How to escape criticism

Carpe Diem rocks on
Carpe Diem rocks on

“When our life reveals the secret of the human soul, those watching it may try to shame us for making it.”  Julia Cameron, the Artist’s Way, Jeremy P Tarcher/Putnam, NYC; 2002; pg 70

“It is a well-known fact that we see the faults in other’s works more readily than we do in our own.”  Pablo Picasso

“Those who wait for the LORD will never be put to shame.”  Isa 49:23
    That doesn't mean that people won’t try to shame you.  It does tell you that you can trust in the LORD and stand courageous in the attack.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

“To escape criticism:  do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”  Elbert Hubbard

It is important to be able to sort helpful criticism from the destructive.
    Useful criticism ultimately leaves us with one more puzzle piece for our growth.
    Useless criticism, on the other hand, leaves us with a feeling of being bludgeoned.  There is no grace in personal assault.  It is withering and shaming in tone; ambiguous in content; inaccurate or brutally condemning.  There is nothing to be gleaned from irresponsible criticism except a deeper understanding of your critic’s own vulnerability.  Remember that the Spirit convicts but does not condemn.     “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” Romans 8:1.  The entire epistle to the Romans is worth studying in the light of a life transformed by grace.

Julia Cameron tells that that, “There are certain rules that are useful in dealing with any form of criticism:
1.  Receive the criticism all the way through and get it over with.
2.  Jot down notes to yourself on what concepts or phrases bother you.
3.  Take notes on what concepts or phrases seem useful.
4.  Do something that nurtures you.  Read an old great review or compliment.  Recall your favorite affirmation.  The Liar may try to convince you that you had it all wrong, so stand strong in courageous defiance!
5.  Remember that even if you did something truly rotten, it may be a valuable lesson.  The human spirit matures spasmodically and often goes through ugly-duckling growth stages.  Just as a pearl is formed from an irritation that never goes away, we are formed into something beautiful.
6.  Look at the criticism again.  Does it remind you of any criticism from your past — particularly shaming childhood criticism?  Acknowledge to yourself that the current criticism is triggering grief over a long-standing wound.  This is a classic strategy of the evil one, to jab at your Achilles’ heel.
7.  Write a letter to the critic (most likely to be burned before mailing.)  Defend your work and acknowledge what was helpful, if anything, in the criticism proffered.  Be the stronger person.  Forgive as soon as possible.  Wash the salt from your wound to let healing begin.
8.  Get back on the horse.  Make an immediate commitment to do something creative.
9.  Do it.  Action is the only cure for criticism.

“Most contemporary therapists who work in depth with their patients know that behind the rigid top-heavy posture of most contemporary men is a little child with years of stored-up tears and fears.”  Stephen Larsen

List the derogatory names that were used against you as a child.  Now look up their definitions in the dictionary.  What do you think inspired these labels?  (Besides the Liar on the prowl.) What glory did others see in you that caused them to fear themselves?

“Like cool water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.”  Prov 25:25

“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart,
    and good news gives health to the bones.”  Prov 15:30

[the Source begins here.]


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