Radical Acceptance or Radical Dorkiness?

I have posted about my anger problem in the past as well as a recent flare up of it like a nasty case of herpes that keeps coming back.

At first, to solve this problem, I was going to list all the things that pissed me off and work on one item at a time. Though I am not ruling this out, I listened to atalk (note mp3 download) the other day that gave me a different solution.

Gil spoke of “radical acceptance” of reality. That is, we accept all things just as they are.

Not too long ago, I would have thought that this kind of practice is quite retarded. Like really, really dumb. First of all, it means that we have to put up with everyone’s bullshit and people are really dumb. Plus, if we do this, then things will get worse and worse for us until we are someone’s boy toy.
Also, not to long ago, I was a total asshole.

I guess the thing that changed was when I decided that I was going to start “hacking people”. That is, figure out what made people tick so I could push the right buttons to get what I wanted. I found that thirty years of “telling it like it is” did not make me happy nor those around me. It left me in a state of fear because you reach a point where you have to hide your real feelings to survive. If you tell your boss that he is a retarded monkey who wasted seventy years of his life because he lacks the simple ability to eat with his mouth closed, you’d lose your job. So I had to sit there in silence while he chewed with his mouth open and spewed food at me when he talked.

After I quit that job, I figured there had to be a better way. Today, that’s going to be “radical acceptance.” In order to do it, I have to give up the fear that personally accepting things will make the whole world go to hell. It is like the belief that only through the sheer act of disapproval do I keep the world from turning into a hell hole.

But when your world all ready resembles a hell hole like mine does at times, radical acceptance starts to look like something to try. At least you won’t make things worse. For example, I have tried to talk to people on my block to keep their music down. But like fast growing weeds, each time I deal with one person, another one sprouts up. There are literally four houses on my block with shitty taste in music and loud bass stereos. I am frightened when I think about how lousy their parents were to bring them up with no consideration for others, but this is life in the ghetto, I suppose. If I had sucked up the pain, frustration, sleep deprivation, fear, and complete lack of any choice in my own life, I’d be a rich doctor by now, and a board member of an exclusive and quiet gated community. But I’m not so radical acceptance it it.

I did this while I rode my bike to work. It was easy and fun once I got started. Each time someone did something to piss me off, I said to myself (which means out loud), “I accept you.” When people with open car windows passed my bike so close, I could smell what they had for breakfast on their breath, I said, “I accept you.” When parents let their kids run wild in the street while the callous drivers sped down the street, I said, “I accept you.” When the bus tried to drive right up my poop shoot eventhough he was going to stop in half a block, and I’d pass him anyway, I said, “I accept you.” When I heard a car alarm, “I accept you.”

When a lady glared at me eventhough I rode my bike an ultra low speed as to not frighten her, I gave her ample room on the sidewalk, waiting to pass only when I could do so with zero risk to her, and when I said good morning to her cheerfully, I said, “I accept you.”

If I were any of the people trying to get to work, focused on my own task, and not wanting to be bothered, fearing contact with anyone I did not know lest they shoot me, I’d think that someone who said, “I accept you” all the time was a bizarre dork.


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