Radical Self-Acceptance

Journal Date: Saturday, December 19, 2020 2:45pm

I’m at home, in my room right now. I just got back from a walk around the neighborhood.

As I walked, I listened to Tara Brach’s book, Radical Self-Acceptance. (And cried).

It was an emotional experience.

It’s been so hard for me to have compassion for myself.

But that wasn’t even the most painful part.

I found myself even having compassion for people like my mom.

I found it co-existed there with all the anger and resentment and everything else I feel toward her.

It doesn’t take that away, and it doesn’t change my decision not to have any contact with her.

But I was able to see how frustrating and full of pain her own life had been. And how that continues. And how most of it is due to Abuelita, to her own mother. For no other reason than Abuelita’s own pain…


And I could see how difficult it must have been for mom to have me as a daughter.

Not through any fault of my own, really—I’m not buying into that anymore.

But I saw how likely it was that Abuelita was putting an extraordinary amount of pressure on my mom back then to dominate and control me, just the way that she had done to my mom.

I can even see how I may have appeared to my mom—maybe I really was the greatest source of her misery, the way she made it seem. I’m sure she suffered from her mother’s constant criticisms about not controlling me or punishing me enough.

It must have been hard having that woman around her, constantly criticizing, shaming and rejecting her.

And yet…

That still doesn’t absolve her of what she did to me.

It doesn’t mean that she had no choice.

She was in pain, she suffered,sure; but that doesn’t mean that there was no possibility for her to have had compassion for me, her daughter.

She still had eyes to see me cry, ears to hear my grief; and she chose to turn away from it.

She chose to add fuel to the flames, to kick me when I was down, and to abandon her own child completely.

I have done many stupid and foolish things, but—I know that it is possible to refrain from abuse, at the very minimum. And to even feel compassion and care.

I know, because I could do it for my mom, despite everything.

There’s no reason for her not to have been able to do the same for me, despite her many challenges.


So that was one of the first times I cried.

The second time was as I listened to Brach tell a story of a woman who was dying of AIDS, and the priest who was trying to comfort her, to no avail.

Brach tells us:

“The priest saw a framed picture of a pretty girl on the dresser.

‘Who is this?’ he asked.

The woman brightened.

‘She’s my daughter, the one beautiful thing in my life.’

‘And would you help her if she was in trouble or made a mistake, would you forgive her?  Would you still love her?’

‘Of course I would!” cried the woman. ‘I would do anything for her. Why do you ask such a question?’

‘Because I want you to know,’ said the priest, ‘that God has a picture of you on his dresser.’”

Brach continues, “You might find that as you’re listening, that if you can just invoke a certain image, maybe an image of someone that you really know and trust loves you, that just the remembering of that person opens the heart a little.”

Hearing that story was very painful for me.

I had no one’s image to invoke; there was no one out there I could trust ever loved me (I ended up just thinking of my dog, Beso).

And the way the story was told, how it was so naturally just assumed that the mother loves her daughter, “would do anything for her…”

How that is just so normal, such a matter-of-fact, assumed feeling that she would have towards her daughter… well, it really highlighted how abnormal my own experience was. How much of a loss it truly was. 

That it’s not just me being “too sensitive” or “overly emotional” about the way I was treated. No, it’s perfectly normal for me to have been upset about such a loss.

It’s perfectly normal for me to have suffered deeply for the lack of all the love and care I never received.

That has always been a major component of my pain that has gone unacknowledged.

I’ve always been told by everyone else in my family that “everything’s fine” and that I’m upset in any way, it’s because there’s something wrong with me.

I have had no right to grieve.

I have not even been allowed to tend to my wounds, because I was only further punished for even recognizing their existence.

I have been barred from any compassion, or any semblance of basic human dignity.

Unwilling to care for me, they denied me the right to even care for myself.

I was to have nothing. To be completely bereft was the only outcome they would accept for me.

And in their eyes, this was good and right and just. It was only what I deserved: nothing.

Introduction to Inner Visions: Part Two

Later in the day, I received an audio recording from my reiki healer, containing a summary of what she had seen while working with my energy. She had explained that she typically consults the Akashic records and my spirit guides, as well as other entities such as archangels or the divine mother, while working with my energy.

Angelic started with a brief description of how my aura/energy body appeared to her during the session. 

She said that my heart chakra was“pristine”, appearing completely clear and without any blocks. To her this meant that one of my gifts is claircognizance and clairsentience, which can appear as a sudden and clear inner knowing.  In fact, one of the most important next steps for me is learning to trust more in myself and this inner knowing.

There seemed to be noticeable blockage and stagnation in the upper part of my aura, lots of head congestion, likely due to overthinking. My third eye and crown chakra appeared quite blocked due to relying too much on logical/analytical thought processes, all of which was rooted in fear and attempts to try and figure things out.

“Above all, your spirit guides say that you need to trust yourself. Coming into your own is the next big step.


During the session, she had also consulted with Archangel Michael, keeper of the Akashic Records.

