Hettienne Ma

Inner Critic : Judge, Jury and Sentenced : verdict guilty!

In resurrection, The Path of Love, The way of the heart on November 5, 2010 at 7:24 am

The Critical Inner self, or the Inner Judge, is the one voice and aspect of the shadow self, that is at the core of personal stress.  It is this voice that people try to drown through entertainment, drugs, food, and other means of escape.  Most of the courses of action taken are really coping mechanisms in trying to acquire peace within or just to live with the inner critic.

It is an insidious and at times hard to detect, relentless inner voice which eventually leads to your full submission to its will.  This voice may be a combination of internalised voices, such as those of parents or other authority figures.  It often also includes anger and rage which has been turned inward, instead of being directed at the person responsible, and a few other cases which I will discuss below.

It is important to understand that the inner critic was created to protect you from SHAME.  This makes it very difficult to discern and to overcome the critic, as at its core is your deepest fear.  So it serves you and it has served you when you felt humiliated or scorned by another; mostly by parents or other authority figures or your peers.

When you have come to know and be aware of the inner critic, you can become its master and it can serve you.  It can become your inner radar and it can help to guide you when you are off-track.  But in order for that to happen, you need to be aware of and know your inner critic – otherwise it will be your master and jailer!

The inner critic is present in the negative inner voice and also in the inner judge : that part of yourself that makes the rules by which you should live. It is a very cruel and self-deprecating voice and it assumes many guises and roles within and this makes it often quite difficult to detect and pin point. However,   if  you pay attention to this voice long enough, you will notice that it never offers a solution or a way out.  It creates a deep ‘groove’ in your mental pattern and eventually it creates a neural pathway and soon enough, this  becomes your comfort zone – without you realising that this is happening.

It is not heard as a separate voice in your head, but often as a train of thoughts that comments continuously on every action that you take.  During this train of thought it casually and relentlessly puts you down and sabotages your successes.

The inner critic and judge is the one that is creating your anxiety.  It tells you when to worry and what to worry about and believe it or not, you can become addicted to this critical self.  High achievers and goal oriented personality types often use this inner critic as a motivating tool – not through the proverbial carrot in this case, but with the use of a whip!

Often you are placing too much pressure on yourself and your expectations are too high.  In effect, you are setting yourself up to become an easy target and prey to the inner critic.  As in all aspects of the personal self, the inner critic has to be identified and eventually mastered!

It is normal to have concerns about your life and all its aspects and relationships and I am not a believer in transcendence myself nor the New Age adage that all is well and therefore I need do nothing or this is only an illusion, so why should I care.  True spirituality is passionate, grounded, compassionate and present and free from the negative inner voice!

A powerful way of confronting and challenging the inner critic is through
the witnessing self and through the simple question : “Says who?”.

The inner critic is based and rooted in your perceptions.  This is why it is often so powerful to verbalise it towards someone who is supporting you in your quest to overcome the inner critic, as the other person will probably not share your perception and will be able to show you that it is possible to drop that belief system.

However, due to our vibrational resonance with others, we are attracted to those who share our perceptions, belief systems and yes, also the inner critic.  In the beginning of the relationship (and this can be any relationship and often experienced in a teacher/student or guru/disciple relationship) it is all ‘love and light’ and then the dark teacher will appear in the form of the one who awakens your inner critic.  This is a very vulnerable stage of the relationship and also of inner growth and development.  If the teacher/guide/therapist has not overcome enough of his/her inner critic, the vulnerable seeker will be open to manipulation and being taken advantage of and often abused.  Because of the seeker’s own wounding and limited perception, it will be almost impossible to discern and distinguish the dark play. Often this results in an incredible surge and intensification of the seeker’s inner critic and he/she gets sucked deeper into the quagmire of religion or dogma, thus being kept prisoner by his or her own assumed guilt!

When the pain becomes unbearable, the seeker may wake up to this self-abuse and abuse at the hands of another or he/she may try to break the pattern and eventually wake up to the truth.  (or of course there is always the third choice : he/she may move into denial and continue to assume the inner role of victim or martyr).

HOW TO OVERCOME THE INNER CRITIC

1. Learn to identify your inner selves and their voices.  Here are some guidelines :

– in which situations does it arise?

– which of your actions make it speak up more loudly?

– what does it tell you about yourself and every aspect of your life?

– does this voice sound mean and angry? does it attack you directly with cruel and demeaning statements about yourself and your actions? (you are not a likeable person; you are so envious/judgemental/selfish)

– or does it trick you with a soft, gentle and self-soothing voice encouraging you to self-indulge and always encouraging you in your self-sabotaging ways? (do not worry, you will be fine – no need to listen to others and their comments – they are just nasty, or jealous – have that second piece of cake, no need to starve yourself)

The inner critic seduces you into acting against your goals and then punishes you when you do so; in fact, for the very action that it encouraged you to take.

2. Witness the inner critic

Keep a notebook with you and write down the voice and statements of the inner critic that you hear and are aware of.  Then turn these statements into ones ‘outside’ of yourself by making them into sentences starting with ‘you’.  For instance, you are such a nasty piece of work.

Then read these sentences and understand that you cannot possible thrive with this voice present.

3.  Let go of the guilt

The first action to take to let go of this sadistic enemy within, is to let go of the guilt.  The inner critic and judge feeds off the guilt.  you will notice the presence of a god that judges in all religions – this is the ultimate projected and personified inner critic and judge.  So, let go of the guilt!

In the words of A Course In Miracles :  you did not create yourself.  You did not create your personality type, choose your genetic tendencies, placed yourself in your early life experiences – how can you therefore assume responsibility and guilt for your own creation.

Secondly, these statements are not true facts about who you are – so set into motion a process of changing those belief systems, find the tools to help you change your perceptions!

4.  Start to react and come from a more loving and compassionate place within yourself

You can counter act these vicious statements with positive affirmations or statements of your true beliefs and especially through the conviction of your faith in a benevolent inner Self.

Take those same negative statements and write them down as positive statements.  Use these continuously.  Stick them where you can see them.  Do not try to transcend this negativity within yourself.  That will be the next step.  First you have to tilt the balance of the scales from negative to positive.  You may find it unrealistic and irritating to be repeating only the positive, but it is a process, go with it.

You will also find that the inner critic will retaliate by trying to drown out the positive voice.  You can remind yourself that that which you feed, grows.  So now when you start to starve this negative voice, it will get angry and hungry and it will demand to be fed.  Just keep on ignoring it and eventually it will die off – in other words, do not give it energy.

5. Actions

Your most powerful ally in this war between yourself and the inner critic and judge is your actions.  The inner critic is a coward and a bully.  It preys on your weaknesses and your most negative and self-deprecating beliefs. It enters the place of pain where you are at your most weakest.  But when you stand up to it, confront it and act in accordance with your goal, DESPITE its roaring and thrashing, it will slink away and its negative thought processes will disappear!

6.  Meditation

Meditation and sadhana (spiritual practise) is the short cut to healing the inner critic.  The ultimate focus of spiritual practise is to become immersed in the Living Organic Light, that which encompasses all and is not fragmented by the duality.  Spending time in meditation purifies and cleanses the mind of these negative ‘tracks’ and the higher vibrational energy that you access within yourSelf, purifes the neural pathways and nadi in the brain and the emotional and physical and energetic bodies.  As the system becomes purified, the inner negative ego loses its grip and influence and it becomes easier to consciously withstand the negative self.

And ultimately the goal is to awaken the Presence of the Holy Spirit, the Kundalini or Shakty within.  As She awakens and rises to meet Her Beloved, the work really gets done for you!

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