The critic's voice.

The second chapter in the book was all about our own expertise. The authors wanted to stress to us that without our 100% involvement in the decluttering and organizing it wont happen. They are riding shotgun and we are doing the driving. Then they asked us to write a list of 10 things we are good at, regardless of what it was or what it had to do with.

decision making skills

*screech* The critic stepped in.

In the book they said:
"Notice that when you focus on the things you do well, you gain energy and optimism. The calming endorphins begin to flow."
I thought, "Are they crazy?" I will admit, when I do something, when I have the moment, when I get something right I feel up, giggly, and endorphins are flying. But coming up with my list did NOT do this. You see, what happened instead was fear. I worried I wouldn't be able to come up with 10 things. (I did.) I worried that they weren't good enough. I worried others would laugh at what I wrote down. I was fearful my list was inadequate. In my head I heard people laughing, giggling, negating, and belittling my list. I heard people say, "You don't do that as well as you think," and "Do you really think that matters?"

Why do I do this to myself. I don't honestly know. I can't blame anyone who has ever been negative to me, nor can I blame people who thought less of me. While I know they are out there, I can't really recall any words they have said. I know within my head that their thoughts are theirs and should not weigh anything. I'm not even sure they do weigh anything anymore because, you see, I have taken over where they left off.

I have become my biggest critic. What I do is not good enough, or doesn't matter enough, or doesn't make a big enough difference. My list was measly, and sad, and really those adjectives were being a little prideful, weren't they?

But the truth sat in my heart too. "Enough" is comparative and undefinable. Yes, there will always be someone who does more, reaches more, touches more, and helps more than I do. Yes, there will always be someone who is better, more creative, and has more finesse than I do. BUT that should not negate my efforts, my trials, my attempts, or anything I do.

Because what if the widow thought her 2 mites wouldn't make a difference and hadn't given it? What if the young boy thought his fish and loaves weren't enough so he quietly slipped away? What if the woman who poured the oil thought it wouldn't really matter and turned at the door instead of entered in? Then stories would not have been told, miracles would not have happened, and examples wouldn't have been seen.

I am the critic's voice. I criticize myself until there is nothing left than pulp. Until anything I would like to do becomes so impossible that I don't even try. And in order to make myself feel better I criticize others. And all of this must stop. It simply. must. I know the truth, but I have to take hold of it and live it. Because while I continue to be my biggest critic I will also always be yours. And that I hate more than I can say.

Two articles I crossed paths with yesterday and today regarding criticism: Oswald reminds us why we aren't superior, and Mary shares how Satan uses critical people and what to do with it.

Comments

  1. Great post, Stacey. I think it's human nature to be critical of others ... of ourselves. I try not to, but hey, it doesn't always work out that way. And stories, so many stories are born out of such examples, as you say.

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    1. It's something to work on. I have a goal to not be so harsh and judgemental and hope that I can get there, clutter or no. ;)

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  2. I can so relate to you, too. Criticism..ugh. I read Mary's post and it was a good one, too! By the way, I think you're pretty great at writing great posts!

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    1. Ah, thanks so much! You are very kind, and I so appreciate your sweet words.

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  3. I keep making it harder than it needs to be so that I'm afraid to begin again. Hate that. Then I read this from Deidra and it feels a bit better:

    http://www.deidrariggs.com/2013/06/19/ten-minute-stretch/

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    1. Deidra is amazing!! I love her words. When I start to actually declutter I will be using the ten minute philosophy! Thanks for sharing the link Lorretta!

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  4. Excellent post! I belittle myself too often too! I'm apt to say "I can't" when the truth is that I'm simply unwilling to risk ... not just failure ... imperfection!

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    1. Ah yes. I live with a perfectionist so I understand what you are saying. It is SO HARD to let that go sometimes.

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  5. I can very much relate to that... I would very much worry about coming off as prideful, too. Or that the things I felt I was good at were terribly unimportant, so why even bother claiming them? I'm not sure I could even come up with 10.

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    1. Just remember that sometimes our ideas of what is important or not is skewed by what we think others would think, and they don't live our lives! You are important, and everything you do is important for a variety of reasons. And I know you could come up with 10.

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