that is worthy. The practice of looking through the eyes of one who loves us can be a powerful and surprisingly direct way to remember our beauty and goodness.

"Through the simple practice of seeing our own goodness, we undo the deeply rooted habits of blame and self-hate that keep us feeling isolated and unworthy."
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha