Criticism from a loved one. Cuts so deep.
Holding a larger weight, coming from someone close to me, than remarks from a stranger or acquaintance. The thoughts of loved ones about me matter more, than the thought/belief others more distant might or might not hold of me. Sometimes it’s not even criticism, simply an observation or a wandering though being voiced. But I take it as criticism, I turn it into critique in my inner monologue.
When I get lost in the criticism from loved ones, my fear of losing the love of those closest to me, losing their respect, grows and grows, the more I value that unique individual. The greater the importance I place upon that someone, the greater the fear of having them disappear from my life. And if/when they critique me, that is what I fear the most. That they will leave me.
And it is odd. Because this means that I don’t hear what they say. I don’t hear the possible truth or message there might be in what I’m being told. I shut down, stop truly listening, my love for me and them seems to dissipate and my fear takes over. Fear of what might be, of what it might mean.
Often, arguments follow. Or sulking.
Sometimes what started as an innocent remark can escalate into what feels like an outright war.
And guess what.
I just realized, I am that loved one once in a while as well. I am not solely the one being critiqued, I also give critique to others. It doesn’t seem too farfetched to suggest that it works the same for them, as it does for me, does it?
But what would happen, when critiqued (that is, when I perceive that I am being critiqued!), if I stayed in love, rather than jump headfirst into my deepest fears? What might I learn? Is there learning for me there? About me? Or about my loved one? Learnings that I turn my back on, all because I lose my way, and get lost in the dungeons of my fear landscape. Dark. Cold.
What if I simply stick to love instead?
First published on my blog on April 28th, 2016: https://helenaroth.com/criticism-from-a-loved-one/
Audio production: Caspian Almerud
Photography: Anders Roos http://www.andersroos.nu/
Soundtrack: Olof Jennfors Ljudtjänst http://jennforsljud.se/