“Archangel Michael was very gentle with you. That’s the only way I know how to put it. You’ve had some very trying past lives, during which you have faced a lot of adversity. You’ve spent many lifetimes persecuted for something you didn’t do, punished for crimes you didn’t commit.” 

She reiterated again how gentle and compassionate Archangel Michael had approached her when speaking of me (which apparently is not the norm). “You need to know this: you are strong.”


In contrast to other sessions I would later have with her, Angelic spent the majority of this reading/recording sharing the very broad view of me and my soul and my purpose which she had been given then by Archangel Michael: 

“Your dominant energy is peace. This is why you incarnated: you came to embody peace. You came to practice acceptance: letting things flow in and out. Learning to choose your battles wisely. Let people walk in and out of your life. 

“Acceptance is non-struggle. Flow with the current of life and not against it. When you master this, you will experience incredible natural blessings, synchronicities, and joy in your life.

“The things that you are searching for, Eleanor, they are searching for you.  The only way to receive them is to not resist how they come about.

“Just be. Don’t hold onto things. It accelerates your blessings. You’re being blessed for balancing out the karma.

“Your life path is one of service– the path of release and forgiveness. 

“You definitely have the path of a spiritual teacher, a very unique path. It is not just any spiritual path though–some are called to work with certain specific energies, and of all the energy of the divine feminine, you resonate strongly with crone energy.

“Many in this age are drawn to the spiritual path to be “lightworkers” – but not you. You are instead here to serve as a “shadow worker.” 

“You have the capacity to deal with the darker sides of life, to do shadow work and work with the subconscious mind. You can handle the taboo, the guilt, and the shame that lies within others. 

“You can hold this space for other people, you can help save them. You can allow them to forgive, to release, to transition. 

“This is your lesson: surrender is the greatest form of blessing. You recognize that you and the divine are one. Every time you surrender to a higher power an even greater outcome happens.

“People on this path are training to be spiritual teachers. You already are, in this lifetime, but you are preparing for the next incarnation, as well.”

“Your next right step: to become. Step into your role as a teacher. Embody your truths. Trust yourself. Become by un-becoming previous notions and conditions.

“This stage of your life is very phoenix-like. You are shaking off old beliefs–now you are undoing. This undoing is your becoming. You are stepping into your own truth, your authenticity, your own power.”

“Your power isn’t over others, it isn’t manifested in a way that is forceful or against, it is a knowing, a remembering, of who you are. Your life path is very transformative, you are very much like a phoenix.


She said that my guides had words for her which she initially thought a bit strange or unusual. They had said: “The process of undoing is a death and the process of becoming is a birth. Only the wisest walk this.”

She summarized by reminding me that I have strong crone energy; my purpose will involve some kind of shadow work; and I can serve by being a kind of midwife, or perhaps a death doula. 

Either way, I am meant to be a guide for others in their own processes of birth, death, and transformation.


Her final words had to do with what was to come next for me. There were difficult times ahead, but I would do well to have faith. 

“Fear not the truth. Lies will be coming to the surface. Don’t be afraid to face it, to demand the truth, to accept what really is: it is the very thing that is going to free you. 

“Prepare for the shifts by being willing to let go. Don’t fear the current. You came here to do transformative work, not just on a personal level, but on a collective level as well.


Hearing these words, I was stunned. I had never met or spoken with Angelic before, but she seemed to recognize the deepest part of my core identity, to see the needs and dreams and directions of my soul in this short time we had together.

I have kept these words in mind in the days that followed. It can be hard to stay focused at times, but when I begin to feel lost I come back to this, and find strength in remembering the truth of who I am.

a small confession

My eyes are often open, but it is rare that they see.

This morning, I saw fear. I thought I didn’t know fear, that I somehow lived bravely. The outcomes in my experience weren’t consistent with that analysis, but I brushed it off. I’m not afraid, it was just that simple.

But maybe I couldn’t see my fear because I was swimming in it. I’ve been floating through life, suspended in a scared world, held up and held back by what I thought I didn’t want.

I have rejected even the acknowledgement of my own desires because I was afraid they could never be fulfilled. I haven’t tried, or even admitted I wanted to.

But I want to live with integrity now. I want to be honest about and with myself.

So I’ll share a dream of mine with you, one that I’ve held for decades now, since I was a child.

As a young girl, my world was filled with books. Like Borges, my heaven was a library (and it still is). When people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew immediately: I wanted to be a writer.

I’ve pretended for years now that I don’t want that! Maybe it was right for others, but definitely not for me. Come on, didn’t I pretend I was an “epistemological nihilist”? What right I did I have to buy someone’s attention with counterfeit bills of “knowledge”?

Maybe there’s something to those ideas, I really don’t know. But I recognize today that the real reason was not disinterest, but fear.

And I’m still afraid, but I’m going to turn around and walk toward it.

Maybe I still don’t believe I have any Truth worth telling. But I would like to offer you a map, instead, a phenomenology of the territory inside I believe is my soul.

As I dream, images arise: a guiding star, a loving mirror, a bell that awakens. Objects of beauty and agents of change, I will keep you in mind with this first step forward.