Our Inner Critic

The thought manifests as the word; the word manifests as the deed; the deed develops into habit; and the habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care, and let it spring from love born out of concern for all beings-The Buddha”‘

The inner critic, don’t we know her well. Lately, my inner critic is loudest when I am on my laptop getting a blog post written, on Facebook or getting an email written out while allowing my daughter to linger around and play with someone else other than me.My inner critic says to me that I am being a bad mother, that I am not focusing on my little one and instead sitting on social media or rushing to reach some goal that seems far fetched.

When I was a full time working-mother she (my inner-critic)used to come upon me after a frustrating day of work, as I got back home. She would tell me I had to play with my toddler and that I should have planned to do some structured activity with her. My inner-critic would tell me that I had after all chosen to go back to work, so it was my responsibility to be there fully and mindfully at work and home.

I’ve also come to know that this critic is the one that thrives on gossip. She looks at the life of someone else, the clothes someone else wears, the things someone else says as not good enough, as something that needs improvement. That nothing is OK, just as it is.

The critic in me, last night, mumbled and ran a series of curses in her head when her husband didn’t find time to be with the baby, when he chose to go out and spend time with his friends, instead of me. This critic is ever present, telling me I cook badly, I get tired easily, and so on.

We all have this judgmental side to us, wanting and exacting a perfectionist out of us. Always wanting to reach an ideal that isn’t who we are.

Our first exercise should be just to observe this critic. To just watch her ways. 

The way you will notice she has surfaced is when you start to feel judgemental about yourself or others. When you feel indignant about something someone did.

For a day, you are just OBSERVING her and her ways. Just hear her out. What does she really want to say and what does she want you to do. Just let her spew whatever she wants at you and at others. Just watch her.

Here’s what you will do when you notice her: offer her some compassion (made of understanding, patience and acceptance) and love (made of friendliness and understanding). 

Give her a mental hug if you will.

Why do that? You will notice that as you watch her, her true reason for being in your life uncovers…

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