Updated: Nov 5, 2019
When I celebrated my recent birthday, I felt like I finally stepped through a threshold I'd been standing in for some time. I've closed the door to a long chapter of healing, grieving, and clearing things of the past that do not serve where this soul path is taking me. I had surgery in the Spring and it required a very long recovery. Only a few hours after waking up from anesthesia the hospital discovered a glitch in my health insurance. They kicked me out at 3:00 a.m. because of bureaucratic red tape. 3:00 a.m!! Who does this?! Even though the nurse was mortified to be wheeling me to the curb, I kept saying to her, "Our medical system has lost its humanity." When this happened the level of rage that bubbled up from the wellspring of emotions was so huge I said to myself, "These emotions are going to destroy my ability to heal fully." So, I turned to the philosophy of radical acceptance. Radical acceptance refers to the conscious decision to accept fully the life situation at hand. I had meditated about this before the surgery, setting my intentions to create a sacred space for my recovery. I intended to radically accept whatever happened. When they kicked me out of the hospital the swirling confusion of what was happening threatened to take me down into a fiery hell. I knew this darkened path all too well, so I used the intentions of radical acceptance to navigate my way. There was nothing I could do to change my circumstances, but what I could do was embrace what was present.
With a dear friend helping me to get home (which required an airplane flight from Oahu), I spent three weeks being taken care of by friends. I had made it through the surgery! I was alive! The healing journey would continue whether I held a positive or negative perception. Radical acceptance allowed me to stay focused on my intention to recover well. I was able to honor my body, the healing time required, and maintain the intention of gentle patience to take it one day at a time.
When I see radical acceptance, my botany mind kicks in...why? The word 'radical' is used to describe the very first tiny root that emerges from a seed. During germination, the radical breaks the seed coat and pushes itself downward into the earth. The cotyledon (the first leaf) soon follows pushing itself upwards seeking the light. How does the radical know to go down into the earth and the cotyledon know to grow upwards? The divine blueprint of the seed has the wisdom and physiological processes to guide. We possess this divine blueprint within us to navigate our life into grow into thriving. The radical of the seed continues to grow by forming tiny root hairs that spread into our Earth Mother, gripping and grounding itself. This kind of grounding prepares the plant to grow to its fullest potential. The plant could not do this without its loving connection to the earth.
Radical Acceptance is like that radical emerging from the seed, finding its footing on this planet. We too, must find our footing to heal, grow and thrive. When we commit to accepting everything that is going on in our life, we begin to root. In time we soon discover a new connection within ourselves and this planet. In turn, we develop our intuition and connection to God/Goddess like the cotyledon reaching to the heavens. When a seed germinates it doesn't question where it has landed. It doesn't complain about being in one spot on the earth, wishing it was somewhere else. The seed accepts where it lands and still finds what it needs to thrive. If it didn't accept where it landed, it wouldn't root. It wouldn't grow. It wouldn't survive. When we accept, we begin to take in nourishment in our lives in ways we couldn't see before.
I certainly didn't get nourishment from the hospital's hospitality, but I found nourishment to fully recover in so many other ways. If I didn't accept what was happening in that moment, it would be likened to that tiny root resisting the soil in which it landed. If the radical discovers a rock in its path, it doesn't retract. It doesn't keep beating its head against that rock. It simply goes around it, continuing to grow. If you are beating your head against a rock, hellbent on your circumstance being a certain way, set the intention to radically accept where you have landed in life. Can you find a way around the rock weighing you down? Can you find the kindest and gentlest path? When we consciously set an intention, eventually our thoughts, wounded parts, and body will go along with the new path. A new form of nourishment will flow into your life that cultivates patience to hold space for yourself with a loving presence. The quality of your relationships may deepen. Your eyes will notice nature more instead of the traffic blocking your way. Your body will ease into being rather than striving for an outcome. This radical acceptance paves the way to what you have been seeking all along - to grow, shine, flower, and flourish like the beauty that surrounds you right now. Consciously setting the intention to heal with radical acceptance requires trust, patience, and a willingness to be present with an opened heart. You may have glimpsed this radical acceptance in your life, but failed to retain it. Let me help you find your roots and branches. This is your invitation to re-remember what it felt like when you had surrendered over the circumstance to move around your own stones blocking the path. Give yourself permission to be in your life, thriving, instead searching for it.
With Love and Aloha,