Weekly exercise: "Watch my criticism of others"
This week we will look at the criticism we have of others. We will pay attention to situations in which we speak or write with other people, and look at the criticism we get. Let's just recognize the sentences we say to ourselves about the other at that moment, and remember them.
It is very important not to be judgmental about our criticism, because then we will not be able to really observe. If we become judgmental about our criticism, we will try to change it, and we will not be able to really look at it.
Over the weekend we will make a list of 3 main features that we were critical of in the other.
For example: he talks too much, she makes up or lies, he doesn't know what he's talking about, she doesn't love me, he's trying to avoid me, she's stupid, he's cocky, she's selfish, he's depressed.
In the end we will get a list of 3 traits that we tend to complain about and avoid. We'll keep the list and we can work with it down our way.
Some thoughts on the exercise.
If we want to get from one point to another, we must first know where we stand exactly. In every process of development it is the most important thing to establish already at the beginning, where I stand. What is the truth about my present place.
It’s so hard for us to look at ourselves because we’re constantly trying to fix. We try to skip the first steps of the scale which are:
- Pay attention to what there is
- Accept what is, accept the reality of the situation.
One of the things most of us find the hardest to accept is our own criticism. We prefer to see ourselves as someone who has transcended beyond criticism, and if he is already critical then mainly towards himself.
But if we manage to recognize for a moment our criticism, and clarify to ourselves what are hated about us in others, we will get a glimpse of our own shadow. For the part that is most difficult for us to see, yet he is part of us.
We will receive qualities that we have in the shadows, in hiding, qualities that belong to us but we do not allow them to be, and we often cast on the other.
Features that are forbidden to us, and therefore we cannot observe them by ourselves.
If I hate when people show off, may I ask am I doing this? Where do I get this done? If I hate being exploited I will ask am I being exploiting? If I'm born of insecurity and weakness I'll ask where I'm weak and insecure?
What matters is this: The way we criticize others, can give us clues about ourselves. We can ask why this particular feature upsets me so much. Why does it pinch me in the most sensitive place? We will get an opportunity to explore aspects of ourselves that are less accessible to us in our daily lives.