Monday, November 8, 2010
The Call for Grace
“Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others." -Thomas Jefferson
Has anyone noticed that negatively directed criticism seems to be the number one divider worldwide? How many hearts actually keep their dreams a secret because they are aware that the environment they live in doesn't support cheerful optimism? Mother Teresa once said "If you judge people, you have no time to love them”. It is so easy in a second to speak hateful or hurtful words but it’s takes careful time and consideration to actually understand what someone else might be going through in their own life. It requires that we dig deeper and do the hard inner work.
The Greek word (kritikós) or critic is a person who offers reasoned judgement or analysis, valued judgement, interpretation, or observation. However, many times the people who are criticizing our dreams or beliefs on our personal self discovery journey are not in fact expert judges or even experienced connoisseurs, most times they are people just like you and me having a human experience as well. They are usually people who live within our immediate social circles, our spouses, parents and many times even friends. Yet they can be the harshest critics many of us will ever cross. Ideally, these same people are suppose to positively want our success, right? So what happened? Why is it when you joyously leap through the air and announce your brilliantly self inspired plan to arrive at a successful destination in your life, the people closest to you seem less than enthusiastic? Are they all out to get you?
Hasn’t negative criticism been forewarned to us in almost every great text from the bible to Judaism and even in Buddhist practices? So why are we still throwing stones directed at hurting others chances of personal success? Shouldn’t everyone be allowed to harness their innate power to create the life that they want? I mean we are not the ultimate decision makers in their lives and we have enough challenges living our own lives to our highest success. So why do we send out these hopeful failures upon others, when we could just as gracefully send them loving supporting thoughts that could help them help themselves and maybe someone else on this journey through life? Are we crabs in a bucket desperately doing our best to pull the next crab down so they won’t succeed? If we are, we must now ask deeper questions, such as: Am I a negative person? What happened to me? When did I stop smiling? When did I stop enjoying and loving life? Why did I start hating people? and what can I do now to change?
Negative criticism is almost always the shadow of some success looming, rather it be spiritual or emotional growth. And yes, everyone from Jesus to Gandhi was criticized even although their entire life’s work was to expose the power of virtues such as love, tolerance, dignity, grace and compassion. Compassion, discernment and understanding are all wise tools of grace. We can practice using our tools of grace in combination with our power of positive focus during times of any prolonged negative critical attack. Whether it is verbal or nonverbally aimed at bringing down our psyche.
Another loss for negative criticism is that it comes from an insecure state of mind. That is why it lashes out on others it considers ‘weak’. In the moment of negatively criticizing another, the person who is criticizing doesn’t have to focus on the non- incessant and regular negative self talk they hear going on in their own mind. In those moments of negatively criticizing another person, the negative criticizer is able to escape working on themselves by redirecting their negative energy on you. That is why there seems to be so many negatively pessimistic people. It’s a lot easier to criticize someone else than it is to look inside of ourselves and start cleaning up our own mess.
Nevertheless, this ignorant closed hearted state of mind has the capability to cut down your dreams if you are unconscious about when you will arrive. Fool-proofing your success is always a sure way to counteract such negative critical attacks.
What’s more is when we witness negativity, we learn that the giver is many times unknowingly shining light on their insecurities, they are shining light on their lack of faith in life, their lack of optimism and lastly their belief in their incapacity to love unconditionally. So basically, all of their negative criticism is in fact a sign of their own inner suffering.
Keeping light on negative criticism we can also notice that nine times out of ten people who subconsciously throw these hate directed daggers of failure, usually feel threatened by even the slightest possibility of your success. That’s right, that means if you are reading this and experiencing a negative critical event in your life, you are most likely harnessing your power to positively change not only your life but also, positively affect those around you! This use of your personal power will immediately make the critical attacker aware that you are using something they feel they don’t know how to use.
So why all the ruckus over your success in life?
Well, when you achieve the success that others swore you would never be able to do, and we have all heard the word ‘never’. People in your immediate circle are forced to ask deeper questions and possible face change. That’s a lot of inner work! Your success is a critical factor in determining how far other people within your circle of life feel they can go in their own lives.
Seeing someone on T.V. who is already successful in their personal or financial life makes many people feel comfortable with complacency. That person is far away or at least on a screen which doesn’t look back at them. But your successes are so tangible and so close to home that you are literally shaking up their whole perception about what they thought was possible.