The Critical Critic
Being more of myself has been the MOST challenging thing I have ever done and I chose a life full of challenges this time around.
I have received brickbats and bouquets in equal amounts and the brick bats really hurt. I am told you have to grow a thicker skin. Mine is still thin and I bruise easily, but I am not going to grow a thicker one, because that will mean that I have to be someone I am not.
The world is full of critics. I learned about the critic archetype early on in my life. Then I joined the theatre fraternity as an actor, then as a Producer, Director, Choreographer & Writer. Being critiqued is an integral part of the journey. I have also been the critic and dished out my fair share of brickbats and bouquets. Those on the receiving end were either dashed to the ground or buoyed by my comments.
The external critics are pretty easy to spot. The Inner Critic - I call her the Critical Critic - is the one who has the most to say and does the most damage. I have a pretty active one of those myself.
She is part of a troupe of archetypal characters who play out in my psyche daily, dishing out their brand of 'words of wisdom' to me through their authoritarian personalities, resulting in my feeling crushed and ready to give up, give in and run for the hills.
One of my earliest critics was my Mum. She believed she didn't receive much praise in her early life from her mother either and so she transmuted her experience on to us.
When I would tell her about how I felt or what I saw, about my dreams and fantasies, she would tell me with her tone of derision, that I had an overactive imagination, which meant that she didn't believe me and that I was being stupid.
Bless her for challenging me in that way. Her actions just made my imagination grow even bigger and brighter. It has guided me through some seriously daunting passages so far and still serves me today.
Through my overactive imagination, I began to see Critical Critic and her ensemble cast of naysayers, as characters who operated either as individuals or banded together as a team.
They took shape in my mind as larger than life characters strutting around in my psyche having their say whenever they felt like it, at their most satisfied when I gave them attention and completely justified when I gave them my power by believing what they said about me.
When I allowed this to happen on the inside, then I would manifest someone externally who would reiterate what they had been saying to me. Spooky aye. At first I would be floored, shocked and hurt and then I realised that these willing souls were just playing their part too, by delivering me the message from the outside so that I could feel it at a conscious level. What was really spooky was that it was always what one or more of my inner troupe was saying to me about myself.
What does my Critical Critic say to me? Firstly she doesn't talk to me in the first person, only in the third. She is talking about me not to me. That really pushes my buttons because it is as if she is gossiping to someone about me and running me down behind my back. I really dislike that.
This is the kind of thing she says, "She will never amount to anything. She has had so many opportunities in her life to do something with her life but she always blows it."
"She is a has been." "She has not credibility."
I can see her in my minds eye. She is average height. Average build. All around she is pretty average. Looks like your typical 50's housewife. Goes to all the right groups, clubs. Is in the clique of all the other average people in the world. She fits right in. She is not liked or disliked by anyone. Conforms to everything and everyone. Has little ambition and most certainly wouldn't step outside the norm.
If by now you Googling psychology 101 to see what kind of kook I really am, you can save your energy. I am not your average person on any level and am most certainly certifiable. But through my madness I know who and what she represents for me. Critical Critic is who I have felt I 'should' have been so that my life would be easier and supposedly happier.
But you know what; I would have really lost my mind being her and it wasn't in part of my souls journey to be her. Doesn't mean she didn't try her hardest to live through me.
That brings me to the word 'should'. Ban it from your vocabulary. It is filled with obligation, regret, conformity and blame.
Where did she come from? She is a manifestation of the era I was raised in. My parents and grandparents mantra was 'what will people think.' They all judged each other on so many levels. Women knew their place and weren't encouraged to be anything more.
I believe women born in 50's 60's & early 70's are the bridge builders for the new generation of women who are now offered mostly unlimited opportunities to live their lives however they wish. When I was at high school, my option subjects were Home Economics - that is cooking and how to run a household - for those who don't know. Clothing which was sewing. Shorthand Typing. Typing on its own. Bookkeeping and French for those who were really bright.
We were being funnelled into office work, homemaking, teaching, nursing and shop assistants.
