I did something at church last Sunday that I rarely do. I told the members at Unity that they should do something. I don’t like to be “should” on so, therefore, I do my very best not to “should” on others.
Still, I told them they should be at the membership meeting this month. Membership means something to me and part of what it means is participation. It’s an important meeting so, yes, members should be there. This makes better sense: Granted, if everyone felt as passionate about membership to organizations as I feel, I wouldn’t have to mention it in the first place, but that’s another topic for later.
I bring up “shoulding” (again!) because perhaps you’ve noticed how some people will often compliment you on an accomplishment and then, without even taking a breath, proceed to tell you how you “should” have done it. I find that amazing, almost entertaining, most of the time and downright annoying the rest of the time.
One of the most difficult things to experience is criticism from others, even if those attacks are couched in a compliment. It is at these times that we must dodge and deflect. If we allow others to throw us off balance we can lose sight of our own vision and our goals.
What dodging and defecting unnecessary criticism can do is strengthen our resolve and shore up the core foundations of our beliefs. If we are not careful we can get caught up in the negative attacks. We often find such attacks are based on the person’s own insecurities or feelings of inadequacy.
In the midst of that, however, is the infuriating fact that regardless of the person’s intent (conscious or subconscious), the poor “shoulder” might just have an idea we ought to consider. Like I said, it’s somewhat infuriating. It’s a lot like your ex or your mother-in-law calling you on your stuff. You get the picture and it’s not pretty.
It is an issue of balance. If we can hear criticism constructively and objectively we will become more confident and often find some fine tuning of our actions that we can do to accelerate the progression toward our goals. After a while we’ll be able to hear the words, pick what we can use and cast away the rest. Now that’s power.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,