Radical Self-Acceptance

By Robert Brumet

The following article was written for the Jan-Feb 2015 edition of Daily Word Magazine.

The deepest desire of every human heart is to experience the fullness of God’s love. This is what we seek in every relationship. This motivates virtually every action that we take. The experience of God’s love is the foundation of all happiness and wholeness. From the day we are born to the day that we die this desire permeates every cell of our being.

And yet from the day of our birth we are conditioned to believe that the love that we seek must come from someone or something outside of us. As we grow up, we are conditioned to believe that this love must be earned, that we must do something or be a certain way in order to be worthy of it.. We learn to believe that we must be strong, or smart, or helpful, or nice, or pretty, or something in order to be loved, to be worthy and to belong in the world. So strong is this conditioning that our very identity is formed around our strategy for getting the love that we seek

But we all yearn to be loved just as we are. All love that is “earned” has a hollow feeling to it; it does not truly satisfy us. We all want to be loved unconditionally; such is the nature of divine love. But we may find it difficult to experience this love, even if we believe that it lies within us.

We can experience divine love only to the extent that we can love ourselves. But there’s the rub: the very self that seeks unconditional love is grounded in the belief that it must be a certain way to have that love. The only way to fully experience God’s love is to let go of our attachment to the false sense of self. But how can “I” give up “me”? There is a way to do this, but first we must make a radical shift in understanding.

Our personal sense of self is based upon the concept of time. We perceive “me” primarily in terms of past memories and future goals. But divine love exists only in the present moment, beyond time. The only way we can experience divine love is in this very moment—and no other. In every moment we have access to the fullness of divine love—but only when we are fully open and present to this moment. God’s love can be experienced only as we fully accept our experience in this very moment.

God’s love is fully present in each moment, but most of the time we aren’t! Divine love hasn’t left us, we leave it every time we abandon the present moment in search of future satisfaction. We habitually “lean forward in time” seeking some anticipated future experience that seems to be absent in the present moment. We seek love as if it were a commodity that we can acquire; but this habituated seeking separates us from fully experiencing the present moment, which is the only place we can find what we truly desire. Perceiving the absence of love in this moment we are driven to seek it in the next moment… and then the next…and the next….

The practice of Radical Self-Acceptance begins when you stop looking for love as a future experience and come home to your experience in this very moment. As you practice awareness and acceptance of each moment’s experience you will see that the quality of the experience itself begins to change. Radical acceptance is a form of divine love; and that love is the most transformative power there is.

The word radical is derived from the word root. You can find the love that you seek at the very root of every experience; as you bring awareness and acceptance to each experience love takes root and begins to blossom from within you. That which is real can be found only in the present moment. As you bring awareness, acceptance, and an open-hearted kindness to each internal experience you will begin to see that you are the love that you were seeking!

As you discover that you are the very love that you seek you will find it easy to share that love with others; in fact you will find great joy in doing so. Just as a mother loves her newborn child you will find it quite natural and deeply satisfying to share your love with others. You will actually feel gratitude to others for the opportunity to share the love that is arising from deep within you. You will eventually see that it is not “your love” at all, but the Universal Love that is inseparable from life itself. You will find yourself becoming a joy-filled channel of this ever-present love as you bring awareness, acceptance and kindness into every experience of your life.