That was until we were either married and or pregnant, preferably married first. That didn't happen for me. Then we left the workforce and became the homemaker. Women didn't have ideas above their station as my mother would remind me with regular monotony, and yet she was far from the norm herself.
So how did I deal with Critical Critic? I talk with her now and tell her that its ok to truly be her.
If she is happy being her average self that is ok, but not to try and change me to make herself feel better. She told me that she wants to be more like me! Can you believe it!
The rest of the troupe are all sitting in the corner tut tutting calling her a traitor, but we will work on them too.
I will introduce you to another one of them next time. Until then, be kind to yourself and make friends with your 'inner critic.' Doesn't mean you have to agree with them or like what they say or do, just try to see them as someone you have created to teach you something very important about your inner self.
Until next time, this is Critical Critic and me signing off. We are going to do something out of her comfort zone. That'll get the tongues wagging.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT BELOW. I LOVE YOUR FEEDBACK.
We say that we want to leave behind a world that is free from prejudice and fear, that is clean and organic…
We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For is the title and final line of a piece of powerful wisdom by Thomas Banyacya Sr. (1910-1999); Speaker of the Wolf, Fox and Coyote Clan, Elder of the Hopi Nation. (see end of blog)
When I read his words I feel a resonance deep inside me as if I have been spoken to by something very ancient and powerful. The words speak to me across time and space as if I was calling to myself from all my lifetimes, to remember why I had been born, lived and died, and why I am here now.
To incarnate here is a courageous decision made and acted upon by all of us. It is one of many leaps of faith we consciously make along the path of our souls journey.
Why do we make this journey you may ask? Because we can. Because it is how we learn and grow. Each day of our lives is an act or courage and determination.
I know now that I was going to need a lot of courage to live this life I had chosen. It would take everything I could muster to get through the early years and what got me there was my dream of a better life.
‘I have a dream.’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.
I dreamed of a time as a child, when my home would be free from violence and we could get some help. Where society wouldn’t turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the cries of women and children who were living in fear of violence and abuse with nowhere to turn and no one to listen. Secret keeping was part of our survival kit as was being vigilant and playing small.
Thankfully the time has come where we are consciously more evolved and we can seek help, understanding and recognition to change our lives should we choose to do so.
* Here in New Zealand, those who need assistance can now get benefits to help support themselves and their children. There is recognition of their situation and help available from so many other sources to assist them to leave their battered lives far behind. Perpetrators of violence and abuse can seek help too to learn a new way to live their lives in a way that doesn’t harm those closest to them, should they choose to.
I dreamed of a time when women wouldn’t have to hide in shame if they had a child out of wedlock and give that child away because society frowned upon the woman and the child but never the man. I dreamed of this because by the age of 17 I had given birth to two beautiful girls and given them up for adoption.
I dreamed of a time when my mother’s words wouldn’t ring in my ears, “that after what I had done no decent man would want me”. So I chose my relationships accordingly, until I finally saw the love in myself, for myself and the consciousness of society had changed enough that my ‘shameful actions’ were no longer such a terrible moral crime.
Women of today are having children alone and out of wedlock. They are raising their children without the prejudice of the masses and surrogacy is an accepted part of our lives.
The time has come now to heal that gaping wound in my soul and the souls of other woman and children who have carried the burden of society’s judgement. I have thankfully been reunited with my daughters who are have grown to become beautiful women.
I dreamed of a time when we could learn to use our power with love having learned very early on in this lifetime, what it was like to live in a powerless situation. I decided that being powerless didn’t serve me and I was not going to live a powerless life. I needed to be courageous even though I felt scared to death.
Living a courageous life is not just about going to war or doing dangerous deeds rather it is having the courage to stand up for something that needs to be changed. It's about having the passion and vision to imagine a time when acts and beliefs that cause harm to ourselves and others will be brought to the light and will no more hold us prisoner to those who perpetrate them. To live a meaningful life requires courage and belief.
I am reminded of this saying as I write…
‘Courage doesn’t always roar.
