Don’t be distracted by criticism.  The only taste some people have of success is when they take a bite out of us.  Criticism hurts–this is true.  No one likes to hear their bad qualities or weaknesses verbalized.  It can be very discouraging.  It seems that we can be adequate 99 times yet the one time we are inadequate is what is noticed or pointed at.  It’s easy to down ourselves when this happens.  Some of us just “try harder” while others simply give up.  Criticism is not helpful in most cases.  We don’t really need another person pointing out our flaws.  We can usually see those for ourselves.  We tend to magnify our own short comings anyway so it’s not at all encouraging to have another person confirm our own self-downing.  There are people who do tend to only focus on our flaws and the one time we did, indeed, fail them.  Because we are not perfect does not mean we are forever to be damned.  We, thankfully, are not defined by our worst moments although we might be continuously reminded of them.  Pay close attention to those offering criticism and we will see they are actually talking about themselves while pointing at us.  Most anything truly hurtful said to us is merely a reflection of the person speaking to us–not an accurate picture of ourselves.  It’s true we do make mistakes and are imperfect.  We all fall short of our best selves.  This, however, is not for someone else to highlight and correct.  It’s for us to notice within ourselves and improve as we determine necessary or proper.  The next time someone offers up unsolicited advice (also known as spontaneous criticism), we don’t have to respond at all.  If we are uncomfortable simply staring back at someone who has just tried to take a bite out of our success, we could try saying “how am I supposed to respond to that” or “I don’t know how to respond to that statement”.  If we want to be even more direct we could say “don’t judge me” or “we can’t all be you”.  webbwisdom.com 2017.

Chapel at Christmas