Experiment with Love: Handling Criticism + Judgment

February 05, 2013

Imagine that you are walking your walk, moving along your path and dancing in your own shimmering light as often as possible. You are practicing being impeccable with your word. You are re-inventing your boundaries, in the name of cultivating relationships that rock your world in the best possible ways. You are holding your head high, believing in and investing in your own worth. You are claiming your seat at the table – standing in your power and offering your best to the world around you. In other words, you are doing truly spectacular work, however imperfect or tenuous it feels on a daily basis.

And then, someone comes along and says, in no uncertain terms: You are doing it all wrong, you should

And then?

You brain starts spinning.

What started with a tenuous hold on your personal power, slowly degrades over the course of the minutes, hour, day…

Wait a minute, what if I’m doing it all wrong? What if I’m all wrong? What if my message is getting totally skewed? What is it about ME that is wrong? 

I’m never going to get this right. I always mess everything up. 

There is something inherently wrong with me. I always going to fuck it all up. I will never succeed. 

I should just stop right now. 

In short, you move quickly from a place of l-o-v-i-n-g yourself and your life, to a place insulated by fear, the need for validation, and deeply felt, “what if this is true about me?” beliefs.

Now, if you’re like most people, the mere act of moving through this process brings up a lot of shame.

You judge yourself for judging yourself.

You take the original hurt and fear, and you layer a heaping dose of shame and self-criticism over top. 

You speak to yourself cruelly, in this place of judgment. You call yourself stupid, worthless, ugly, useless, ________.  In that moment, you compound your pain with the injury of turning on yourself.

It is one thing to lose your confidence. It is entirely another to beat yourself up mercilessly for it.

Holding the hope for yourself is the process of cultivating a deep alliance with yourself on a daily basis.

Eden Crown

It is the knowledge that you will not always get it right. You will not always be perfect. You will make many mistakes, but mistakes are essential to developing a life that is a magnificent fit for you.

For the purposes of this post, we will call those mistakes experimentation. 

When you are able to experiment with your life, approaching your day-to-day with a sense of curiosity and by granting yourself deep permission to play, you are inviting yourself to truly notice what it is that lights you up inside. When you notice what lights you up inside, you stand a chance at inviting more of it into your life.

I know that you’ve got really big, exciting dreams. 

I’m sure that you don’t need me to tell you that big dreams crave big, bold courage. They crave the light of the sunshine, and being spoken aloud. They crave fertile environments to unfurl, grow, and take root.

You cannot change what others think about you.

You cannot protect yourself from them if they want to jump in and tell you that you’re doing it all wrong – though you might try.

You can only treat yourself sweetly here, deciding to grant yourself permission to experiment and refusing to layer shame and cruelty over painful moment. 

You are the queen of your inner landscape – with your reign reaching to every corner of your body and as far as you dare to dream in your heart.

Run your kingdom with a gentle touch.  Encourage every part of yourself to flourish and refuse to turn on yourself – even when and especially when the going gets tough. 

Remind yourself of this: I am doing the best that I can. I, above all else, am deserving of my own love and kindness.

Give yourself permission to be a renegade in this department, and refuse to give into the all-too-easy disparaging or self-critical scripts that are on the tip of your tongue.

Rule with love.

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