I dreamed of a time when there would be no more abuse of power over children. Where children had a voice. I dreamed of a world where abuse of children by those who had power over them was no longer acceptable and that those who chose to prey on the innocent would be brought to justice. That time has come as we witness the bringing to the light of the abuse of the children and the world is horrified and so it should be.
I dreamed of a time that would allow myself and other like-minded souls the freedom to embrace our spiritual beliefs without fear of death or persecution. I dreamed of a world where there was equality of opportunity for everyone. A world where we are free to express our true selves without fear of reprisal. This is a work is progress with huge inroads being made around the globe. Long may it continue.
Change is about our willingness to want a better life. A more healthy happy and spiritual life. It is being more consciousness of our intentions, how we act upon them and how that affects consciousness of all that is.
It is challenging enough to get through each day but to affect change we must step up another notch and live with passion, act with purpose and be mindful of our thoughts and feeling and conscious of our intentions before we act upon them.
For every action there is a consequence. The intention behind that action will determine the outcome of the consequence. Some call this Karma. The law of cause and effect. But that subject is for another time. I want to leave this world a better place than I found it. For me leaving this world a better place when I depart, is not just about a clean green earth free from pollution, it is about how I lived this life and the impact my actions and intentions had on all things I come in contact with.
I've had to do a lot of soul searching for my actions have not always been saintly. I have hurt others by my selfish fear filled ways.
I believe in reincarnation, that I have lived before this lifetime and that I will live beyond this one. Maybe in all our lifetimes, our desire for change caused us to act in some way that has brought about the changes in this one. I hope so.
I want to leave behind a world where we more aware of each other. Where we take responsibility for ourselves. Where we don’t have to compete with each other for power and use our power with love as opposed to our power without love. Both are equally powerful. That to me is a sign of spiritual maturity.
I am heartened by the opening of our hearts and minds to the infinite possibilities that are available to us as we see ourselves and each other as souls on a journey together through time and space.
I am so pleased that what I could only dream of has in most part become a reality. It was all worth it.
There is no better time or place than now to embrace our spirituality in our own unique way. There is still so much more to do.
We must seize the day. We are the idea whose time has come and we shouldn’t hold back from the pursuit of our truth… that we are spirit being human and that we have lived before in many times and places and will continue to do so. We are our own ancestors and will become our descendants. That no one sits in judgement of us when we die, and that our natural state is love, peace, joy and forgiveness. That was on display in abundance in the past days in my home city, Christchurch New Zealand as we responded to the mass shootings at our local mosques. The good shone through thousands of people sharing their love and support of the Muslim families who had lost loved ones and cared for their injured.
I believe we don't have to go through anyone to find God or The Is or whatever name you may give the divine consciousness to which we all belong; we are already in direct contact with whomever we need to help us on our journey.
There are no need for trappings to express our divinity, we are all we need. Our arrival into the earth plane was humble. The only physical trapping we had was our body and we leave that behind when we depart. What we do leave is our imprint on everyone and everything we come in contact with.
Since we first took shape on the Earth plane, when faced with adversity and strife, we dreamed of a time when that will not be so. Acts of power without love are no longer acceptable in our family, our community, country or the world at large. If enough people become willing to be open minded and raise their awareness of themselves and others, then change will happen without violence or force.
All it takes is one person to ignite the flame and then pass it to others who have the courage to light a torch from it and pass it on to others with love, hope and faith.
It is time to stand in our power and embrace the lives we have chosen to live for We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting for. We are the voices and hearts of those who can bring about change. It is never too late to make a difference. ©Olwynne Cade 2016
Keep shining brightly.
Olwynne is a Spiritual Development Teacher, certified Holistic Life Coach, , Speaker and Writer. Olwynne loves sharing her discoveries into the soul's journey through life, love, loss and the human experience. She also specialises the fields of reincarnation, past lives, life between lives, life after death, human consciousness, intuition, spirituality, health and well-being. She has studied and practised for 32 years in these fields.
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