Self criticism. The destroyer of dreams, ruin-er of relationships and preventer of hope. I’ve written about judgement of others, but sometimes the judgement of others represents how much we judge ourselves.
Letting go of criticizing myself took a lot of practice. I’ve always been incredibly hard on myself and I thought I was too easy on others. I never wanted anyone to feel the same pressure I experienced of me. Turned out I may not have verbally been hard on others, but inside I was judging everything and everyone. I hated that internal dialogue but it was how I defended myself and I thought I was keeping myself safe. I could only open up and get so close to people before I'd fear they would hurt me or leave me in the dust. Many people run in this case, but I was too afraid to run so I gave reasons for other people to do so.
I got to a point in my life where I felt nothing I did was good enough. I justified this by how I 'defended' myself. Sometimes we become more concerned about proving our pain is true with everyone we come in contact with. By law of attraction our negative mindset attracts the same types of people and in turn we repeat past events. Eventually I started to wonder- good enough for who? This was the problem. People hurt me, kids made fun of me, boys broke my heart. I was too young to know that so many people project their own pain onto us. Instead of learning this, I started learning comparison. And that’s what created me becoming my own enemy. I internalized the pain of others as they disappointed me and my perspective developed to believe I would never make enough money, I wasn’t pretty enough or good enough to deserve the love I wanted and it was easier to let life pass me by and struggle mentally and emotionally. What else was I going to do?
Eventually a few years ago I hit a real low point in all of this. I felt utterly lost. I made myself physically ill in being so upset after a breakup and all the negatives and inner hatred started running wild. What did I do? Why am I not good enough? I started missing the gym which is a favorite ‘therapy’ for me and isolated myself in every way possible. Rather than looking at how someone else contributed to the relationship, I always blamed myself. Feeling undeserving of love and 'not good enough', it must of been my fault, right?
WRONG! About a month later I looked in the mirror and said ‘I don’t know this person.’ I was not the girl I had wanted to be. I decided right then and there I was going to get out of ‘victim’ mode (yes, when everything is wrong with everything around us-we are playing victim. It makes it easier than examining our own behavior). I took my butt to the gym, started hanging around my friends again and decided I was going to change my perspective on life and become who I knew I was deep down. I took action in every way possible. I talked to professionals, read every book that resonated with me, did every activity or exercise offered in self-help, meditated, gratitude practice, affirmations, you name it.
Past hurts, comparing ourselves to others and constantly trying to live up to what we ‘think’ we should be, takes us away from who we truly are. When we are kids, we absorb things so quickly. Sometimes a small moment like being picked on at recess, can get internalized into what failed friendships are as an adult. Yes, relationships can be painful, but they’re beautiful at the same time. It depends on how we want to perceive life. Do we want to take a chance and know we lived life to the fullest, or do we want to live in hiding and keep proving our pain true? The latter actually hurts more, because the pain cycle doesn't let in love and happiness of any kind.
Forgiving others is important in letting it go. Knowing that the pain you felt is actually the pain they felt inside for some reason or another, and then being able to have compassion for them can help to release this. However, sometimes the hardest part is forgiving ourselves. After realizing how certain events effected my life as an adult, I beat myself up even further being upset that I didn’t realize this earlier. ‘Now I’m in my mid 20s-what the hell have I been doing???’ This is just another way of allowing situations to control us and prevent us from becoming who we want to be. Be proud you’ve allowed yourself a chance to change life for the better, and quit wasting time arguing with yourself. Go live it up! Everything is a learning experience and too many people live their whole lives in pain. If you're reading this and in the process of freeing yourself up, you're one of the lucky ones.
It can be difficult to wave goodbye to that inner critic aka ‘the ego’. However, when we do we gain clarity to make space for the person we’ve always wanted to be, we realize ironically they have been a part of us the whole time. We were just too afraid of judgement and in turn the judgement that would come from ourselves. Forgive yourself, take steps to make yourself happier-loving you for you. Just because we think we should have done it sooner, doesn’t mean it has to be forever, and emotions from the past don't have to rule the present. We deserve everything to our heart's desire, but we have to reconnect to the heart first. Once we can see what it needs, that law of attraction will become a better friend to us and help us manifest our dreams.