Suffering is even worse than pain. Suffering is when pain is denied, avoided, or rejected.
Suffering = Pain x Non-acceptance of the Pain
For example, the alcoholic is in denial of how his behavior hurts other people (the pain of abuse and neglect) and hurts himself (damaged relationships, losing jobs, getting DUI’s, and physical problems). To break the vicious cycle of addiction and denial, the alcoholic needs to take the first step in A.A. “We are powerless over alcohol and our lives have become unmanageable.” He must accept his disease and that his life is out of control. Once he accepts this problem, he can start to take responsibility for what he is doing and how he is treating others.
Radical Acceptance emphasizes acceptance rather than change, in the tradition of Zen Buddhism which emphasizes acceptance and awareness of the present moment, enhancing intuition, and experiencing emotions without inhibition. Radical acceptance is the dialectical (resolving polarities) process of embracing and connecting AND releasing or letting go = finding the middle way. Accepting the things you cannot change, awareness of how these things feel, this acceptance is total, complete, and without exception – RADICAL.