"We love to hate ourselves"
Self-Criticism is a type of Self-Judgement.
This negative state of mind is experienced in failing situations such as when one has underperformed, or done something wrong, or has failed in a particular activity or task.
This article will address the Suffering State experienced when in Self –Criticism.
Criticism In Depth
Why do we criticise The Self?
We can criticize The Self when we see parts of the Self as “Bad” “Wrong” “Undesirable” “Inferior” and so forth.
For example, we can criticise the quality of work we do.
We can criticise the way we live our lives.
We can criticise our own personality.
We can criticise the quality of our actions.
And likewise as we criticize ourselves we can do the same to others
Whatever the situation, whenever we criticize we are experiencing a state of unhappiness.
Importance Of Addressing Criticism
It is important to address any issues relating to Self-Criticism because Self-Criticism not only brings Sufferings to The Self, but also great limitations to one’s Creative Potential.
Self-Criticism can also create confusions to The Self as to the Cause of one’s Suffering. For instance, in the moments of experiencing the Negative State of Suffering i.e. Anger, when someone invades our boundaries by taking our stuff we can easily fall into the belief that all of the anger is there because the person who invaded our boundaries did something “Bad.”
This may be true, but sometimes what we do not see is that the experience of Suffering could have been driven by Self-Criticism at the back of our minds, i.e. not only towards the Other Self, but also towards ourselves. The Criticism towards ourselves can be for example–for not having said something to that person, for not having the courage to stop them from invading our territory etc. And this confusion often will happen when we are in arguments with other people, not knowing that a part of that anger we have directed at other people is actually being directed at ourselves as well.
When we have a habit of criticising ourselves, what happens is that the habit will make it hard for us to see positive side about ourselves and this can be destructive in life situations when we have to sell ourselves – i.e. in job interviews or when we take roles in leadership positions.
Self-Criticism is often seen as an “Action” but often it is something that happens at the back of our minds. Thus often when it happens we can be not aware of it. Thus it can drain our Happiness and make us confused as to the cause of our sadness when we are not aware of it happening
Path Of Creator
Self Criticism In Relation To The Path Of Creator
When we are in the state of Self-Criticism we are Suffering. The journey begins with understanding this so that one may realize the importance of taking the journey to release and transform this particular state of mind.
Throughout life one will eventually accumulate the wisdom that all attributes of The Self can always be seen in a positive light including even the "negative" attributes labelled by society. When one gains this wisdom they will be able to realize many things i.e one may realize that being Selfish may not necessarily be bad especially if one is lacking in resources to give to others, one may realize that being Arrogant and Confident can help one to gain people’s trust, one may even realize that being slow / lazy can be a good trait as it allows one to be careful with whatever one is doing.
One will eventually realize that all parts of The Self is Great and Worthy to be loved. So the question that one will continually try to answer on the journey will be -
Then why is there a need to Self-Criticise?"
It will be hard to reach this realization when one has issues with Self-Criticism. Because with Self-Criticism one will not be able to see the positive side of all that we are i.e. we will see only the Negative Side – i.e. to see Selfishness as unloving, see arrogance as being a showoff, see slowness as ineffective and undesirable and so forth.
Thus one can say that what really needs to be addressed is the "habit" of Self-Criticism. Realize that when The Self has a habit of only seeing the cup as half empty, one will not even be able to see one’s own attributes even if it is good, even if one has received an applause after one’s speech, even if one has made a great business success, if one has come a long way in life. In Self-Criticism, The Self can end up just ignoring one's achievement and focus instead on what one does not yet have, and not appreciating what one has already achieved.
At The Idea Level
The Seed Cause of all forms of Sufferings will all recede back to Negative Ideas.
Negative Ideas are Ideas which promote the Rejection of Self.
Now why one would Self-Criticise will be due to the attachment to these Ideas.
some examples of Negative Ideas
I.e. “It is not ok to be lazy”
I.e. “It is not ok to be the best”
I.e. “It is not ok to be wrong”
Greatness Is Everywhere
Throughout life what we will find is that no matter how ugly someone is, there will always be someone out there that would find that person pretty.
And this does not only apply to physical features, but also mental and emotional features i.e. There will always be someone who will find the trait of arrogance attractive and there will be those who would find the trait of being Angry or Selfish attractive.
So the issue here is not in whether or not we have worthy attributes. The issue here is why we cannot see and accept all parts of ourselves as worthy. Why do we choose to criticize The Self instead?
The short answer?
This is because of lack of Compassion and Forgiveness we have for The Self. Thus the destination is towards developing forgiveness and unconditional love towards The Self.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
One of the ways one can catalyze the transformation of this particular form of Suffering is to find ways to compliment oneself every day. This can include complimenting one’s own personality, one’s own actions – basically anything that one can find to compliment on.
In times when we try to compliment ourselves when we have an issue with Self-Criticism, what will happen is that we will encounter Inner Resistance and thereby refuse to accept those parts of ourselves that we are trying to compliment on. This is when the internal issues of Self-Criticism will be brought out in Light. So doing this can help us to heighten our awareness of the internal issues that needs to be addressed.
The Creator's MeditationLink here
Simply observe the Body Journey with a Still Mind.
Even if you make a mistake in your meditation practice, even if you fail to sit for the full length of the meditation practice, even if you start wandering in your meditation sessions, observe the Body Journey with a Still Mind.
This will help you to observe for any Self-Criticism behind the scenes. And by not feeding into the Self-Criticism by maintaining Stillness, this is how one develops compassion and forgiveness for oneself at the Reactional Level.
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