Last night, I finished reading Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha for the second time. This book is a permanent one on my shelves, one that I revisit because it offers a real way of getting back in touch with myself.
While Radical Acceptance is written from the Buddhist perspective, I think any person can benefit from the perspectives within. Reading the book won’t make you Buddhist, unless your inclination is to make that change. What it does, however, is encourage people from all walks of life to stop internally chanting “Something is wrong with me” and to get in touch with their suffering instead of running away from it. This isn’t to say that a person can’t have something in their life or habits that needs fixing; merely gets them out of the trance of repeating that idea over and over and accepting who they are and what needs to change with compassion. I’d recommend the book to anyone, but especially those who are having a hard time in life – whether it’s a minor neurosis or facing a heartbreaking crisis.
It’s been a rough year for me, full of valleys with few peaks in between. Because I have to act as a primary provider at home, and because my life is so public, I have to “play it tough” a lot. Like any other human, I suffer, I question myself, and I’m scared. I’m scared a lot, actually. But admitting I’m scared just opens me up to ridicule and further embarrassment; admitting the hurt just shines poorly on my professional life, because the personal and professional are so intertwined for writers. So, like many other writers, I put on a facade of cool, while hiding my own neuroses. Only my editors have even the slightest clue of how rough I really have it.
So writers, let this be a lesson to you: be good to yourselves. Whether it’s a little pampering now and then, or a deep introspective session to learn and accept the joys and sorrows in your life fully, you deserve it.