Is Uninvited Criticism the Enemy—or Is It Us?

Is Uninvited Criticism the Enemy—or Is It Us?

Mental blocks. Distorted thinking. Cognitive distortions. Stinkin’ thinkin’.

There are a lot of names for it, but these are all ways to refer to a pattern of inaccurate thoughts or beliefs that keep us stuck and unable to heal old wounds and trauma. The other day, I was asked about one of mine.

“What will take you out, every time?” one of my coaches asked.

I knew well enough not to think too hard about it but instead go with my intuitive sense. “Criticism,” I said.

And then, working with that, I was able to narrow it down. It wasn’t just criticism. It wasn’t just uninvited criticism. It was uninvited criticism about how I expressed myself—my words and appearance. That pointed to an old wound, heavily criticized as a child by family members as well as peers about how I told stories, how I sang, how I dressed, my hair, my weight, my teeth, my height, my intelligence.

It’s as if one of my child parts got stuck as a skinny nine-year-old, deep-thinking weirdo with buck teeth, braces, long, stringy hair, and messy handwriting. A person assigned female at birth with severe body dysmorphia who talks too much, sings too much, cares too much, talks to invisible people, and spends too much time writing and daydreaming and not enough time doing chores.

That nine-year-old was convinced they were too much and not enough, all at once.

But adult-me doesn’t generally get that kind of criticism, and if I do, it’s from someone I don’t trust and don’t have room for in my life.

So, it’s not criticism that takes me out. It’s the anticipation of criticism. Because that nine-year-old is still expecting it around every corner.

What have I done in reaction to that fear, that anticipation? I silence and squash myself. I make myself small, unnoticeable, forgettable. I will even breathe so shallowly that no one can hear me, and I can barely feel it myself.

It’s almost as if I will myself not to exist anymore.

That’s no way to live. In fact, I could argue that that’s a kind of death.

When I work with my clients, we invite our soul guides in. What are soul guides? I use “soul guides” as an umbrella term to encompass spirit guides, angels/messengers, ascended masters, animal spirits, ancestors, our higher self, and the Source of All. Each one may have a different role to play in supporting us to experience what we’re here to experience.

It’s not about following their directions or doing what they say. (Real guides won’t tell you what to do; they’ll offer suggestions and defer to your free will.) Rather, it’s that our guides see us as we really are, underneath the self-criticism and shame. They see our true essence, with loving eyes, not critical ones.

Some people don’t silence and squash themselves. They make themselves bigger, better, best. It still hides the same self-criticism and shame. And their guides can see through it.

“If you saw yourselves the way we see you,” Dresden, my primary guide, said in my forthcoming book 10 Things Your Soul Guides Want You to Know: Especially If You Have Anxiety, Depression, Chronic Pain, or PTSD, “you would treat yourselves like the divine beings you are.”

It’s a process to begin accepting such a perspective. I argued for years against it, until I exhausted my arguments and came to realize that I was arguing for silencing and squashing myself. I was, in effect, betraying myself every time I shut myself down. I didn’t even need those uninvited, untrusted critics. I was doing their dirty work for them.

Elizabeth Gilbert wrote about four questions to ask in determining who earned the right to offer her criticism to which she’d listen. My guides meet all four of these criteria. My critical relatives did not. Nor does my inner critic.

Today, I’ve got that nine-year-old’s back. They grew up into a thoughtful, loving, compassionate person who still talks to invisible people, even (or especially) while doing chores. It’s time to stop silencing and squashing ourselves. It’s time to live from our whole essence.

“If you saw yourselves the way we see you,” said Dresden, my primary guide, “you would treat yourselves like the divine beings you are.” Click To Tweet

Is your inner critic getting you down? Sign up to download my free mini-ebook, Self-Talk and the Inner Critic.

What Are Soul Guides?

I use “soul guides” as an umbrella term to encompass spirit guides, angels/messengers, ascended masters, animal spirits, ancestors, and Source/Spirit. Each one may have a different role to play in supporting you to experience what you’re here to experience. Here’s a brief description:

Spirit guides: Energy beings of a high vibrational frequency, who have gone through extensive training—through both incarnations and back Home—and whose role is to provide support for a soul incarnated into physical form. There is a kind of hierarchy of spirit guides, with some working with “supervisor” guides.

