June 20, 2011
People often make ‘mistakes’ in not being conscious of what’s appropriate behavior when in the company of another. Criticism of you is an opportunity to consider it’s merits, or to consider the source, and it’s fallacies. Be open to criticism, and let others know you are, rather than make others feel you are unapproachable, and set in your ways with no openness. Some of us are our own best critics, but generally people avoid criticism even if it would help improve something. To be more consciously spiritual one must have an open heart, and mind to invite in suggestions, or criticism in order to look deeper at aspects of yourself that you may be insulated from seeing.
People are sometimes fearful of voicing their opinions and viewpoints to another for fear of being judged, or possibly incurring a negative reaction that may even cost a friendship. Be open, and make it obvious to all that regardless of ones personal views about you, they will be met with as much positivity as possible not making the one critical be the victim of a good intent. ‘Skillful means’, or sensitivity to the situation and the persons ego are always a consideration. Walk softly with heart open into another’s persona that they may or may not feel protective of keeping it as it is.
Not only is the ‘how’ to drop a criticism important, but in allowing another to be wrong in criticism by perhaps asking them to elaborate or explain because it may be entirely different than it seems. Reacting against words that are meant another way is an embarrassment, but is not uncommon. Assume that the ‘criticizer’ has good intentions even if they are not really reading that criticized correctly. Always assume the best, but be open to anything. Learn to be a sensitive giver and receiver of others thoughts or opinions however they may go against what you think and experience.
When to give criticism is exercising sensitivity where ‘how’ may play a role in opening the other’s mind and heart to it. For example, if one is making love, it’s the wrong time to overtly criticize for sure, but done sensitively from the heart to the others heart, be it nonverbal, may be hopefully harmonious. Likewise, someone who is, or might be, feeling down for some reason, needs care, and sensitivity with compassion in approaching. Be open to another with your state of feeling in the moment. Always open the heart of compassion and vulnerability, and seek to be in awareness without judgments. Remember, criticism is an opportunity. Say yes and seek the merits of criticism. We are all connected as one perfect spirit, but due to circumstances we show up differently to each other. The greatest things are achieved with a light heart!