Someone I love just criticized me. Ouch.
It was truly unjustified and I realize that her words were a reflection of what was going on in her head at the time. She’s stressed, overwhelmed and sleep-deprived. But it still hurt.
I wanted to defend myself and explain. But…again, this was not about me.
What I know to be true is that when someone’s words upset me, it’s because a part of me believes them.
Years ago my youngest stepson would try to get my goat by saying, “You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re stupid.” Those words just did not bother me. But if he had said, “No one likes you,” I would have cried. I had a friend who babysat a couple kids who told her, “You’ll end up homeless on the streets.” She said she went home and sobbed all night. My friend happens to be extremely well-liked so I asked her what she would have said had the children said, “No one likes you.” She said that would not have bothered her at all. Need I mention that her biggest fear is that she’ll end up destitute and alone?
When I think of the worse thing someone could say to me, it would be anything that hints of rejection. A rebuttal, a rebuke, anger, criticism, even annoyance. They all result in me feeling that I don’t belong. That I am not accepted. In order to avoid being hurt by criticism I need to heal those vulnerable parts of me. And I need to stop giving my power away by looking to another for approval or validation.
The best way to withstand criticism is to know to my core that I AM ENOUGH and I AM WORTHY and I AM LOVABLE.
Sometimes (like right now) I forget so I’m going to write myself a letter. I’ll read this every day to build up immunity from hurtful words.
You are awesome and amazing and positively brilliant. You are so lovable and so full of sunshine. The world needs you because there is no one else in it exactly like you. Like a flower, you were meant to bloom. You are smart and silly and strong and resilient. You are a shining star and a bright light. You have survived a painful childhood and emerged as a beacon of positivity. You have overcome long years of hostility, anger and resentment to become an inspiration to others. Your willingness to be vulnerable gives others permission to do the same. You create connection wherever you go just by sharing from your heart. You do a great job of being real. You are authentic. You are empowered. You are growing and learning and stretching constantly. You are the light of God-the Universe-Spirit. When you shine, others shine around you. You are the open vessel of creativity, joy and love. You are living a vibrant, fulfilling and meaningful life. Each day you are becoming more compassionate and are spreading more love. You are becoming a Messenger of Love. I love you. And so many others love you.
What critical words have power over YOU? And what will you do to decrease their power? Please comment below and share this article with people who may find it helpful, interesting or inspiring. Thank you.