I had a chance—two chances, in fact—to answer that question recently. The answer in both cases was “Not very good.”
I generally respond to criticism kindly, even if the critic is not being kind. Within this past month two people have harshly criticized my spiritual work, and me personally.
The first I had never met and did not know. In fact, she obviously knew nothing about my work. Except one thing—she didn’t like it.
The other was a formerly close friend who’d enthusiastically supported my work for many years. We’d drifted apart but had stayed in touch, and were friendly. Then suddenly, “out of the blue,” she launched into a vicious personal tirade against me, detailing all the ways she thought I was a failure.
I fussed and fumed about both incidents for a few days. Then I realized I was making myself miserable for no good reason. My spirit guides and I have written and spoken about this very topic many times. Why was I not listening to their and my own advice?
If we create our own realities, as I believe—and as many teachers say, then I created these two experiences.
Clearly, there was something in myself I needed to look at. The obvious answer (at least it was obvious to me) was it really doesn’t matter what people think or say about me. But if I cannot divorce myself emotionally from other people’s opinions, negative or positive, then something is lacking in me.
While we are all teachers and students for each other, this world needs a lot more positive energy than we’re giving it. The more we can uplift and inspire one another, the more we help to heal others and ourselves.
So, after a few days, I decided to take a lighthearted approach to those two complaints, and to all others from now on. (If you’ll closely examine the above image, you’ll see the humor in it.)
If folks want to complain to me, that’s their right. And I’ll listen if it’s well-intended. But if it’s mean-spirited, as were the two recent complaints I received, I’ll just ignore them. No response is needed, as that only adds to the negative, downward energy spiral.
Anyone who puts her/himself out there into the public eye, as many of us do, is never going to please everyone. As Abraham Lincoln supposedly said (it’s not certain he actually said it, but the words are still wise): “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time. But you can never please all of the people all of the time.”
Here’s a wonderfully uplifting video from Gabby Bernstein, a delightful woman whose wisdom far exceeds her relatively young age.
How do you feel when someone criticizes you? How do you react to their criticism, especially if it’s harsh or unjustified? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.
What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.
About John Cali
John Cali is a writer, blogger, and channel for a group of spirit guides. His next book is Real Answers to Life’s Pesky Questions: Conversations With Spirit, Book 1. John lives in northwestern Wyoming.