Radical self-acceptance

A few weeks ago I had a premonition of a realization that I would eventually realize.

I felt called to send my friend Angela a message. It said:

I just want to remind you that I love and accept you exactly as you are, even the things that you may hold as unloveable. I don’t wish for you to be different in any way.

I told her I was on a “radical self-acceptance kick” and wanted to share with her what I had been pondering in my own life.

Is it easiest for you to accept yourself when the fishes of life are passing along quite swimmingly? When your clothes are looking sharp, your pencils are perfectly sharpened, you’re finagling romance like a sharpshooter? When your violin strings are new and crisp, rain water is crisping up your lettuces, that apple crisp came out impeccably sweet-and-sour? What I’m saying is, is it easiest to accept yourself when the universe places you in perfect balance?


That’s how it is for me. If I accepted the dimness in my life, the moments of drudgery, disbelief, delusion, disappointment, and dorkiness, how would I ever live to my highest potential? Shouldn’t I be continually pushing myself to improve?

No. What I realized this past tour, while sitting in a bar in Whitefish, Montana, drinking soda water with a lime, after 10 days of shows and minimal sleep and maximum vehicle time, was that true acceptance, radical acceptance, is embracing all that you are, all that you’ve been through, all that will be, all that you’re afraid to show the world. When your reality is a continuation of your most ancient, stickiest habit, when you look in the mirror and don’t understand how your body got there, when you stay in bed all day watching Netflix and eating chocolate (thanks Elizabeth), when your reality is such and you can accept and love it to the level of your most shiny, glowing, impressive self, that feels like living life to its highest potential. Your ability to dive deeply into every moment, shitty or incredible, seems a prerequisite to a life well-lived.

Complacency? Accept it as it comes, for it will, as sure as the rain will rain down. Vibrancy? Understand its ethereal nature, for it will disappear, as sure as the sun sets.

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