Reflections

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  1. Malag

    Less so now, but I have been stalked by perfectionism, which is the ultimate critic – can get into every column inch of the newspaper. Trying out new things with the joy of stumbling forward requires me to not take too much heed of my critic.

    2 years ago
  2. Nancy Walton-House63093

    When I am being critical, I focus on the negative and miss the positive in people, animals, experiences, places and myself. This diminishes my curiosity, calm, confidence, compassion, creativity, courage, clarity, and sense of connectedness – components of interior wellness according to Richard Schwartz, PhD, developer of the Internal Family Systems Model of Psychotherapy. As a result, the possibility of joy is greatly decreased for me.

    2 years ago
  3. Shell

    Stressing about work or feeling defeated, not good enough steals my joy.

    2 years ago
  4. vnm

    When I focus on the negative, I automatically lose joy. And one negative thought can lead to another, and another…until you’ve found yourself in a spiral of crushing emotions. And that negative energy, unfortunately, can rub off on others. Hijacking the joy of those around me. Being critical serves no purpose.

    2 years ago
  5. Hot Sauce

    Sometimes, people do stupid things that really get me riled up, but when I allow myself to get that way, I find that I am less open to unconditional love and care for others. On the other hand, when I work to cultivate forgiveness and remember that the person in question has a story that I could never fully understand, I am able to embrace them with love, remembering that they are acting from their own pain.

    2 years ago
  6. Pollyanna Gladwell

    When teaching I have, of necessity, been expected to evaluate or “critique” my pupils’ efforts. But this doesn’t mean that I am “being critical”. In the former I am looking for positive and negative attributes, while with the latter, I am only looking for and expressing the negative.

    And to do that is to be a killjoy, a single word that describes the hijacking of the possibility of joy in both the giver and the receiver of the criticism.

    I learned from the practice of the 12 Steps not to take others’ inventories but, if their behaviour causes resentment in me, then the answer is to pray for them and ask to be shown how to be useful to them.

    “I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me.”
    ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

    2 years ago
  7. Don Jones

    When I say, “I like this, but don’t like that”, it is a subtractive process. Joy resides in “all inclusiveness”.

    2 years ago
  8. Linda

    I think I do this to protect myself from disappointment. Of course, it also robs me of joy.

    2 years ago
  9. Z
    Zenith

    We won’t even go there. Being critical has, in the past, been my greatest fault. Since stumbling onto the book Secret last May and then this website, I have been engaged in a very real battle to become a positive person and suspend criticism. It is an ongoing battle, though I am noticing some small improvement. Being grateful is getting easier and more automatic.

    2 years ago
  10. Elaine

    Oh oh this touches my core wound — and my lifelong transforming work as an enneagram One.

    2 years ago
  11. L
    Lauryn

    I always read others responses first before adding my own and I like the distinction made between helpful and hurtful criticism—- because it’s when criticism = judgement and negativity that experiencing joy becomes less of a possibility. But when criticism = advancement and improvement it leads to results and accomplishments that allow us to experience joy.

    2 years ago
  12. Mica

    Not criticism, but worry – I’ve been good at remembering : “I can’t foresee the future” most of the time lately, but I started worrying about the election. Then I read in “Kitchen Table Wisdom” about responding to life with surprise, and I’m now regarding the election as an adventure instead of worrying about it. As I’ve said before, I don’t need to add more ‘worry’ to the world.

    2 years ago
  13. Papilio

    While my analytical mind helps me to make right decisions and solve problems, sometimes I feel the opportunities to soak myself into pure joy were robbed. Even though I don’t verbally express minor problems I can see, it manifests as skepticism and pessimism in my attitudes. I need some time-off from my critical thinking.

    2 years ago
  14. Antoinette

    I’m being critical of myself because I’m in pain. The pain from the migraine is brining me down. I have to be honest this is hard. I miss you joy .

    2 years ago
    1. Linda

      I am so sorry. I suffered from migraines for years until they finally went away in my late 20’s. I hope yours end for good soon.

