So often when we feel stuck, when we become aware of some mysterious resistance in our path, it has to do with a part of ourselves that is not integrated. We all have multiple dimensions and energies in our psyche; some psychologists call these our inner parts. One example of an inner part that can cause resistance is an overly active Inner Critic: Too often we have an overly developed sense of self-criticism which can cause unwanted self-doubt, insecurities, confusion, and thus tangle up our auras. You may notice that you have conscious resistance to this part, or you may not even be aware at times that it has hijacked your mind until you feel that familiar shame and self-doubt.
Your Inner Critic could be causing the resistance for several reasons (not all listed here). You may be over-identifying with this part, causing you to be too critical. This part may be “running the show” as we say, throughout much of your day, taking up most of your conscious mind’s space. This does not have to be so, however, since you have other inner parts and voices that are available and interested in being a part of the show, such as a self-nurturing and self-accepting parts.
Alternately, this Inner Critic may be suppressed and more subordinate in your conscious mind, but still causing you distress because it is trying to get your attention and you are ignoring it. If this is you, you may describe yourself as having your head in the clouds and seeing things through rose-colored glasses too often. If you are continually denying what is wrong or out of balance, it can of course lead to its own set of problems. You can’t change or improve something until you identify what needs to be changed or improved. Completely ignoring the Inner Critic, then, is akin to throwing away the baby with the bathwater. You may also have a combination of these two scenarios, and find you bounce from one to another – at times magnifying and at times denying your Inner Critic.
Whatever the case, the key here is to integrate, rather than magnify or deny, this important inner part. To do this, try turning toward your Inner Critic and talking with it. (I know, this seems counter-intuitive, but stay with me). What does it want to say? What are you not wanting to hear? If you can recognize that this part is actually a valuable part of your psyche, and you in fact need your critical mind in order to function as a human, you may notice this part starts cooperating with you more. We need to be able to identify qualities about ourselves and our lives that are in need of improvement so that we may actually know what to change and improve! Perhaps the voice of this Inner Critic is annoyingly judgmental and seems more destructive than helpful. In that case, it is in need of some re-education. This approach involves reprograming the way it is criticizing you, rather than simply trying to silence or destroy it. You may find as you explore this seeming enemy, it has both unhelpful ideas and beliefs attached to it, but also perhaps valuable points to offer you. As you recognize both the value and imbalances with this part, you may notice it is more cooperative in letting other parts of your psyche have a say, and you are not blindsided by this critical voice (as much).
An example of this re-education with an overly-active Inner Critic might sound like this: “I appreciate the criticism you are giving me. It is important I have the ability to use discernment and identify what is out of balance so I can make appropriate changes, and you help me with that. So, thank you. It is making me feel insecure to constantly focus my attention on what seems wrong with myself, my life, my body, or my decisions, etc., however, so I would like to suggest we now switch this up by also noticing what is realistic and constructive for me to work on changing. Let’s phrase criticisms in a self-respectful, constructive way. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others so much and redirect the critical mind power towards other things, such as coming up with creative ideas and solutions! Also, we need to allow Self-Acceptance to have some airtime too.”
(This was just one example of an inner dialogue. You may come up with something completely different and more appropriate to your Inner Critic.) Notice how your Inner Critic responds, perhaps it has something to say. Is it willing to cooperate? Ask it what it wants, and try to talk with it, knowing you are the organizing consciousness behind all of your inner voices and parts.
Imagine another part, a Self-Accepting part, being active and welcomed in your mind and consciousness as well. Imagine this part working together harmoniously with your Inner Critic. Remember, they are both trying to help you, just in different ways.
As you call upon your Higher Self or your Higher Power, this can help you re-educate your Inner Critic with even greater power and ease. Your Higher Self can offer words of wisdom about the higher consciousness that wants to express through your critical mind. It can also help you get in touch with other inner parts which can help balance out your Inner Critic. Imagine your Higher Self is present with you as you rebalance and reprogram this part, and implanting in it the values you really want to radiate: self-improvement, motivation, constructive criticism, Higher Mind ideas, solution-oriented ideas, respect for self and others, open-mindedness. Let’s untangle our auras and heal our relationship with our Inner Critic (and with ourselves). Self-criticism balanced with self-acceptance, informed by the wisdom of our Higher Self, can truly be powerful in our path to growth and transformation. You might just find, surprisingly, you have turned a foe into a friend!
Blog by Anne Vivian