Paradoxically, the more we try change ourselves, the more we inhibit change from happening. When we open ourselves up to experience who we are the more likely we are to change.
Often times when people come to therapy they have come to the conclusion that something needs to change. Although change is frequently the goal in therapy, an eagerness to change can actually be a block to moving forward. When radical self-acceptance is incorporated during your struggles you create a calm and confident starting point to move forward. Without radical self-acceptance during your struggles you add suffering to your suffering. Adding suffering to your suffering might look like judgment about your feelings, impatience with yourself, or frustration about having a struggle to begin with. Self-acceptance can be challenging when we face problems that are culturally taboo: Addiction, Sexually Compulsive Behaviors, LGBTQ issues, and more. These problems carry a significant amount of shame with them and radical self-acceptance can release you from the shackles of stigma.
Radical self-acceptance is about having compassion for yourself, being patient with yourself, and accepting your humanness. A stressful environment inhibits learning/growth and radical self-acceptance can create a safe inner space to gently move through challenges. This is a radical concept because it goes against the messages you may have received in your family or the beliefs you may have acquired from your political and social context. As challenging or as awkward as it might be at first you must choose to embrace who you are and where you are right now. Radical self-acceptance opens you up to your potentials. The second paradox of change is that the slower we move in therapy the faster we see change.
Cameron Reis, M.S., MFTI 96516