Lately I’ve felt like the criticism has been coming from all directions. In the past couple of weeks I have been told about all my faults, and in no uncertain terms.
My confidence and self-esteem have taken a massive hit. So it was that I found myself at my regular psychologist appointment with a list of all my flaws and a very fragile ego.
But as we worked through the list, I came to notice something. All of the criticisms were based on things others wanted of me, not the things I wanted for myself.
Sure, I am UNMOTIVATED to ride a bike long distances, or to run 10kms, or learn a foreign language. But I am motivated to work, read, sew, create, travel and to spend time with friends and family.
I am UNSUPPORTIVE in that I am not a counselor. But I will cook a meal for you when you are tired. I will go for a walk with you when you need to clear your head. I will give you a hug and watch a film with you, buy you ice cream and tell bad jokes to see you smile when you are sad and smiles come reluctantly.
Sometimes, I am SELFISH and STINGY with money, because I have discipline and a goal to reach. I won’t show up unannounced on your doorstep with a gift in hand. Not because I am INCONSIDERATE, but because I am shy. But I will open my home to you. I will prepare a meal with care and share it with you from my table. I will invite you to be a part of my family and to share in my moments of celebration. I will always be grateful that you have taken the time to be with me.
Maybe it will seem NASTY to you when I speak my truth. But I will not simply accept your criticism when I feel it is unfair. If you ask me a question, I promise that I will always been honest with you. It is not that I am INCONSIDERATE of your point of view – it is that I ask you to also consider mine.
I left my appointment with a very important lesson. We must try not to be critical of our critics. But we must always be critical of criticism.
This is Julia, being grown up.