Radical Honesty & Radical Acceptance

Day 3 on ‘Radical Honesty & Radical Acceptance’ of ‘Relationships’ Chapter

From Remembering Series

[Listen to the audio with guided alignment at the end]

Before we dive into connection and relationships, I deemed it is important to be honest and work with acknowledgement first. This post will look at some aspects of radical honesty of Brad Blanton’s book and radical acceptance from Tara Brach’s book.

The following content is mainly excerpt from: Brad Blanton’s “Radical Honesty : How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth” and Brach, Tara’s “Radical Acceptance: Awakening the Love that Heals Fear and Shame.”

What is radical?

The word ‘radical’ is relating to the most important parts of something or someone; (especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; another synonymous would be complete, extreme, new or different. 

Why radical honesty?

We are all liars. 

“This is what I have learned after 30 years of experience:
We all lie like hell. It wears us out. It is the major source of all human stress. Lying kills people.”

Brad Blanton

Normality is the key to avoid change and continue to live with the pain. So often that people are proud to be normal and with the idea of normality. But, when we lie, hide or avoid change, we are limiting ourselves from new discovery and we don’t help others to discover anything new too.

Radical honest is when we take responsibility to stop blaming others, outside circumstances or past events for the conditions of own life. How we normal live is based on our summations of the past experiences but not the experience itself.

Brad described how children were all trained to be moralists, which at the same time, we train them to be liars, because being ‘good’ and ‘looking good’ are valued, thus leading directly to lying. Moralism’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ become more important than ‘alive’ or ‘dead’. When we experience painful experiences, we figure how to be good enough to keep the pain from happening again.

What children learned first is the ability to control, when we grew up, we realised we must control ourselves, which created and accumulated the source of anger. With the imposition to control anger is the source of even greater anger.

“We awaken in the womb into an ocean of experience. Over a long period of time, that ocean of experience becomes a sea of suggestions. We lose track of the ocean of experience. We lose track of having created the sea.”

Why radical acceptance?

“Feeling unworthy goes hand in hand with feeling separate from others, separate from life. The more deficient we feel, the more separate and vulnerable we feel.”

Tara Bach

If we are shadowed by the fear or failure, trapped by own dilemma, we are not aware of choices and options which might exists to continuously caught up with our stories and fears on how we might fail. Thus reliving this state which completely limits our experience of life and develop addictions to people or substances. 

When we hold back from our experience or feelings, our reflex is to resist it, the body is stiffen, the muscles are contract, the mind is contract as well as the heart shuts down. Denying certain parts of who we are leads to separation or fragmentisation, then, where we are fuelling more fears to sustain the trance of unworthiness. Radical acceptance directly dismantles the very foundations of this trance. 

It is when we begin to accept absolutely everything about ourselves and our lives, embracing each moment by being aware of what is happening within our body and mind without trying to control, judge or pull away. Not to put up with harmful behaviour but it is owning each aspects, each inner process of the actual moment, meaning, when we desire or dislike someone or something, we do not judge ourselves for the feeling. 

Some of our strategies to cope with the pain of adequacy are:

  • we keep busy;
  • we hold back to play safe rather than risking failure; we withdraw from present moment;
  • we focus on other’s fault;
  • we embark on one self-improvement project after another.

Radical acceptance is when we clearly recognising what is happening inside of us and see it with an open, kind and loving heart. 

How to be and practice radical honesty?

“Intimacy is a power grown into after adolescence. The person capable of intimacy — that is, the person capable of telling the truth — still has roles to play, but is no longer trapped by them. The integrated person behind the role no longer has anything to hide, and can relate freely to the being he knows is hidden behind the roles others are playing. The person is then in charge, rather than the role.”

Brad Blanton

There are 3 level to practice radical honesty:

Level One: Revealing the Facts

Tell the facts of the past where you have been withheld from so you release the burden and receive all the energy was used to hide the facts.

Level Two: Honesty About Current Thoughts and Feelings

Reveal your emotions and judgements on moment-by-moment basis, which is a hard work and it never ends.

Level Three: Exposing the Fiction

Admit who you are so you don’t have to pretend to be. When you sell yourself, you tell the truth and you live the truth.

“Who you are becomes more a description centered in the here and now, and less of a story about your life.”

When we reveal more, we have less to hide. Then we have less worry about being found out, we can pay better attention to someone else. Thus, telling the truth makes intimacy possible. When we learn to speak the truth, it is one of the most liberation way of living where one will be feeling most free and most alive. Yet, it can be insecure than normal. 

Something we can all do is to have a revealing conversation with our mum, dad, brother, sister or any important earlier relation with our parental family.  

How to radically accept? 

“When we stop running, we are becoming available to the life of the moment.”

Self reflection questions:

  • Do I accept my body as it is?
  • Do I feel I am not attractive enough?
  • Do I judge myself for being too heavy? Underweight? Not physically fit?
  • Do I judge myself for not being intelligent enough? Humorous? Interesting?
  • Am I ashamed of myself for having bad thoughts—mean, judgmental or lusty thoughts?
  • Do I accept my emotions and moods as they are?
  • Is it okay for me to cry? To feel insecure and vulnerable?
  • Do I feel I’m a bad person because of ways I behave?
  • Do I feel disgusted with myself when I eat compulsively? When I smoke cigarettes or drink too much alcohol?
  • Do I feel something is wrong with me because I am not capable of intimacy?
  • Am I down on myself for not accomplishing enough—for not standing out or being special in my work?

Practise Pausing- The Sacred Pause.

Pausing is the gateway to radical acceptance, during the midst of the day, when we pause, we disrupt our habitual behaviours, give room and attention to life which is habitually overlooked. When we resume to  our activities, we do so with increased presence and more ability to make choices.  

When we become conscious of the feelings, this gives us opportunity to face the emotions arises and the choice to respond. Pausing when we feel angry, or when we feel overwhelm or when we are filled with desire. 

“Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.

Until now.”

David Whyte

Be Abnormally Honest

Here is my personal truth:

I wrote the blog as one of my outlet to express and share what I have learned. I write with the intent to reveal more about my inner emotions, so I can be validated and to be understood, by myself and the readers. I share with an intent to allow my loved ones to expand and explore different perspectives of life as I learn. I intent to reach out to people of the same openness and willingness to see life in different perspectives. I intent to live life in transparency, with nothing to hide and nothing to avoid. 

I intent to recognize myself of my pain, my wound, my gifts, my talent, my being and fully accept all of them, including my shadow self, my shame self, my fear self, and my vulnerable self. I intent to show who am I so those who read will be able to grasp more clue about my beliefs and values, so I can be trusted, so we can be connected to either be friends or partners in creation. I intent to come clean with my family, tribe and clan so we started to come clean together. 

Thank you for reading.

Kindly read the books for more detailed information and practices. I am grateful for Brad Blanton’s and Tara Bach sharing and effort for the content.

May we accept and may we be honest, step by step.



Published by Abbhya 阿比亚 Pan Vic Qi

One sharing and supporting unity consciousness

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