Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to discern between what is feedback and what is criticism.
As a person committed to self growth, I care deeply about how I show up in the world, and with others. I strive to be in alignment with truth as much as I can be. So when I got some feedback recently, I found myself responding to it as if it were criticism.
At first, I rationalized that it was just my hormones. I was being over emotional.
Then I began to wonder what was “true” for me, and what was projection.
I went around and around with this.
Still, I persevered, wanting to know, wanting to identify my triggers.
Later, I brainstormed this with my best friend. He finally asked me, “Does it really matter, feedback, criticism? What if it’s all true?”
At first I felt myself constrict, like taking a hit. Ouch. Because that would mean I was wrong!
But then I reasoned, why not? I’d been perseverating over this and not really getting anywhere. Maybe this approach could work.
My friend then added, “if you take it all in, you render it powerless.”
Now I definitely wanted to try!
The next morning I woke up and read my Course in Miracles Lesson, which was “If I defend myself, I am attacked.”
Those words offered me an immediate a-ha! Because they spoke to the issue I’d been grappling with the day before. This was exactly what I’d been invited to do!
I closed my eyes and felt into the “feedback.” As I did, I realized that my discomfort over being criticized or wrong was completely gone! Since I had chosen to accept everything as true, the words had no hold over me anymore.
I felt so free! Because I wasn’t trying to defend, I no longer felt attacked!
The lesson goes on to say:
A healed mind does not plan. It carries out the plans which it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own. It waits until it has been taught what should be done and then proceeds to do it. It does not depend upon itself for anything except its adequacy to fulfill the plans assigned to it. It is secure in certainty that obstacles cannot impede its progress to accomplishment of any goal which serves the greater plan established for the good of everyone. A Course in Miracles, Lesson 135
Now our challenge is to remember this in every situation! To surrender ourselves to be the vessel for truth.
The last line of the lesson reminds us that, “the [child] of God needs no defense against the truth of his reality.”
These words were like a healing balm to me and I felt like I could lay back into them and rest in knowing that it was all perfect.
So the next time you feel criticized or receive feedback, see if you can remember these words of salvation. And release the need to defend.
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