Experiencing Our Inner Critic

Posted on Posted in Inspiration, Self-Care, Self-Study, Spirituality

Hello & welcome back!

I’m so pleased to have you back here while I give further explanation of this new offering.

Firstly, I would like to introduce the idea of our Inner Critic, how to identify it, how to separate from it, and why we should embrace all aspects of ourselves. At the end I’ll share more details about my newest offering. Read on…

Experiencing Our Inner Critic | EJL Blog

What is our Inner Critic?

Some would say, “who is” our Inner Critic, but rather than giving it this personalization I’ll be sticking with “what”. So, what is it? It is a part of us. More to the point, a part of our ego. This part likes to keep us safe. Safe, not in the literal sense, but more in an ideological & emotional sense. This part of us tells us we aren’t enough, we should do better, we’re too fat/skinny/tall/short/white/black/freckled/smart/stupid/funny/boring, etc. You get the idea. Why does it tell us this? An old evolutionary trick that is meant to keep us accepted by the herd and therefore ensure our safety.

But, as you know, we are no longer living in nomadic societies and being chased by predators. We no longer need the physical protection of our tribe.

How to Identify our Inner Critic

Many of us listen to our inner dialogue (sometimes taking the shape of our Inner Critic) all day long and assume that this dialogue is “us” and cannot be controlled or changed in any way. This is our ego mind.

This is not “us”, not the true Us anyway. Our True Self is a part of our soul. A part untouched, unsullied by the ego and all of it’s manipulations. You may have already had an experience with this part of yourself and not even known it.

Have you ever dropped so deeply into the present moment that everything else around you faded into the background? You were still aware of everything, but it was more background chatter. Your entire focus was on what was in front of you, in a way so crystal clear that when you remember the memory it is as if you are living it all again, right at this very moment. Sights, smells, touchable textures, sounds, and most importantly, how you felt sticks with you so clearly it is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. This is a moment of pure awareness, pure consciousness, where we move beyond our normal repetitive thoughts and feelings and just BE. This is the complete opposite of your Inner Critic.

Any time you find yourself making the same judgments about yourself or others again and again, this is your Inner Critic. Any time you find yourself engaged in negative self-talk, this is your Inner Critic. Any time you find yourself cursing under your breath (or out loud) about someone, including yourself, this is your Inner Critic. Any time you are engaged in negative thoughts/feelings/words/behavior, this is your Inner Critic.

How to Separate from our Inner Critic

I want to start this section off by saying your Inner Critic (IC) is a part of you. Instead of making it our goal to become completely free of our IC, we should seek to first identify it and then integrate it.

I do like the word “separate” in this instance because it allows us to understand that our minds can indeed view this voice as separate from our Selves. As it is indeed separate from our Highest Self.

So how do we, on a daily basis, separate the thoughts that come from our IC and the thoughts that come from Us? Firstly, we must be aware that the running commentary in our head is not all there is to us. We are not our thoughts. We are not the constant judgments that seep into our day. We are not the road rage, anxiety, depression, pain, chronic disease, eating disorder, or body image disorder. While these things undoubtedly have profound effects on our lives, they are not the whole of us.

I believe that what exists at the core of all those above mentioned issues lies our IC. While it’s original purpose was to keep us safe from predators, it has morphed, over hundreds of years, into a savage internal dialogue that now tells us we are not enough, we aren’t worthy, we are separate from one another, and therefore we must suffer, and indeed we are the only ones suffering.

This could not be farther from the truth. We are all in this together, and you are not alone in your suffering.

Try this: the very next time you have a negative thought or judgement, whether towards yourself or others, take a mental step back and review the judgement. Why did you make this judgement? How did it make you feel? How do you feel now, stepping back from it? Did this benefit you in any way to make this judgement? How did you feel in your body when you made this judgement? Make a mental note or jot something down in your journal.

Experiencing Our Inner Critic | EJL blog

Embracing our Inner Critic

Why should we embrace our IC? As I mentioned before, this is an evolutionary trait that served us quite well in the past. It ensured our acceptance by the larger tribe, thus giving us access to food, water, shelter, a family unit, and safety from predators. Now that we are no longer living in that type of society some would argue we should evolve past the need for our egos/IC. To save lots of time and grief, let’s just admit that that won’t be happening any time soon. For now, the best and healthiest thing we can do is to step back and view our IC as just another aspect of ourselves that deserve our love & respect.

This part of us can also be viewed as our shadow side. Just as the yin/yang symbol illustrates for us, we must have both dark and light to truly know one or the other. And it’s not just about knowing, but about appreciating. If all of our days were happy, sunshiney, and care free, would we be grateful? Would we even be able to see how easy things are? I believe we would have a hard time even understanding what “happy” is without sadness.

All of our emotions have a place and purpose, and our IC is no exception. When we embrace this less than shiny aspect of ourselves it enables us to also embrace this not so shiny aspect in others, thus allowing us to be more compassionate and accepting of ourselves and others.

Enough discontent. Enough anger, self judgment, self hatred. Enough negative self talk.

Instead let us choose to embrace, to love, to be kind, compassionate and be what this planet needs us to be…the best, most fully integrated versions of ourselves.

I hope you’ll join me. We are all in this together.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, I’d like to share a bit about what you should expect during the 2 week journey, if you choose to join me, and I truly hope you do.

First I want to say, if you already receive my blog posts via email, thank you! But, you must enter your contact info below to receive the emails for this offering. I’m doing this to make sure I’m not overloading anyone’s inbox. Thanks for understanding!

Experiencing Our Inner Critic | EJL blogWhat to Expect

  • This offering runs Monday July 18th – Sunday July 31st.
  • You’ll be getting 1 email per day Monday – Friday. Each day will have a unique journal prompt to get your juices flowing and offer a jumping off point for self exploration.
  • 1 additional email will be sent on Saturday with an exclusive guided meditation (for a total of 2 exclusive guided meditations).
  • The Saturday email will also include some gentle words of encouragement & suggestions for reflection.
  • The first week we will be exploring & working with our IC and how it relates to us.
  • The second week we will explore how our IC goes to work on others.
  • Your opt-in for this offering also includes full access to a private Facebook group with others who have chosen to join in. I will be checking in periodically in the group to support you as much as I can.
  • As I continue to develop and run these type of offerings in the future, you’ll be some of the first to hear about them. Not only that, but you’ll be given exclusive discounts on future e-booklets and courses of this nature.

Enrollment for this course is currently closed. We begin on Monday July 18th. If you are interested in the course, please email me directly at enthusiastic_joyful_life@yahoo.com and depending on the date, I may be able to add you in. I will run this course again in the future as well, so I may have to add you to the future course. Thank you so much for your interest! 

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