Healing the Inner Critic
One of the biggest blocks to living a joyful life and being open to new experiences is self criticism. Self criticism stunts our growth and sabotages our happiness. Many of us were raised with criticism, causing the inner voice to adopt a tone of disapproving authority. Our conditioning trains us to believe that if we are very hard on ourselves, it will cause us to change for the better or prevent us from repeating a past mistake; regardless if it is in our power to change or not! Self criticism is a painfully destructive force that limits our ability to create a happy future, and causes us much suffering whenever thinking of the past.
What we are truly craving in these moments is self reflection.
Self reflection is a vital aspect of growth that helps us learn from our mistakes and make better choices for the future without the emotional punch of self criticism. It is a thoughtful and introspective way to gain insights into the past and make constructive changes. So the next time you are tempted by self criticism, sit quietly, notice your thoughts and repeat this mantra:
The past need not dictate the future.
Freeing ourselves from the bondage of anticipating the repetition of our mistakes allows us to create a new experience, outside of the context of the past. It opens us to experience this fresh, undefined, uncreated moment. Letting go of bringing the past into the present releases us to taste the wild beauty of right Now.
We must become a loving parent to the part of ourselves that is still figuring life out. Be kind and understanding with yourself. Wherever you are in your life right now cannot begin to change until you lay the foundation of self-acceptance. It is truly not possible for you to be anything else but who you are now. The inner critic will try to prod and nag you into being “better”. All this will do is cause stress and depression. Although the mind does not always let you see it, you are perfect, right now.
All the potential of the world is open to you. Remember this, and allow yourself the relief of laying the inner critic to rest