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Radical Acceptance or Radical Success?


I've reached a happy plateau. It probably isn't permanent. I've never known any mood to remain forever. I swing from highs to lows to mediums, from craving to satisfaction, from loneliness to overstimulation.

But, right now I feel happy and fulfilled. I have a job -- a career even -- that pays me more money than I need (and all the benefits I need) without much stress. I have a lot of great friends, I'm close to my biological family, I'm physically fit and healthy. I get enough sleep, I don't go hungry, I exercise, I go out, I stay in. I have a variety of people who are willing to exchange touch with me. I like my apartment and its location. I like living in the DC metropolitan area. I get to travel. Friends from all over the country travel to visit me.

I feel spiritually engaged with the world, in touch with my body and its needs, in touch with my emotions. I feel politically engaged as well. I feel compassion for others.

I have time for "a life" because my job has never required me to work overtime. I use that time to explore a wide variety of interests. Right now I'm taking a photography class. Later in the summer I'll take a two-stepping class. I read a wide variety of books. I watch DVDs. I visit museums. I see the wonderful memorials and monuments that surround the Capitol Mall on a daily basis.

Am I happy at this moment because I've learned radical acceptance, or am I happy at this moment because I lead a charmed life? I've been very lucky to have all that I have. My intelligence, my personality, my looks ... while I'm not perfect, I have characteristics that some employers adore and some people embrace.

Well ... I don't think the answer is an "either/or" answer. I think the answer is an "and" answer. I think I am happy right now because I recognize, appreciate, and accept all that I have. I have a lot to appreciate, and I'm not whipping myself with desire for more.

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I could, for example, desire a larger apartment, or a condo, or pets, or a boyfriend, or a car. I could desire a more challenging position, a larger salary, more responsibility. I could desire straighter, whiter teeth, or a smaller belly, or a more active sex life. I could desire a Democratic President and Congress. I could desire gay marriage, legalized marijuana, and solutions to all the problems of the District of Columbia.

But right now I'm happy with everything as is, even though I know that everything is changing, and that surprises of both positive and negative character await me in my future.


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