Angels/messengers: Extremely high-vibrational beings who have a wide variety of responsibilities. The word “angel” comes from Greek and literally means “messenger.” As the word angel has acquired quite a bit of Christian religious baggage, some angels have expressed a preference to be described instead as “messengers,” saying that it’s more accurate. They also are adamant that the message is more important than the messenger. The status that humans give to them is largely irrelevant to them. Most (but not all) have never incarnated in a lifetime from birth to death.

Ascended masters: Souls who have achieved a very high vibrational frequency and incarnated with the specific purpose of teaching humanity and bringing them closer to their true essence as a spark of Source energy.

Animal spirits: Spirits who present themselves as animals, either incarnated or not, or who can shape-shift between human and animal forms, whose responsibility is to guide you on your way toward what you intended to experience in this lifetime.

Ancestors: Previously incarnated souls who were part of your family line in this or a previous incarnation, who encourage, comfort, and love you from back Home. They may also visit as spirits, working in tandem with animals or insects, or manipulating energy to comfort and encourage you.

Source/Spirit: The Source of All, the conscious energy that creates and permeates everything.

 

If you want to learn how to connect with your own guides, contact me for a free Illumination Call.

Are Guides, Angels, or God Causing Covid-19?

Are guides and angels (or is God) causing the current novel coronavirus and Covid-19 in order to get our attention or to punish us?

I’ve been asked this question now four times in the past two days. The answer is an unequivocal NO.

This is not a divine punishment, nor is it a wakeup call because we haven’t been paying attention. This is a natural extension of living in a physical world that supports replication and mutation of genetic material. It is no different, spiritually, from any other disease-causing pathogen.

Here’s where you can go with the challenges created by the current pandemic: you can really begin to see that we are all connected. You can see that what each one of us does has a ripple effect on so many others. And we get to choose if that ripple is one of disease risk or of kindness and compassion. You can acknowledge your mortality and that of everyone else, and be the best version of yourself that you know how to be in this moment.

You can do all you can with what you have from where you are.

Each one of us has a ripple effect on so many others. And we get to choose if that ripple is one of disease risk or of kindness and compassion. Click To Tweet

You can practice physical distancing, but remain social via any of the many apps available now to connect us, whether Zoom, FaceTime (if you’re an Apple user), social media, Marco Polo, Skype, etc. By reaching out to others, you also bring yourself out of the internal isolation and thought-spiraling that can make you feel worse.

 

Are our guides sitting around on their thumbs while this is going on? While people are getting sick and dying?

No. They want very much to remind you that you are a spark of Source energy, that you matter to the world, and that you are far more powerful than you think you are. They want to support and encourage you to grow and learn and experience. And they are having a difficult time being heard above all the fear and anxiety and constant input from the media.

How can you get their message?

Limit your consumption of the media, both in terms of time and the reputation of the source. Aim for the least biased sources, with the least amount of hype. Public radio and public television are more likely to give you that than commercial broadcasting.

Make time to be. Whether in silence or yoga or meditation or prayer, take some time to be still and silent and with yourself. Open yourself to the “still, small voice.”

Stay in the moment. If your mind races off to some other place or time, bring it back gently and let those thoughts and feelings go.

Breathe. Slow and easy, relaxed and comfortable.

If you are someone who likes or is open to guided imagery, I’ve uploaded two calming meditations on Soul Guides’ new YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQQgOCRiQAlJkrdQxkMjyIQ

There are also two videos there (with more to come) on shifting your energy away from anxiety and toward gratitude and love.

 

Beware those who spread more fear

I’ve also seen warnings from spiritually-inclined people that we should prepare for apocalyptic-like failures, such as a global internet or power blackout or fuel scarcity or long-term food (and toilet paper) shortages.

No. This is nothing more than buying into fear and creating more panic. The real threat is overwhelming the capacity and capabilities of hospitals. No zombies. No end-of-times.

Just another opportunity for you to center and ground yourself, connect with yourself and your guides, and be the gift you are to this world.

If you want to learn how to connect with your own guides, contact me for a free Illumination Session.

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