Beyond Criticism

Question: What is the best way to respond to people who are critical of me?

Leonard’s Answer: Whenever you feel criticized, the first thing to do is determine whether you are being criticized or whether you are simply being given feedback about yourself. If it is feedback and not criticism, then you would be wise to listen carefully and respond appropriately. Is there something being shared with you that you need to hear? It is foolish to defend against feedback that might reflect areas of unconsciousness within you.

But in an unconscious world, people are often critical or judgmental. It is important that you do not take on that energy. It has nothing to do with you. If people judge or criticize you, that is a statement about them, not you. They are revealing that they are judgmental or critical. At some level, they feel judged or criticized themselves. They are still living with those energies, which most likely originate in their childhood.

If someone judges or criticizes me, I do not take it on. If they want to judge me or criticize me, they are free to do so. I fact, I feel compassion for them, for they are still caught in those limiting and painful energies.

The question for you is why do you take it on? It is your need for approval or acceptance that causes you to take on the judgments or opinions of others. If you did not need their approval or acceptance, then their judgments or criticisms would not affect you.

Therefore I suggest that you bring to consciousness all the ways that you lose yourself in others by seeking approval or acceptance, and then gently disengage from that behavior. It will lead to freedom.

However, it is very difficult to free yourself if you are still judgmental or critical of yourself or others. To completely free yourself, you will have to bring the energy of judgment to consciousness whenever it arises within you. And you must do so without judgment. Just notice it, acknowledge it, confess it and then gently disengage from it. You are simply acknowledging it and so it will gradually relax and dissolve from your interior world. And then other people’s judgments or criticisms will no longer affect you.

Finally, I would say that it is toxic to associate with people who are continually judging or criticizing you. Share with them that it is not acceptable to you. If they persist, then consider terminating your association with them. But do so out of love for yourself and with compassion for them, and not as a judgment of them.

Comments

Kindoo RMM-V 25th September 2009 9:52 pm

How does the spirit know just what I need to hear and when I need to hear it? How do I a find a message just for me though it is written for all? Truely Life is Love, and also wise. And Thanks, Kindoo :)1(:

martine 26th September 2009 5:16 am

Beautiful - my answer was in the very next segment of Spirit Library by gloria wendroff 'what if you did not doubt?' It is very affirming for me,
I'm still interested to hear how you discern feedback from other's murky stuff and projections.

Leonard Jacobson 28th September 2009 5:23 pm

Hi Martine, If it feels like criticism or judgment, then have nothing to do with it. You can even lovingly express that you are not interested in their judgments, and that you find it unacceptable. The truth is that the only reason we are affected by other people's criticisms or judgments is because we are seeking their acceptance or approval. If you surrender the need for acceptance or approval, you will be free of their judgments. It is also helpful to surrender your judgments of yourself and others. You accomplish this simply by being aware of judgments as they arise within you, and gently disengaging from them. As for your question, how can you discern feedback from judgment, if you are present it will not matter, but if in doubt, throw it out.

martine 28th September 2009 9:16 pm

Thanks Leonard - I love the last bit in particular 'If in doubt, throw it out!' Just what I needed to hear...
Martine

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Leonard Jacobson

Leonard Jacobson is a spiritual teacher, mystic and gifted healer, who is deeply committed to helping others break through to the joyous experience of living in the NOW. 

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