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The Temptation of the Critical Voice
Each of us has an inner critic. There is no way to grow up in our society without having developed this inner critical voice – which comes from parents, teachers, peers, the media, and from our own conclusions.
The problem is that this inner critic sounds like a voice of authority when in reality it doesn’t know what it is talking about. It is a voice based on beliefs that have been handed down through generations but that have no basis in fact.
How often has this voice said to you:
“You can’t do it. You are inadequate.”
“You are stupid and ugly.”
“If he (or she) rejects you, it is because you are not okay.”
“You had better do it right. If you don’t, everyone will know that you are a fraud.”
“It is NOT okay to make a mistake.”
…and so on.
This inner critic speaks with such authority that it is tempting to believe what it says. Yet is knows only lies. It knows nothing of who you really are.
When this voice is criticizing you, it is criticizing the “you” that it thinks you are – your ego wounded self. The critic, having come into being to help you survive and protect you from rejection, long ago decided that who you really are is not good enough. When you experienced judgment or rejection from the important people in your life, you likely concluded that you were being rejected because you weren’t good enough or lovable enough or worthy enough or smart enough or attractive enough…and so on. You may have had no idea when you were being judged or rejected, rather than loved and accepted, that it actually had nothing to do with you. You probably had no idea that you cannot CAUSE another person to be judgmental or rejecting, or loving and accepting. You likely had no idea that others’ behavior is not under your control.
If you believed that you were causing others to judge or reject you, you may have decided that who you really are is not good enough. So you started to judge and reject yourself as you attempted to create a “self” that would be loved and accepted. The inner critic – your ego wounded self – is the self you created. You came to believe that if you judged yourself enough, you would make yourself into an acceptable person.
The problem is that none of this is true. There never was anything wrong with your true Self, your essence, your soul. It was, and is, a perfect expression of the Source from which we are all a part.
When your wounded self is criticizing you, it is criticizing your looks, your intelligence, or your performance. But none of this is who you are.
Who you are – what is truly worthy, lovable and valuable about you – is your ability to love. Not how you look, not how smart you are, not how much money you have or how big your house is. Your true Self is an individualized expression of God (or whatever you want to call our Source), and God is Love.
Next time you hear the authoritative voice of your inner critic, instead of giving that voice credence, stop listening to that voice. Treat that voice with compassion, like a child who acts like it knows everything. Instead of acting on that voice, open instead to the voice of your true Self – the voice of Truth.
Do this simply by asking, with a deep desire to learn, “What is the truth?” Your Higher Self will answer you. This Self is the true voice of authority, even though it may be much softer and gentler than the loud voice of your inner critic.
Each time you hear the critical voice, ask your Higher Self “What is the truth?” If you take action based on the Truth rather than on the false beliefs of your inner critic, you will find yourself feeling so much better in so many ways!
About the Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" and “Healing Your Aloneness.” She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course: http://www.innerbonding.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone sessions available.