Accepting Difficult Situations

Dialectical Behavior Therapy by Marsha Linehan is a form of therapy that challenges clients to to become mindful of and start accepting reality in order to grow and move forward to live the life you want. The skill is called radical acceptance. In her book DBT Skills Training Manual, Marsha lays out what Radical Acceptance is, what it is not, and how to accept even the most difficult of situations. 

What Acceptance Is Not

Acceptance is not agreeing. Acceptance is not giving permission. Acceptance is not minimizing or dismissing painful emotions. There is a part of us that will fight reality until the bitter end. What interferes with your ability to accept the reality of painful or difficult situations in your life. 

You don’t know how to accept? 

You don’t want to make light of a situation? 

You believe the situation is unfair?

You are experiencing intense negative emotions that make accepting seem ridiculous? 

Whatever the reason is become aware of it. Figure out your resistance to accepting reality. 

What Acceptance Is 

Acceptance is totally and completely in your heart, mind, and body accepting a situation as reality. It is letting go of resentment or unfairness. 

How To Radically Accept 

Start accepting every aspect of your life (even the difficult ones) by adopting truths about acceptance 

  1. Rejecting reality does not change reality

  2. Change requires acceptance of the current reality

  3. Pain cannot be avoided

  4. Rejecting reality leads to suffering

  5. Refusing accepting keeps you stuck

  6. Acceptance may lead to experiencing negative emotions 

I encourage you to fully accept the reality of whatever situation you are in. Even if the acceptance of that reality will be painful. This is where the healing begins.