      2 years ago
      1. Antoinette

        Thank you so much Linda . ♥️

        2 years ago
    2. Papilio

      I know that migraine and joy can’t co-exist. May your migraine attacks become less frequent and less painful soon.

      2 years ago
      1. Antoinette

        Papillo ,
        What you say is true . It’s challenging me deeply. 3rd day today. Thank you for your kindness.

        2 years ago
  15. S
    Skeeter77742

    Ah, where do I begin in a world that seems to be turned inside out right now. Joy is only possible in the present moment and I have allowed the trifecta of disasters (political, environmental and COVID) to take me out of the present moment. The “them and us” feeling that is never healthy, nor joyful. I am working on that one.

    2 years ago
  16. Present Moment

    Criticism is judgement. It indicates less than full acceptance of a shared, sacred plan. My.joy is in full acceptance that I am always cared for by a collective wisdom greater than my own.

    2 years ago
  17. Carla

    I’ve been in communal projects where I’ve unconsciously become a judge & jury & sometimes executioner by negative thinking & judgmental words. It quickly eroded any feeling of joy from being involved with the group. Entering projects w/out expectations is the direction I need to take. We’re all doing the best we can.

    2 years ago
  18. Michele

    I made a critical decision of leaving my former employer before lining up a job … I had a decent savings and wanted to eliminate stress and find a better fit for me. It was scary but pure JOY once I made that decision and left. No hijacking, I turned a negative into a positive. No regrets.

    2 years ago
    1. L
      Lauryn

      I’ve done this before— it’s a good feeling for sure!

      2 years ago
    2. Ed

      YES!

      2 years ago
  19. Javier Visionquest

    Is our critique accurate? Is it relevant? Is it kind? Guard your thoughts because if you’re not using your mind, then it’s probably using you

    2 years ago
  20. Trish

    There are times when I focus on a negative action or words that someone has done or said & it’s hard for me to see past it. We are all a walking dichotomy & there’s so much goodness in each of us, which brings joy to me when I choose to see it. Negative thoughts weigh me down and my life is so much richer when it’s consumed by joy.

    2 years ago
    1. Present Moment

      I love the image of. “a life consumed by joy”

      2 years ago
      1. Trish

        There’s nothing better!!

        2 years ago
  21. devy

    Being critical is the same as being negative. It harbours anger, non acceptance and creates tension and conflict for oneself and others. Being critical creates a smoke screen which hides the positive things and gratitude which encircle us.

    2 years ago
  22. Kevin

    I think that I can honestly say that at those infrequent times when I am critical of a situation or action, it’s because I was hopeful for an outcome that was successful, positive, or one that benefited others. I propose here that being critical may also mean that I am being discerning, not because I am seeking my own joy, but rather, I am invested in a mutually good outcome for all parties.

    2 years ago
    1. Z
      Zenith

      I like your comment that it is healthy to be discerning. I do it all the time but have been viewing it as critical in a negative sense. I knew there was a place for discernment. Thank you.

      2 years ago
  23. EJP

    Being critical of the small, petty things in life often takes away any joy from the moment. .Pick your battles wisely.

    2 years ago
  24. Howie Geib

    When I read this I understood my question to be critical equating to negativity. Finding the flaws, the shortcomings and the weaknesses of any situation or person or place, is a focus which can stifle spontaneity, humor, lightheartedness and downright silliness. All of which are pretty important in regards to ways of expressing joy. Now there is a time and place for critical eyes, as a teacher for instance, or coach. When being placed in those roles where I am accountable for the outcomes it is easy to fall into. And in these ways it is not only common to be critical but pretty necessary to the job to some extent. That is the issue for me anyway, when is it going from helpful to hurtful? So there it is, that slender reed of a boundary which I can easily overlook.

    2 years ago
    1. Present Moment

      The difference between criticism and disernment…. The value of discernment seems to be the inclusion of a giant pause before one’s observation is shared. …. checking the criteria of truth, kindness and necessity as Javier pointed out.

      2 years ago
    2. Kevin

      Amen, Howie! Thank you for your take on today’s question.

      2 years ago

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