February Word of the Month

I read the phrase Radical Acceptance and decided that I need to have more of that in my life. I accept that my life is a mess of clutter and that I can only clean it up a couple items at a time. I also have let my kindheartedness get me into a situation that is using up most of my time and preventing me from cleaning very much at all. These issues also impact my writing time.

So this month, I want to understand the word Radical better. I had a very different idea of what it meant until this phrase came along.

020719 compass and map

Radical [rad-i-kuhl]


1. of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.

thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms: a radical change in the policy of a company.

2. favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues.

3. favoring, supporting, or representing extreme forms of religious fundamentalism: radical fundamentalists and their rejection of modern science.

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1. a person who holds or follows strong convictions or extreme principles; extremist.

2. a person who advocates fundamental political, economic, and social reforms by direct and often uncompromising methods.

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Origin of radical

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin rādīcālis “having roots,” equivalent to Latin rādīc- (stem of rādīx ) root1 + -ālis -al1

An extremist, a fundamentalist such as we see in politics these days has always been my concept of radical. But strong convictions, a radical difference are also definitions. And for Radical Acceptance, it’s even more precise, that you have a new outlook on life and yourself. You develop a love of yourself just the way you are.

020719 self love

For me, this means that I don’t become upset when I go for weeks without writing on my work in progress. I look forward to a time when I can write whenever the desire is strong for me. Whenever the need to get the words on paper overwhelms my need to clean and organize or my obligation to feed and water my birds. I no longer can blame my husband who does little to help but who also works outside the home for 40 hours a week plus commute. He is who he has always been. I love him and accept that I can get help when I ask for it.

I think about the characters in the stalled work in progress, Crazy for Trying. I’m making big changes in the relationship between Adam and Valerie so that they can move toward intimacy much more quickly. I’m going to rewrite the first chapter from her point of view. The scenes and their words flash through my head continually. I’m eager to work on this again. I accept that it will happen when it happens.

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Please feel free to share in the comments any story issues you feel could be resolved through Radical Acceptance, either on your part or that of your characters. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.

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